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“‘Carpe diem’ doesn’t mean seize the day—it means something gentler and more sensible. ‘Carpe diem’ means pluck the day. Carpe, pluck. Seize the day would be ‘cape diem,’ if my school Latin serves. No R. Very different piece of advice. What Horace had in mind was that you should gently pull on the day’s stem, as if it were, say, a wildflower or an olive, holding it with all the practiced care of your thumb and the side of your finger, which knows how to not crush easily crushed things…Pluck the cranberry or blueberry of the day tenderly free without damaging it, is what Horace meant—pick the day, harvest the day, reap the day, mow the day, forage the day.”

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source: The Anthologist: A Novel (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2009), 127.

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medium: Novel

via: Whiskey River

“Remember that writing is translation, and the opus to be translated is yourself.”

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source: letter to a student dated December 10, 1951, in Letters of E. B. White, rev. edition edited by Martha White (New York: Harper Perennial, 2007), 316.

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medium: Letter

via: Carmela Ciuraru

“Writing about spiritual stuff for a secular audience is like doing card tricks on the radio.”

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source: “The Art of Memoir No. 1,” The Paris Review, Winter 2009, No. 191.

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medium: interview

notes: read transcript here

“It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language. (Think Big Mac, Cheetos, or Pringles.)”

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source: Food Rules (New York: Penguin, 2009), 45.

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medium: nonfiction

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