pleasure trips

passionate enthusiasm for consuming and collecting literary compositions.

Haruki Murakami: “Samsa in Love” »

Love this week’s fiction piece from The New Yorker.

“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.”

– bell hooks
All About Love: New Visions

On Reading Proust »

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on literature, democracy, empathy, the human condition, and reading Proust.
I especially like his comments on the importance of studying foreign languages:

The French language gave me an entrée into another culture. It allowed me to discover different means of expression, a different way of life, different values, a different system of thought. Because when you’re a judge and you spend your whole day in front of a computer screen, it’s important to be able to imagine what other people’s lives might be like, lives that your decisions will affect. People who are not only different from you, but also very different from each other. So, yes, reading is a very good thing for a judge to do. Reading makes a judge capable of projecting himself into the lives of others, lives that have nothing in common with his own, even lives in completely different eras or cultures. And this empathy, this ability to envision the practical consequences on one’s contemporaries of a law or a legal decision, seems to me to a crucial quality in a judge.