Saturday, March 01, 2014

Divided Soul and Sky

“People who have read with love and respect understand that the larger message behind all books, great and good and even some not so good as they might be, is, finally, cultivate your sensibility so that you may trust your heart. The charmingly ironic point of vast reading, as least as I have come to understand it, is to distrust much of one’s education. Unfortunately, the only way to know this is first to become educated, just as the only way properly to despise success is first to achieve it.”
Choosing my favorite among Joseph Epstein’s hundreds of essays is like choosing my fondest daughter Love for Stories

CHRISTA WOLF, an East German writer known for her perspectives on power, was for a long time a serious contender for the Nobel prize in literature. Then the East German state ceased to exist in 1990, and the reputation of its most celebrated author also imploded. In 1993 Wolf was revealed to have been an informer for the secret police, the Stasi. Worse, to West German critics, she delayed publishing her own account of being spied upon, a novella written in 1979 and entitled “What Remains”, until the Berlin Wall came down.