Water Lilies | Claude Monet / Charles Dickens / Samuel Taylor Coleridge / Henry David Thoreau

Claude Monet, Nympheas, 1897–1898

"It took me time to understand my water lilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it;
I grew them without ever thinking of painting them."

Claude Monet

Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1899

"But, for all that, they had a very pleasant walk. The trees were bare of leaves, and the river was
 bare of water-lilies; but the sky was not bare of its beautiful blue, and the water reflected it, and
 a delicious wind ran with the stream, touching the surface crisply."

Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend, 1864–65

Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1919
Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1917–1919

"The water-lily, in the midst of waters, opens its leaves and expands its petals, at the first
pattering of the shower, and rejoices in the rain-drops with a quicker sympathy than the
packed shrubs in the sandy desert."

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1906
Claude Monet, Water lilies, 1897–1899

"Nature seemed to have adorned herself for our departure with a profusion of fringes and
curls, mingled with the bright tints of flowers, reflected in the water. But we missed the
white water-lily, which is the queen of river flowers, its reign being over for this season....
 Many of this species inhabit our Concord water."

Henry David Thoreau

Claude Monet, The Water Lilies - The Clouds, 1920–1926

Water Lilies (or Nymphéas)
 is a series of approximately 250 oil paintings by Claude Monet (1840–1926). The paintings depict his flower garden
at his home in Giverny, and were the main focus of his artistic production during the last thirty years of his life.


When I was young | Albert Camus, 1937

Albert Camus, 1937

"When I was young, I expected from people more than they could give: neverending friendship
 and constant excitement. Now I expect less than they can actually can give: to stay close silently.
 And their feelings, friendship, noble deeds always seem like a miracle to me: a true grace."

Albert Camus, Notebooks 1935-1942

Stereosc2pe + | Surfs Up

Long Beach, California, 1920s                                                   Muizenberg in Cape Town, 2010

Book//mark - I Am a Cat | Natsume Sōseki, 1905-1906

Natsume Sōseki, I Am a Cat, 1905-1906                                                      Natsume Sōseki, 1912
 First edition  in English translation, 1909                                                                                          

“Living as I do with human beings, the more that I observe them, 
the more I am forced to conclude that they are selfish.”

"It is painfully easy to define human beings. They are beings who, 
for no good reason at all, create their own unnecessary suffering."

“Of all the tribulations in this world, boredom is the one most hard to bear.” 

“Thus, as I review the list of my friends and acquaintances, most of them emerge as stained with
 maniac stigmata of one sort or another. I begin to feel considerably reassured. The truth may 
simply be that human society is no more than a massing of lunatics.” 

“Had I the time to keep a diary, I’d use that time to better effect; sleeping on the veranda.” 

"He is totally abandoned in the way he buys book after book, never to read a single one. I wouldn't mind if he used his head and 
bought in moderation, but no. Whenever the mood takes him, he ambles off to the biggest bookshop in the city and brings back 
home as many books as chance to catch his fancy. Then, at the end of the month, he adopts an attitude of complete detachment.” 

“It would seem that for my master a book is not a thing to be read, but a device to bring on 
slumber: a typographical sleeping-pill, a paginated security blanket.”

“Even the works of Shakespeare might be more thoroughly appreciated if they were re-examined from 
unorthodox positions. Someone, once in a while, should take a good long look at Hamlet through his legs.” 

"Sunshine, unlike other things, is distributed fairly. It falls impartially upon the rich and the poor."

“If the Creator should take the line that I am born to work and not to sleep, I would agree that 
I am indeed born to work but I would also make the unanswerable point that I cannot work unless I also rest.” 

“You must not speak ill of other persons. After all, everyone dies when their allotted span is over.” 

“Secretiveness is a most mysterious matter. However well one guards a secret, sooner or later it’s bound to come out.” 

“In the old days, a man was taught to forget himself. Today it is quite different: he is taught not to forget himself and 
he accordingly spends his days and nights in endless self-regard. Who can possibly know peace in such an eternally 
burning hell? The apparent realities of this awful world, even the beast lines of being, are all symptoms of that 
sickness for  which the only cure lies in learning to forget the self.” 

“The trouble with women is that they talk too much. It would be good if human beings would keep as silent as this cat.” 

“There is nothing quite so terrifying as the results of education.” 

“There is nothing in the world more pleasant than to eat something one 
has never yet eaten, or to see something one has never seen before.” 

“It is of course true that the human creature characteristically prides itself on its self-reliance.
 However, it would be more exact to say that the creature, knowing it can't rely upon itself, would 
very much like to believe that it could and is consequently never at ease with itself until it can 
give a practical demonstration to some other such creature of how much it can rely upon itself.” 

“The plain fact is that humans, one and all, are merely thieves at heart.”

“At ordinary times, most human beings are wearisomely ordinary; depressingly banal in appearance
 and deadly boring in their conversation. However, at certain moments, by some peculiar, almost
 supernatural, process their normal triviality can be transformed into something so weird and 
wonderful that no feline scholar of their species can afford to miss any occasion when that 
transformation seems likely to take place.” 

“The world's evaluations of an individual's social worth, like the slits in my eyeballs, change with 
time and circumstance. In point of fact my pupil-slits vary but modestly between broad and narrow, 
but mankind's judgements turn somersaults and cartwheels for no conceivable reason.”

“But facts, remembered or not, are all, alas, still facts”

“To be as comfortably off as you are is, after all, the best way to be.” 

Natsume Sōseki, I Am a Cat, 1905-1906


Flick Review < Summer Interlude | Ingmar Bergman, 1951

"A strange mood developed, almost like a melody. A new room was opened in our minds."
"You only see your life clearly once, when all protective walls have crumbled. 
You stand there, naked and cold, seeing yourself just the way you are. Once only."

Sommarlek / Summer Interlude (1951)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Writers: Ingmar Bergman, Herbert Grevenius
Cinematography: Gunnar Fischer
Stars: Maj-Britt Nilsson, Birger Malmsten, Alf Kjellin

"Summer Interlude has a long history. Its origin, I see now, lies in a rather touching love affair that 
I had one summer when my family resided on Ornö Island. I was sixteen years old and, as usual, 
was stuck with extra studies during my summer vacation and could only occasionally participate 
in activities with people my own age. Besides, I did not dress as they did; I was skinny, had acne,
 and stammered whenever I broke my silence and looked up reading from Nietzsche."

[... ]On the far end of this so-called Paradise Island, toward the bay, there lived a girl who was 
also alone. A timid love grew between us, as often happens when two young lonely people seek 
each other out. [...] Our love died when autumn came, but it served as the basis for a short story 
that I wrote the summer after my exams.

 Ingmar Bergman, Images: My Life in Film


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