They Insisted

41 minutes into episode 2 of the new Ken Burns and Lynn Novik Ernest Hemingway documentary:

The Depression had continued to deepen, and a new generation of socially-conscious leftist writers and critics now denounced Hemingway. Rather than fritter away his time writing about drunken ex-patriots and disillusioned survivors of the Great War, about bull fights, big game hunting, and deep sea fishing, they insisted it was his duty as an artist to declare his solidarity with the working class.

A Valuable Pursuit in its Own Right

Cal Newport on “long periods of thinking, short periods of writing”:

Part of the disconnect, I eventually became convinced, comes from the reality that we’ve lost our familiarity with the concept of “thinking” as a concrete and isolatable activity; something that can be prioritized, and trained, and even cherished as a valuable pursuit in its own right.

All That Had Gone Before

When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.

Jacob Riis

Slaughter Creek Trail. Austin, TX.

John Hartford and Friends, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, 1998