Friday, January 25, 2013
To acquire the habit of reading
is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.
His father was in Paris as a lawyer for the British Embassy. At eight years old, his mother died from tuberculosis. His father died of cancer two years later. He was sent back to England into the care of a cold and distant uncle, a vicar. Miserable at his school. He said later: "I wasn't even likable as a boy. I was withdrawn and unhappy, and rejected most overtures of sympathy over my stuttering and shyness." He became a doctor and practiced in the London slums. He was particularly moved by the women he encountered in the hospital, where he delivered babies; and he was shocked by his fellow doctors' callous approach to the poor. He wrote: "I saw how men died. I saw how they bore pain. I saw what hope looked like, fear and relief; I saw the dark lines that despair drew on a face; I saw courage and steadfastness. I saw faith shine in the eyes of those who trusted in what I could only think was an illusion and I saw the gallantry that made a man greet the prognosis of death with an ironic joke because he was too proud to let those about him see the terror of his soul."
Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger.
There is really nothing to be said about it.
It is like the perfume of a rose:
you can smell it and that is all.
~ Somerset Maugham
from writers almanac