In 1945 and 1946, the FBI began keeping tabs on Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. The Cold War was just around the corner, and the Bureau suspected their new targets were secretly agents of Communism. However, FBI agents who followed the French writers evolved in the course of their spying: they became, in G.K. Chesterton’s phrase, “philosophical policemen.” (h/t Slate)
Magdalena Edwards gets in the writing zone by cranking up Arcade Fire. What do you do?
All lazy book reviews are essentially the same: they reflect a reviewer’s inability, or perhaps refusal, to fully engage with the writer’s project on the book’s own terms.
I became concerned that my interpreters were not delivering my words in the way I delivered them and in precisely the way I meant them. Often I thought I detected something harsher in their voices, something more judgmental and emphatic, delivered with more control than I could have managed myself. I hoped this was merely an effect of my ignorance, that what I heard was only a structural difference of language. The strange language withholds. To this outsider, at least, it appeared a repository of mysteries, and I felt berated and chastened in ignorance. The strange language seems authoritative and rings out as if naming worlds unknown. To my ear it sounded urgent and insistent, even threatening in a way that excited.
Recommended Reading: Bernadette Murphy on how knitting can be instructive for writers.
Salt is sacramental, a sign of the love between humans and the divine. The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all gave their gods gifts of salt, and in Shintoism, small piles of salt are placed in dishes by the entrances of buildings. Called “salt flowers,” these offerings are believed to placate the spirits. The Jainists pair raw rice with salt as an offering of devotion to their deities. For the Jews, salt dipped in bread and passed around the table at seder is a sign of preserving the covenant between God and his people. Catholic priests bless salt to use in rituals such as baptism, reconsecrating a defiled altar, and consecrating holy water. Blessed salt can also be used in exorcisms or sprinkled inside the faithful’s homes for protection. In this way, salt becomes a gift of God’s love for mankind.