The Owl of Minerva

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Devin Kelly’s Ordinary Plots: Meditations on Poems + Verse has been a revelation. Case in point Najwan Darwish’s “On the Third Day”, Mary Oliver’s “Some Questions You Might Ask”, Tariq Alarabi’s “Carob Tree” and so many more. There is a refined elegance to these posts that reflect on, but never dissects, poems from all over.

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, in AB. Clarifying, crisp and packs a punch 4.5/5


my theory of fucks. The theory goes like so: you are born with so many fucks to give. However many you’ve got is all there is (…) But I realize now that if you can give a fuck then you must also be able to receive. And that’s the key.

This is one of my answers to the question of, why give a fuck about work? Why love your work? (…) And my answer is: don’t. Don’t give a fuck about your work. Give all your fucks to the living.

(…) But if you give a fuck about the living, about all your living kin in all the kingdoms, they will give a fuck right back.
Mandy Brown


They tried to bury me, they didn’t realise I was a seed.
Sinéad O’Connor







Been a while. A longer post to compensate and to wrap up the year.

“Look up at the sky. Ask yourself, ‘Has the sheep eaten the flower or not?’ And you’ll see how everything changes…
The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Veda moves in a state of panic… frenetic works, produced in an atmosphere of oratorical jousting, where victory is gained by best formulating (or: most rapidly guessing) the mystical-ritual-based enigmas
Louis Renou

“A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.”
Rabindranath Tagore


“This is by far my favorite story of all those I have written.” – Isaac Asimov on The Last Question


The famous final Sunday strip, “Let’s Go Exploring” is dominated by a massive white space in the center of the page, spreading outward toward the margins. It is often said that “Let’s Go Exploring” ends Calvin and Hobbes on an upbeat note, exhorting readers to remember that life, after all, is a tabula rasa, and you can make it whatever you wish. But this gets it backward. The end of Calvin and Hobbes is not about filling a blank sheet. It is about taking a colored sheet and making it blank again.
Why Bill Watterson Vanished, Nic Rowan

“I was laying in bed one night and I thought, ‘I’ll just quit. To hell with it.’ And another little voice inside me said ‘Don’t quit. Save that tiny little ember of spark. And never give them that spark because as long as you have that spark, you can start the greatest fire again.’”
Charles Bukowski


Some summer reads:

Sharvay by Mansi – 3.5/5. Interesting premise. Drags at several places. Writing and plot development are far from best but not too bad either.

The Origins and Development of Classical Hinduism by A. L. Basham – 4/5. Compact summary of the author’s thoughts on his matter as a distillation of his other works. Not a review/comparison of other theories on this subject.

A Certain Ambiguity by Gaurav Suri, Hartosh Singh Bal – 4/5. The introduction to some of the concepts in mathematics is beautifully executed in the context of a ‘novel’, making up for most of the shortcomings in terms of story development and the idotic premise that Stanford undergrads not knowing some of the concepts being discussed.

No One Writes to the Colonel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – 5/5. “We are the orhpans of our son.” Beautiful. One of the best last lines of any book I have read as well :)

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – 5/5. Relished every sentence and page of this book. “Fatality makes you invisible.”

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – 5/5. Edgy, candid, enlightening.


The quiet lives, though, pass on soundlessly in the background. And yet those are the lives in our skin, guiding us from breakfast to bed. They’re the lives that have made us, that keep the world turning. (…) All around us are these lives — heads down and arms open — that ignore the siren call of flashy American individualism, of bright lights and center stage. I’m fine right here is the response from the edge of the room, and that contentment is downright subversive.
Obituary For a Quiet Life, Jeremy B. Jones


The Red Hand Files from Nick Cave. “Something curious is happening on the world wide web. Intimacy. And not of the more sordid kind with which you might commonly associate it.” (source). A treasure trove.

Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman - 5/5. “mortality makes it impossible to ignore the absurdity of living solely for the future.”

Read. Read as much as possible. Read the big stuff, the challenging stuff, the confronting stuff, and read the fun stuff too. Visit galleries and look at paintings, watch movies, listen to music, go to concerts – be a little vampire running around the place sucking up all the art and ideas you can. Fill yourself with the beautiful stuff of the world. Have fun. Get amazed. Get astonished. Get awed on a regular basis, so that getting awed is habitual and becomes a state of being. Fully understand your enormous value in the scheme of things because the planet needs people like you, smart young creatives full of awe, who can minister to the world with positive, mischievous energy, young people who seek spiritual enrichment and who see hatred and disconnection as the corrosive forces they are. These are manifest indicators of a human being with immense potential.

Absorb into yourself the world’s full richness and goodness and fun and genius, so that when someone tells you it’s not worth fighting for, you will stick up for it, protect it, run to its defence, because it is your world they’re talking about, then watch that world continue to pour itself into you in gratitude. A little smart vampire full of raging love, amazed by the world – that will be you, my young friend, the earth shaking at your feet.
Nick Cave

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