Category Archives: quotes


“If in all the broad domain of the United States there is any region pre-eminent for its combined advantages of admirable territorial position, salubrious climate, the number and size of its water-courses, fertility of soil, and sunny beauty of undulating scenery, surely it must be the noble State of Iowa.”

—Frederick B. Goddard, Where to Emigrate and Why (1869)

(Via UI Special Collections.)

Demons Hate Fresh Air

“My father was a very disciplined and punctual man; it was a prerequisite for his creativity…. No matter what time you get out of bed, go for a walk and then work, he’d say, because the demons hate it when you get out of bed, demons hate fresh air.”

—Linn Ullmann, in an interview with Vogue, on her father Ingmar Bergman



From Louis Simpson’s Air with Armed Men:

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“Most men hold charm in vague suspicion: few cultivate it; still fewer respond to it; hardly any know whether they have it; and almost none can even identify it.”

—Benjamin Schwarz, “The Rise and Fall of Charm in American Men”

Los Angeles

L.A. at night

“Los Angeles is where you confront the objective fact that you mean nothing; the desert, the ocean, the tectonic plates, the clear skies, the sun itself, the Hollywood Walk of Fame—even the parking lots: everything there somehow precedes you, even new construction sites, and it’s bigger than you and more abstract than you and indifferent to you. You don’t matter. You’re free.”

Geoff Manaugh

(↬ Ian Bogost.)

Previously: Michael Maltzan and Harlan Ellison on Los Angeles.


“The beard, being a half-mask, should be forbidden by the police. It is, moreover, as a sexual symbol in the middle of the face, obscene: that is why it pleases women.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer

(Via @GuyLongworth.)

Related reading: Have we reached peak beard?

Appealing Workspaces Are to Be Avoided

“Appealing workspaces are to be avoided.”

—Annie Dillard, The Writing Life