Monday, January 11, 2010

"...the book lies at the heart of all our cultures."

T.J. Stiles

"Stories are democracy. They are the purest forms of engagement."

Colum McCann

(From the 2009 National Book Award Ceremony)

Current Status of the "American Dream" (which is nearly DOA).

"The share of pretax income going to the top 1 percent of American households rose by 7 percentage points from 1979 to 2007, to 16 percent, while the share of income going to the bottom 80 percent fell by 7 percentage points. As David Leonhardt put it in the New York Times: "It's as if every household in the bottom 80 percent is writing a check for $7,000. every year and sending it to the top 1 percent."

Page 179

"But in reality Americans are less likely to move upward from their class of origin that are Germans, Canadians, Finns, French people, Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes."

Page 180

from "Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America," by Barbara Ehrenreich

"Let us remember...that in the end we go to poetry for one reason, so that we might more fully inhabit our lives and the world in which we live them, and that if we more fully inhabit these things, we might be less apt to destroy both."

Christian Wiman