Cory Leonard

Beauty and Power in Books & Ideas

In ideas on May 6, 2014 at 5:00 am

The life of the mind, a love of literature and ideas, and a society in crisis: themes from David Brooks on the connection between Isaiah Berlin and a momentous visit to Anna Akhmatova.

Berlin and Akhmatova were from a culture that assumed that, if you want to live a decent life, you have to possess a certain intellectual scope. You have to grapple with the big ideas and the big books that teach you how to experience life in all its richness and make subtle moral and emotional judgments.

Berlin and Akhmatova could experience that sort of life-altering conversation because they had done the reading. They were spiritually ambitious. They had the common language of literature, written by geniuses who understand us better than we understand ourselves.

via Love Story – NYTimes.com.

 

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