She gave me back the ring. And that evening, even if there were other vacillations later on, I learned that I had lost her and that I had arranged to lose her without wanting to, but that was even worse than doing it on purpose—it was the cleanest, most surgical strike I could make.
Emmanuel CarrèreMy Life as a Russian Novel. I had to put this book down over and over again, and still finished it in what felt like minutes.
At bottom, this is all a very old story. When he grew old, Aristotle, who is not generally considered exactly a tightrope dancer, liked to lose himself in the most labyrinthine and subtle of discourses. He had then arrived at the age of metis: “The more solitary and isolated I become, the more I come to like stories.” He had explained the reason admirably: as in the older Freud, it was a connoisseur’s admiration for the tact that composed harmonies and for its art of doing it by surprise: “The lover of myth is in a sense a lover of Wisdom, for myth is composed of wonders.”
Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life. One of the four of five books that influenced me the most in grad school (and ever after).

Maugham/Nietzche/Ledger

I saw that Roy was not inclined to be amused. I was not annoyed, for I am quite used to people not being amused at my jokes. I often think that the purest type of artist is the humorist who laughs alone at his own jokes.

Somerset MaughamCakes and Ale 

Our supreme insights must—and should!—sound like follies, in certain cases like crimes, when they come impermissibly to the ears of those who are not predisposed and predestined for them.

NietzscheBeyond Good and Evil 

Why so serious?

Heath Ledger, as the Joker, in The Dark Knight