Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

The more I think back to this short story, the more I cannot think of a better metaphor than the phrase “shooting an elephant”. A metaphor for many things, for everything. For doing something unnecessarily cruel. For the loss of something only seemingly light. For the fall of something grand, like a peaceful and prosperous empire. For imprisoning yourself, and killing the greatest, most fundamental, … Continue reading Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Love and Endless Desire by Edna St. Vincent Millay – My favorite sonnets

For me, her name has always sounded like the name of an exotic, dangerous volcano. As it turned out – after I read her poetry – my instincts were not too far off. The adjective that most succinctly describes the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay is “incendiary”. Perhaps not aggressively so, but incendiary, nonetheless. Her poems do not explode in a thousand burning flames, … Continue reading Love and Endless Desire by Edna St. Vincent Millay – My favorite sonnets

Katherine Mansfield on fear, fleeting moments and unspoken love

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” Mansfield’s short story “Psychology” is perhaps not the most witty or wellwritten work from her, as several of her other works, such as “Bliss” and “A married man’s story” are truly masterpieces in storytelling. “Bliss” is a … Continue reading Katherine Mansfield on fear, fleeting moments and unspoken love

Possibilities by Wislawa Szymborska

I prefer movies. I prefer cats. I prefer the oaks along the Warta. I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky. I prefer myself liking people to myself loving mankind. I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case. I prefer the color green. I prefer not to maintain that reason is to blame for everything. I prefer exceptions. I prefer to leave early. I … Continue reading Possibilities by Wislawa Szymborska

’T is so much joy! by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson on the joy of taking a risk and on the paradox in the beauty of loss and in the panic of success. ‘T is so much joy! ’T is so much joy! If I should fail, what poverty! And yet, as poor as I Have ventured all upon a throw; Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so This side the victory! Life is but life, … Continue reading ’T is so much joy! by Emily Dickinson

The Black Monk by Anton Chekhov

I ANDREY VASSILITCH KOVRIN, who held a master’s degree at the University, had exhausted himself, and had upset his nerves. He did not send for a doctor, but casually, over a bottle of wine, he spoke to a friend who was a doctor, and the latter advised him to spend the spring and summer in the country. Very opportunely a long letter came from Tanya … Continue reading The Black Monk by Anton Chekhov

About Love by Anton Chekhov

ABOUT LOVE by Anton Chekhov AT lunch next day there were very nice pies, crayfish, and mutton cutlets; and while we were eating, Nikanor, the cook, came up to ask what the visitors would like for dinner. He was a man of medium height, with a puffy face and little eyes; he was close-shaven, and it looked as though his moustaches had not been shaved, … Continue reading About Love by Anton Chekhov