Jeffrey Wood

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Telegraph Avenue
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The Fire Next Time by James     Baldwin
“Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death--ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return.”
James Baldwin
The Fire Next Time by James     Baldwin
“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.”
James Baldwin
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Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
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The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury
read in May, 2014
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Around the Day in Eighty Worlds by Julio Cortázar
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What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander
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If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
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Milan Kundera
“Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

David Foster Wallace
“Fiction is one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved. Drugs, movies where stuff blows up, loud parties -- all these chase away loneliness by making me forget my name's Dave and I live in a one-by-one box of bone no other party can penetrate or know. Fiction, poetry, music, really deep serious sex, and, in various ways, religion -- these are the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated.”
David Foster Wallace

T.S. Eliot
“We die to each other daily. What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then. To pretend that they and we are the same is a useful and convenient social convention which must sometimes be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.”
T.S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party

David Foster Wallace
“And Lo, for the Earth was empty of Form, and void. And Darkness was all over the Face of the Deep. And We said: 'Look at that fucker Dance.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

T.S. Eliot
“There was a door
And I could not open it. I could not touch the handle.
Why could I not walk out of my prison?
What is hell? Hell is oneself,
Hell is alone, the other figures in it
Merely projections. There is nothing to escape from
And nothing to Escape to. One is always alone.”
T.S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party

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