The Marginalian
The Marginalian

Reads by Maria Popova

Rebecca Solnit on Writing, Gardening, and the Life of the Mind
Rebecca Solnit on Writing, Gardening, and the Life of the Mind

“As a writer, you withdraw and disconnect yourself from the world in order to connect to it in the far-reaching way that is other people elsewhere reading the words that came together in this contemplative state.”

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Octavia Butler on the Meaning of God
Octavia Butler on the Meaning of God

On change, the measure of intelligence, the courage to take responsibility for our own lives.

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Humanity’s First Cosmic Gallery of Children’s Art: What the Youngest Members of Our Young Species Most Cherish About Life on Earth
Humanity’s First Cosmic Gallery of Children’s Art: What the Youngest Members of Our Young Species Most Cherish About Life on Earth

An illustrated love letter to our Pale Blue Dot by humanity’s most innocent scale models of the universe.

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Barry Lopez on Storytelling and His Advice on the Three Steps to Becoming a Writer
Barry Lopez on Storytelling and His Advice on the Three Steps to Becoming a Writer

“It is through story that we embrace the great breadth of memory, that we can distinguish what is true, and that we may glimpse, at least occasionally, how to live without despair in the midst of the horror that dogs and unhinges us.”

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June 16, 1816: The Inception of Frankenstein and Mary Shelley’s Prescient Warning About Reproductive Rights
June 16, 1816: The Inception of Frankenstein and Mary Shelley’s Prescient Warning About Reproductive Rights

A teenage girl from another epoch illuminates the fault lines of ours.

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Iris Murdoch on the Myth of Closure and the Beautiful, Maddening Blind Spots of Our Self-Knowledge
Iris Murdoch on the Myth of Closure and the Beautiful, Maddening Blind Spots of Our Self-Knowledge

“Judgements on people are never final, they emerge from summings up which at once suggest the need of a reconsideration. Human arrangements are nothing but loose ends and hazy reckoning.”

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Artist and Philosopher Rockwell Kent on Our Existential Wanderlust
Artist and Philosopher Rockwell Kent on Our Existential Wanderlust

“Wander where you will over all the world, from every valley seeing forever new hills calling you to climb them, from every mountain top farther peaks enticing you… until you stand one day on the last peak on the border of the interminable sea, stopped by the finality of that.”

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The Only Valiant Way to Complain Is to Create: William Blake and the Stubborn Courage of the Unexampled
The Only Valiant Way to Complain Is to Create: William Blake and the Stubborn Courage of the Unexampled

“The Eye altering alters all.”

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The Human Kaleidoscope and the Unwritten Story of the World: “Radiolab” Creator Jad Abumrad’s Superb Caltech Commencement Address
The Human Kaleidoscope and the Unwritten Story of the World: “Radiolab” Creator Jad Abumrad’s Superb Caltech Commencement Address

A ten-year-old boy on the side of a Lebanese mountain road, three generations of monarch butterflies, and the history of the future.

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Twenty Reasons for Being
Twenty Reasons for Being

A pastiche poem of tribute to the past and resolve for the possible.

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