The Marginalian
The Marginalian

Page 4

The Unphotographable #2: Alpine Transcendence with Mary Shelley
The Unphotographable #2: Alpine Transcendence with Mary Shelley

Sometimes, a painting in words is worth a thousand pictures. I think about this more and more, in our compulsively visual culture, which increasingly reduces what we think and feel and see — who and what we are — to what can be photographed. I think of Susan Sontag, who called it “aesthetic consumerism” half a century before Instagram. In a small act of resistance, I offer The Unphotographable — every Saturday, a lovely image in words drawn from centuries of literature: passages transcendent and transportive, depicting landscapes and experiences radiant with beauty and feeling beyond what a visual image could convey.

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The Great Naturalist John Burroughs on the Art of Noticing and What Artists Can Learn from Naturalists
The Great Naturalist John Burroughs on the Art of Noticing and What Artists Can Learn from Naturalists

“We think we have looked at a thing sharply until we are asked for its specific features.”

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In a Library: Emily Dickinson on Why We Read and the Magic of Old Books
In a Library: Emily Dickinson on Why We Read and the Magic of Old Books

A love-poem to those folds in spacetime that take us back to “when Sappho was a living girl.”

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The Soul-Slaking Joy and Body-Poetry of Swimming
The Soul-Slaking Joy and Body-Poetry of Swimming

In praise of the exquisite instrument that channels “the huge chaos of sensations — sensations of temperature, water, force, light.”

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