Ernest Hemingway Quotes

Ernest Hemingway QuotesSome people see him as a literary legend, as well as a person that lived legendary life.

Others consider him to have had a sad life, but fruitful career.

In any case, one thing is true: Ernest Hemingway is a name that will keep on living.

Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899 in today’s Oak Park, Illinois.

Although he was raised in a suburb, he spent most of his time in his family’s cabin in northern Michigan, where he learned to fish and hunt.

There, he also developed his love for nature.

He showed interest in literature from early on, and during his high-school years, he started writing for the sports section of the school newspaper.

After he graduated, he continued the same line of work, which can explain his simplistic, journalistic style of writing which one can encounter in all of his novels.

The year before the World War I has ended, he went to serve in it. He was an ambulance driver for the Italian side, and during his posting, he met a nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky, whom he proposed to.

However, the acceptance of the proposal was short lived since she soon left him for another man.

This event broke the writer’s heart, but at the same time inspired him and was the basis for his very famous work “A Farewell to Arms.”

At the age of 20, he was already heavily injured by the sufferings he saw during the war and was carrying deep emotional wounds.

After the war, he went to the US and took a job at a newspaper in Chicago. It was there where he met the woman that would become his first spouse.

But, just as up until then, his romance did not last forever.

By the end of his life, he was married four times.

Back to his writing career, shortly after he married for the first marriage, he moved to Paris, continuing to work for the newspaper as its foreign correspondent.

In Paris, he was made Gertrude Stein’s pupil, and he was part of what she would call as “The Lost Generation.”

During this time he met many famous artists of the 20s – and became one of them.

In 1951 after several critically and commercially acclaimed novels, he finally won the Pulitzer Prize for “The Old Man and the Sea.”

Just three years later, he won the Nobel Prize for literature as well.

As you could already notice from this short introduction to Hemingway’s personal life has influenced his literature – many of the things he saw and experienced he used as the basis for his stories.

Now, let’s take a peek at some of the most famous lines from his work and his letters.

Ernest Hemingway Quotes – Top 10

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it… Click To Tweet There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it. Click To Tweet Every day above earth is a good day. Click To Tweet Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know. Click To Tweet I want you so much I want to be you too. Click To Tweet You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There’s nothing to that. Click To Tweet The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. Click To Tweet We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. Click To Tweet As you get older, it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary. Click To Tweet The shortest answer is doing the thing. Click To Tweet

When he was not spending his time writing, which was his first passion, he was filling his life with excitement: bullfighting in Spain, deep-sea fishing in Florida, or hunting in Africa.

He was in several accidents, including plane crashes, but he still continued his adventures.

That is exactly why many people believed he knew how to live.

However, deep down Hemingway was actually a melancholic.

When he retired, his health was already deteriorated. His body was battling with liver disease and high blood pressure because of his drinking habits.

His mental health was not good as well. He was battling depression that ended tragically – with his suicide at the age of 62.

Quotes by Ernest Hemingway – The Sun Also Rises

A bottle of wine was good company.

Fake European standards have ruined you. 

Don’t you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you’re not taking advantage of it? Do you realize you’ve lived nearly half the time you have to live already?

He’ll never be frightened. He knows too damn much.

Perhaps as you went along you did learn something. I did not care what it was all about. All I wanted to know was how to live in it. Maybe if you found out how to live in it you learned from that what it was all about.

He was fairly happy, except that, like many people living in Europe, he would rather have been in America, and he had discovered writing.

It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.

Quotes by Ernest Hemingway – A Farewell to Arms

Life isn’t hard to manage when you’ve nothing to lose.

I’m not brave anymore darling. I’m all broken. They’ve broken me.

Keep right on lying to me. That’s what I want you to do.

I know that the night is not the same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist, and the night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started.

I was a little crazy. But I wasn’t crazy in any complicated manner.

When I saw her I was in love with her. Everything turned over inside of me. She looked toward the door, saw there was no one, then she sat on the side of the bed and leaned over and kissed me.

Quotes by Ernest Hemingway – Death in the Afternoon

Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.

A writer who omits things only because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing.

There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. 

Quotes by Ernest Hemingway – For Whom the Bell Tolls

There will always be people who say it does not exist because they cannot have it. But I tell you it is true and that you have it and that you are lucky even if you die tomorrow.

You go along your whole life and they seem as though they mean something and they always end up not meaning anything.

The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.

There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find it out when the time comes.

And what did last? I last, she thought. Yes, i have lasted. But for what?

Quotes by Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea

Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.

Let him think I am more man than I am and I will be so.

Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes, you are ready.

Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.

It was considered a virtue not to talk unnecessarily at sea, and the old man had always considered it so and respected it.

Final Notes

Ernest Hemingway was a man with a turbulent life that left behind an impressive opus.

It is known among authors that many of them fail at becoming successful just because they try to write like Hemingway. Writing like him – so simply but at the same time so deeply is not something just anyone can do.

His talent still influences readers and writers of contemporary generations.

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Against Happiness PDF Summary

Against Happiness PDF

In Praise of Melancholy

“Don’t worry, be happy…”

Or should you?

Happiness is the ultimate dream on this planet, but as we will see below, chasing for happiness, while running away from its polar opposite, can destroy us.

Who Should Read “Against Happiness”? And Why?

“Against Happiness” is a controversial book, in the context that it ‘glorifies’ melancholy as the source of creativity, and criticizes people for wanting to be constantly happy, even stating that such endeavors might destroy this world.

We recommend it to self-help buffs and all those who feel intrigued by this subject.

About Eric G. Wilson

Eric G. WilsonEric G. Wilson has penned numerous books on the topic of literary psychology and is currently teaching English at Wake Forest University.

“Against Happiness PDF Summary”

There are some names that we all know because of their work that stood the test against time. Literary and musical legends are still inspiring generations years after their death.

There are many things different about all of these people and many other things that connect them.

And, believe it or not, melancholy is one of the characteristics they shared.

Yes, they were depressed!

Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Napoleon Bonaparte et cetera, all belonged to this group of people.

Actors like Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, and one of our contemporaries Jim Carrey are part of the “crew” as well.

Melancholia, if we imagine it as a building, would be inhabited by one of this world’s most brilliant people: from artists to politicians, to scientists.

Why are we telling you this? Why has the author made an effort to tell you this?

Well, because melancholia is usually connected to bad feelings and destructiveness, and the reality is quite the opposite.

In fact, melancholia can trigger creativity and can be a source of inspiration for many individuals.

Even when asked, some composers or singers claim that their best work resulted from the worst period of their lives.

Accepting the dark part of yourself and reshaping them into something beautiful is a noble act.

In this context, we must mention Virginia Woolf who has openly claimed that darkness when it comes to her feelings and mood is what has inspired to write her best stories. According to her, these states made her face the “assault of truth.”

But how can such mental darkness and depression result in something so light and beautiful?

Well, the answer may be hiding somewhere in the connection between polarities.

Carl Yung believed that many of the things that seem opposite are actually just manifestations of the same principle – the unconscious.

He stated that the unconscious consists of linked oppositions such as sadness and joy, darkness and light etc.

He went even further, connecting melancholy to understanding and mental health.

Melancholia is shaping people’s ability to open their eyes to the beauty and make a distinction between something that looks pretty and something that is truly beautiful.

What is the difference, you ask?

It is simple. Pretty things seem made, artificial, and very much alike.

Beautiful things, on the other hand, breathe friends and wilderness.

But if melancholia is good for you, then why do people feel aversion toward sadness?

In most parts, it is because of the ever-present fear of death.

Melancholy makes you face the fact that everything in this world, including yourself, is temporary. Everything will one day disappear.

To be able to live freely, you have to stop running away from death, and instead directly confront it and explore it.

It seems that people in the Middle Ages were more in touch with this part of themselves since it was common then to decorate the houses with skulls and skeletons, in order for those that lived there to be constantly in touch with the thought of the inescapability of death.

When you embrace these unchanging facts about the life, you can look deeper into the meaning of your existence and the existence of all things.

Being a melancholic will keep you constantly curious, questioning the world, and therefore the chances of creativity and invention are much higher.

Although there are many benefits of adopting such mentality, people do not see melancholy as beneficial – instead, they just want to be happy.

Isn’t it strange that people just feed themselves with antidepressants at even the slightest feeling of uneasiness?

Just take a look at the statistics about people that have their own therapists – the numbers are humongous.

Does that mean that the whole world is depressed?

It certainly does not. But not accepting the occasional blues also means that the world passes on the opportunity to become more creative.

Key Lessons from “Against Happiness”

1.      Sadness is Healthy
2.      Destroying Melancholia Is Dangerous
3.      Do Not Immediately Reach Out For Help

Sadness is Healthy

We repeated many times throughout the text, and we will do it again: sadness is healthy. We are not talking about clinical depression here, but it is very artificial to try to be constantly happy.

We all have moments when we feel down, and when such moments come, instead of running away from them, we need to learn how to channel them the right way.

Destroying Melancholia Is Dangerous

The link between creativity and melancholia is confirmed. So, if the world continues fighting against the feeling and trying to get rid of it, it will also get rid of progress and the possibility of breakthrough innovations and beautiful art.

Do Not Immediately Reach Out For Help

Every time you feel uneasy or mental anguish, you should not immediately reach for antidepressants or a therapist’s help. Instead, you should learn to live with such feelings, as they might give you the chance to reflect.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Against Happiness Quotes”

Creating doesn’t make us unhappy; unhappiness makes us creative. Click To Tweet Melancholy shows us that our demons – the dark parts of our hearts, our agitations and our loathings, our cynicism and our acerbities – are integral parts of ourselves. Click To Tweet Some of our most sacred institutions have become happiness schools. Click To Tweet American happy types are hopelessly frustrated because they’re trying desperately for security in an insecure world. Click To Tweet Sadness reconciles us to realities. It throws us into the flow of life. It puts us on the brisk edge of experience. It makes the heart beat hard, throbbing between faith and doubt. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Against Happiness” is not your typical self-help book.

It offers a different look, a new perspective on one of the most avoided feelings in the world: melancholy.

After reading it, I felt more at ease with myself and started embracing those blue moments, instead of fearing them, and feeling uncomfortable when they came by.

So, I guess, when it comes to me, the book served its purpose. Now it is your turn to try it.

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George Orwell Quotes

George Orwell QuotesGeorge Orwell was a British writer, most widely known to the public for his most famous novels “1984” and “Animal Farm.”

The “Big Brother is watching you” quote is used continuously all over the world to comment on the political situation in countries (it is especially frequent to see such a poster in protests).

His books and essays are not just stories – they are a critique of the world we live in, that you cannot help but agree with, and you hate him because he was completely right.

You do not want to live in a world like in Orwell’s stories, and yet, in some situations, it seems that our realities are excerpts from his novels.

Orwell was an ordinary man, a son of a colonial civil servant in eastern India, where he was born in 1903. He got English education and then became a worker in the Imperial Police in the, then British – Burma.

However, the job did not seem to satisfy him. He had an itch for something else – for words.

In 1927 he decided to scratch the itch, resigned his job and moved to Paris.

Becoming a writer was everything except easy, so Orwell was forced to do some manual jobs to make a living, while he was penning his first book.

His real name was Eric Arthur Blair but felt that George Orwell had a better sound to it, so he decided to take it as his pen name.

The first book he published was “Down and Out in Paris and London” in 1934, and shortly after that he also published his first novel “Burmese Days.”

Up till that point, he considered himself an anarchist, but as he saw more of the world, he became a socialist. Then soon he became an anti-Stalinist, as he had an experience in which he had to flee to survive, afraid of communists that were supported by the Soviets and were chasing after revolutionary socialists.

Nearing the age of forty, he worked for the BBC and later became an editor of the Tribune.

By then he was already successful, publishing books and writing articles and reviews for newspapers, but he became a real star with the publication first of his novel “Animal Farm” and then, four years later of “1984”.

He died of tuberculosis just one year after the publication of “1984”.

These books made quite an impact on the literary world and are frequently quoted even today.

Which brings us to the next point: Orwell’s most famous quotes.

George Orwell Quotes – Top 10

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH Click To Tweet Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood. Click To Tweet In the face of pain there are no heroes. Click To Tweet Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Click To Tweet In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Click To Tweet Big Brother is watching you. Click To Tweet Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future. Click To Tweet It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage. Click To Tweet Four legs good, two legs bad. Click To Tweet Tragedy, he perceived, belonged to the ancient time. Click To Tweet

Apart from being a novelist that knew how to pack what everyone was thinking in a compelling story, Orwell was also a journalist and essayist.

His importance as an essayist is often in the shadow of his two novels, but we must not forget to mention it.

Most of the opinions he has been packing up in fictitious stories in his novels – he had stated loud and clear in his essays.

He also talked about writing, as well as the worth of literature quite often.

That is why in the following list of quotes, you will also find many taken from his essays. Although many of them lose some of their power when taken out of context, they still ring true even read individually.

Quotes by George Orwell – Animal Farm

Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. 

There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word—Man.

All the habits of Man are evil. And, above all, no animal must ever tyrannise over his own kind.

Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure. On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility.

In the old days, there had often been scenes of bloodshed equally terrible, but it seemed to all of them that it was far worse now that it was happening among themselves. Since Jones had left the farm, until today, no animal had killed another animal.

There was no thought of rebellion or disobedience in her mind. She knew that, even as things were, they were far better off than they had been in the days of Jones, and that before all else it was needful to prevent the return of the human beings. 

They knew that life nowadays was harsh and bare, that they were often hungry and often cold, and that they were usually working when they were not asleep. But doubtless, it had been worse in the old days. They were glad to believe so. Besides, in those days they had been slaves, and now they were free, and that made all the difference.

No animal in England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year old. No animal in England is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth.

Quotes by George Orwell – 1984

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. 

Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.

I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end.

It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself.

For after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable–what then?

In the old days, he thought, a man looked at a girl’s body and saw that it was desirable, and that was the end of the story. But you could not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. 

Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. 

At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act collectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from individual to individual, generation after generation. In the face of the Thought Police there is no other way.

Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.

Both of them knew —  in a way, it was never out of their minds —  that what was now happening could not last long. 

Quotes by George Orwell – The Road to Wigan Pier

No sooner have you washed one child’s face than another is dirty; before you have washed the crocks from one meal the next is due to be cooked.

Our age has not been altogether a bad one to live in.

To the ordinary working man, the sort you would meet in any pub on Saturday night, Socialism does not mean much more than better wages and shorter hours and nobody bossing you about.

You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but not to cooks or bacon-curers or market-gardeners.

Poverty is poverty, whether the tool you work with is a pick-ax or a fountain pen.

All his opinions change into their opposites at the first brush of reality.

Quotes by George Orwell – A Collection of Essays

I was crying partly because I felt that this was expected of me, partly from genuine repentance, but partly also because of a deeper grief which is peculiar to childhood and not easy to convey: a sense of desolate loneliness and helplessness, of being locked up not only in a hostile world but in a world of good and evil where the rules were such that it was actually not possible for me to keep them.

Myths which are believed in tend to become true.

The intellectual is different from the ordinary man, but only in certain sections of his personality, and even then not all the time.

On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.

To an ordinary human being, love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others.

The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies “something not desirable.”

Whoever writes about his childhood must beware of exaggeration and self-pity. 

Clarity is the remedy.

Final Notes

George Orwell was an author who had a strong political opinion and made sure to include it in all of its writings.

If we listen to the writing advice stating that good writers have something to say, then Orwell is an exceptional one.

His books are clever, interesting, and full of relatable lines. The collection of quotes above was just a little chunk of the wealth that Orwell’s manuscripts offer.

So, if you are reading this now, you know that you have a big task ahead of you: read Orwell’s thoughts in their full form.

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Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas Quotes

Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas QuotesA Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” is a novel with a catchy title, catchy style, catchy plot, and even catchier origins.

The story’s roots find their way all their way back to the two trips the author Hunter S. Thompson made to las vegas.

At the time Thomson was covering a story about the Mexican-American tv journalists, that the LA County Sheriff’s Department had killed and was using Acosta, a Mexican-American attorney, and as they passed some time together they realized that it is quite tricky for a brown-skinned Mexican like Acosta to speak openly with a white journalist in LA.

The atmosphere there was tense when it came to racial questions, so needing some time and space for themselves so that they can discuss all matters freely.

This trip became central to the story Thompson first started out as a 2500 word manuscript. But then, he developed it into a novel-length story.

In order to fill up the story, he and Acosta went on a second trip to Las Vegas where they tried to find experiences that would allow them to feel the American Dream, which Thompson imagined to be the topic of the second part of the book.

The results from these trips were first published in the Rolling Stone magazine, and the hardcover edition follows next year.

The story basically starts out the same: journalist Raoul Duke and his lawyer Dr. Gonzo go to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race for a magazine.

However, the purpose for which they are there is continuously blurred by different recreational drugs. The list of drugs is long, and it includes ether, cocaine, LSD, alcohol, cannabis, and mescaline.

Spending so much time under influence, their days become bizarre, and they experience a series of hallucinogenic events.

The events in the novel are unclear, as is the whole narrative, but then it could only be expected when it is a story about characters whose thoughts are mixed and fuzzy.

The basic synopsis is a puzzle of surreal circumstances, making it hard to differentiate between reality and the characters’ imagination. The only thing that is certain is the existence of the American dream and the greed that rules the city.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Quotes – Top 10

There was madness in any direction, at any hour. Click To Tweet When you bring an act into this town, you want to bring it heavy. Click To Tweet Buy the ticket, take the ride. Click To Tweet There was every reason to believe I was heading for trouble, that I'd pushed my luck a bit far. Click To Tweet There was evidence, in this room, of excessive consumption of almost every type of drug known to civilized man since 1544 A.D. Click To Tweet In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity. Click To Tweet Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only real cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard. Click To Tweet There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Click To Tweet You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug—especially when it’s waving a razor-sharp hunting knife in your eyes. Click To Tweet This place is getting to me. I think I'm getting the Fear. Click To Tweet

This book has a much broader meaning than merely drug use, as many would believe.

As the characters destroy and wreck rooms and cars, they are actually symbolically destroying everything that is connected to consumerism, and the city itself is a symbol of the ugliness of such consumerist lifestyle.

Yet, when it was first published, it was highly criticized for the overwhelming number of scenes containing drugs. Some critics even advised readers to skip the novel entirely, and not waste time on it.

But the true worth of a book is only understood through time, and hence as time passed, the novel became increasingly popular, and along with popularity, the number of positive reviews increased as well.

And, the deeper we delve into this article, the number of quotes we offer to you increases too.

Yes, that is right – we have more word-candy you can binge on.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Quotes

There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. 

Our trip was different. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country-but only for those with true grit.

We promised, but the moment we got inside we lost control. 

History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of ‘history’ it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time — and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.

There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs.

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes, you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

Still humping the American Dream.

Sympathy? Not for me. No mercy for a criminal freak in Las Vegas.

This will not be a happy run. Not even the Sun God wants to watch.

The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits — a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.

Don’t waste any time with cheap shucks and misdemeanors. Go straight for the jugular. Get right into felonies. The mentality of Las Vegas is so grossly atavistic that a really massive crime often slips by unrecognized.

Hallucinations are bad enough. But after a while you learn to cope with things like seeing your dead grandmother crawling up your leg with a knife in her teeth. 

No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. 

Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop.

Old elephants limp off to the hills to die; old Americans go out to the highway and drive themselves to death with huge cars.

One of the things you learn, after years of dealing with drug people, is that everything is serious.

This place is like the Army: the shark ethic prevails–eat the wounded. In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. 

For a loser, Vegas is the meanest town on earth.

Ignore that nightmare in the bathroom. Just another ugly refugee from the Love generation, some doom-struck gimp who couldn’t handle the pressure.

Final Notes

Hunter S. Thompson, the author of the book, is known to be the inventor of the journalistic style known as Gonzo, in which reporters involve themselves in the stories they tell.

Some consider “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” to be a failed attempt at this kind of reporting. However, it is publicly known that the author is a keen user of psychedelics, just like his characters – so the story, at least to a point rings true.

Having seen some of the quotes from the book, you can notice that the style is bold and catchy, and the characters have a strong, memorable voice.

Because of the nature of the narrative and its lack of clarity, on the other hand, it is best if you experience the talk of the characters as they are talking to you.

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William Shakespeare Love Quotes

Shakespeare Love QuotesWilliam Shakespeare.

Is there a person in this world that has not heard that name?

Four centuries after his death, people still celebrate him as one of the best writers of all times.

He was born in 1564, and lived for 52 fruitful years, during which he left an inerasable mark on literary history.

The exact day when he was born is unknown, but at least we know that he was baptized on the 26th of April, so he must have been born at the beginning of the year.

When he was only 18, he got married and had three children.

However, no one knows much about his private life since not many records about it are available.

This has provoked people to question his identity and everything connected to it: his beliefs, his appearance, as well as something more intimate like his sexuality.

The quest for Shakespeare’s identity is at times called the greatest literary mystery of all time and it has provoked many debates throughout the years.

Maybe the most critical question when it comes to a literary context that has ever been asked is the Shakespeare authorship question.

Many people believe that the true Shakespeare was, in fact, a commoner, and the man that we attribute these literary works to was only a mask for the author who for some reason did not want to accept credit for what he wrote.

The reason that has fueled such beliefs is what we mentioned as scarce personal biography, which does not make any sense if you just think about his legendary status as a writer.

This question seems to provoke the public more than it provokes scholars, and Shakespeareologists dismiss these claims and do not put too much thought into it.

Although his identity is an exciting mystery (that even was the source of one Hollywood movie), we are more interested in all the contributions he made to the world of literature.

What is interesting about Shakespeare is that he is both a literary genius and highly commercial.

Shakespeare’s thoughts are widely quoted, sometimes even without people knowing where they are deriving from.

Speaking of which, in today’s post we will make a selection of some of the most powerful and memorable Shakespeare love quotes.

Sadly we do not know much about his life, so we cannot be certain about whether the thoughts we will quote are the author’s or they belong to his plays’ characters.

But, no matter who spoke them, they are revealing deep and perennial truths about the world, as well as about the nature of love.

Let’s start with a selection of the most famous quotes that this genius ever penned.

William Shakespeare Love Quotes – Top 10

Could ever hear by tale or history, the course of true love never did run smooth. Click To Tweet Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs. Click To Tweet Love is blind, and lovers cannot see, the pretty follies that themselves commit. Click To Tweet Her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love. Click To Tweet She loved me for the dangers I had passed, and I loved her that she did pity them. Click To Tweet I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say - I love you. Click To Tweet You have witchcraft in your lips. Click To Tweet I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me. Click To Tweet To be wise and love, exceeds man’s might; that dwells with gods above. Click To Tweet I pray you, do not fall in love with me, for I am falser than vows made in wine. Click To Tweet

That was a pretty fine collection, wasn’t it?

To be honest, it was a tough pick.

Thankfully, we are nowhere near done!

Shakespeare has penned so many plays during his career, that we have enough material to keep going.

He was such a big figure that a whole subject was created around his writings, called Shakespearology, that many modern universities offer in their syllabus. One would expect that since he has made up various words that we know use in our everyday language like addiction, or fashionable, as well as many more.

If you just read his plays, you will understand that this man was wise and he had something to say. He always examines unchanging and everlasting subjects such as love, hate and revenge.

But until you take a sip of the fine Shakespeare juices, he has spilled in his plays, enjoy yourself with some more quotes about love and all the truths surrounding it.

Quotes by William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet

My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me, that I must love a loathed enemy.

Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow.

See how she leans her cheek upon her hand, O that I were a glove upon that hand that I might touch that cheek!

Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.

Is love a tender thing? it is too rough, Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.

O, swear not by the moon,  th’ inconstant moon, that monthly changes in her circle orb, lest that thy love prove likewise variable. Don’t swear by the moon.

Quotes by William Shakespeare – All’s Well When It Ends Well

But love that comes too late, like a remorseful pardon slowly carried, to the great sender turns a sour offence.

Quotes by William Shakespeare – A Midsummer’s Night Dream

My heart is true as steel.

And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.

Cupid is a knavish lad, thus to make poor females mad.

This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near to make a man look sad.

I am amazed and know not what to say.

Good night, sweet friend: thy love ne’er alter, till thy sweet life end.

Quotes by William Shakespeare – Much Ado About Nothing

Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.

Speak low, if you speak love.

That I neither feel how she should be loved nor know how she should be worthy is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me. I will die in it at the stake.

Quotes by William Shakespeare – Hamlet

Doubt thou the stars are fire. Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar. But never doubt I love.

I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love, make up my sum.

Quotes by William Shakespeare – Twelfth Night

If music be the food of love, play on. 

Love sought is good, but giv’n unsought is better.

Quotes by William Shakespeare – As You Like It

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.

We that are true lovers run into strange capers. But as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly.

No sooner met but they looked, no sooner looked but they loved, no sooner loved but they sighed, no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason.

Quotes by William Shakespeare – Antony and Cleopatra

Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me.

Music, moody food of us that trade in love.

The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch which hurts and is desired.

 There’s beggary in the love that can be reckoned.

Quotes by William Shakespeare – The Two Gentlemen of Verona

For he was more than over shoes in love.

They do not love that do not show their love.

Quotes by William Shakespeare – The Merchant of Venice

And swearing till my very roof was dry with oaths of love.

Quotes by William Shakespeare – Sonnets

Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove.

In black ink my love may still shine bright.

The worst was this: my love was my decay.

Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep.

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom.

Final Notes

We are finishing this article with a feeling of unease – there are so many more quotes that are worth mentioning.

But, some of them are better understood when read in context.

Shakespeare’s plays have survived so long because they carry truths about the world that never change.

So, how about we give you a dare of some kind: read some of his plays and try to find quotable lines yourself?

I believe you will enjoy the task since it is impossible not to enjoy Shakespeare.

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The Autobiography of Gucci Mane PDF Summary

The Autobiography of Gucci Mane PDFDo you know Gucci Mane?

He is a rapper who went through it all: murder charges, drugs, and worldwide fame.

If you want to see how it all looks from the inside, read on.

Who Should Read “The Autobiography of Gucci Mane”? And Why?

“The Autobiography of Gucci Mane” is just what it says it is: a timeline of the rappers life from being a con-artist’s kid, to drug dealing, drug use, murder, stardom, and all the troubles he experienced in between.

We recommend it to all rap enthusiasts and Gucci Mane fans.

About Gucci Mane and Neil Martinez – Belkin

Gucci ManeGucci Mane is an American rapper, who, since his debut in 2005, has released 12 studio albums and 70 mixtapes.

Neil Martinez – Belkin was the editor of Gucci Mane’s memoir.

“The Autobiography of Gucci Mane PDF Summary”

Gucci Mane had a situation gone bad.

One day, in 2005, he visited a woman in her house, when a group of men entered and interrupted them.

In the quarrel, Gucci shot one of those guys named Henry Lee Clark III. When he was questioned, he pleaded that it was self-defense and the charges were dropped.

However, this event, no matter how wrong it was, actually helped him build his career, as he became a legend.

People started rapping about killing and getting away with it. It was more precisely Rick Ross that said that he always thought about him when he sang that.

Gucci’s birth name is Radric Davis, and he spent his childhood in Alabama and Atlanta.

His father was not always present, but he was sometimes there, enough of him to see that he was the original Gucci Mane, who had a fashion sense and love for designer clothes.

In fact, his father inherited it from Gucci’s grandfather, whose character and preferences were shaped in Italy when he was in the military.

That is why they called themselves “mane,” it stands for “man” in Alabamian.

Gucci’s father was not only a lover of high fashion but a lover of crime as well.

He was a con artist that had different schemes he was using.

Gucci says that he owes his understanding of people to his father, since while he was teaching him all those tricks he knew, he was actually teaching him how to read people by their body language, and then use that information to get something.

While he was a teenager, Gucci started robbing places and selling drugs to make money, and having a tough body image was crucial in this line of work.

He had a friend whose brother wanted to rap, and therefore they were all in touch with Zaytoven, a producer with whom he kept contact even after the kid moved on.

With him, he made his debut on “Str8 Drop Records Presents Gucci Mane La Flare” in 2001.

That is when Young Jeezy (another rap legend) heard about Gucci – he liked the song.

But, it all came at a price: as he began rising in the world of stars, his image weakened.

He was now under the close examination of the public eye, and being a drug addict did not exactly help him.

Then the incident happened.

The year after the incident, he recorded a song while being under the influence, which made him look like a hard drug user.

He did not want to release the song, but it was nevertheless released without his knowledge (if we believe his claims) and became a hit quite quickly.

But years later, someone decided to make new memes out of it connecting it to his crime.

Drugs were a problem for Gucci for the most of his life, but it is a fact that he does not hide.

After the murder charges were dropped in the following years, he was charged with several lesser crimes, like parole-violating D.U.I.

Soon after he was let out, he recorded a track to celebrate the occasion named “First Day Out” in which he openly talks about cough syrup and weed.

A few months later, he published his album, which was well received by both the public and the critics, but it all went down when he failed a drug test, and had to go to rehab.

He could not be there for his success, and it hurt him since he put a lot of effort into creating the album.

Things kept happening for Gucci: in 2010 one song leaked, and people did not actually enjoy it. Gucci was exploring new ways of making music, new sounds, beginning working with other producers except those he usually worked with, but critics believed that he had started following the trends and sold out.

When he was asked about it in public, he seemed okay.

However, soon after, he gave up on his next album, and fled to Miami with a bag full of cash to spend on women and drugs.

Then, he was arrested again and sent to the mental facility.

He realizes now that he was sabotaging himself since he was tired of it all – of all the care about his image and career.

We finish our story here: for more details and to find out the ending (for now) of Gucci’s story, pick up his autobiography and take a peek.

Key Lessons from “The Autobiography of Gucci Mane

1.      Keep Working On Your Dream, No Matter the Circumstances
2.      Everything You Go Through Is A Lesson
3.      Do the Work

Keep Working On Your Dream, No Matter the Circumstances

As you can see from our short summary above, as well as in the book, Gucci went through many hard times, but still kept making music and following his dream.

Circumstances change, so you must not give up.

Everything You Go Through Is A Lesson

Gucci’s life was filled with vices and unfortunate events, but still, all of those things made him the man he is today.

Embrace your mistakes, and if you want to change in the future, then take action.

Do the Work

There is one part of the autobiography, where Gucci explains how when he released the new album he went to strip clubs personally so that they could play the music.

Doing the work yourself is necessary.

Success does not come by itself – you need to put some effort into it.

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“The Autobiography of Gucci Mane Quotes”

I remembered that as low as my lows had gotten, I always had faith in myself. That I always knew if I could get past those temporary moments, eventually I’d be up again. Click To Tweet My father used to say that if you keep looking back you’re going to trip going forward. That in life, sometimes you reach a fork in the road and you have to make a decision. Click To Tweet I learned a lot watching James Franco do his thing. The whole way he approached his character was super impressive. He was all in, fully immersed as Alien. He played the hell out of that role. He knew his craft like I knew the rap game. Click To Tweet It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time for wounds to heal. Click To Tweet A slave ship of the skies. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

I personally do not like biographies, but this one kept my attention.

I was curious to see how a person who just gets from one bad thing to another, weighted by fame, can get away from it.

Another thing I like was the voice – it felt real and raw and invited me to keep reading.

If you would like to get immersed in a world as you would probably never see otherwise, this book is the right pick.

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Freak the Mighty PDF Summary

Freak the Mighty PDFFriendship is a wonderful thing – it connects you to people no matter your similarities and differences.

But how can two completely different people be friends?

“Freak the Mighty” explores this question.

Who Should Read “Freak the Mighty”? And Why?

“Freak the Mighty” is a story about a boy who befriends another physically handicapped, but very smart boy. It is a tear-jerking story about friendship and growing up, and blending differences by forming a beautiful connection with another person.

This book is intense and real, and funny at the same time.

There is no reader who would not like a good heartwarming friendship story – so we recommend it to all of you that came by this article.

Rodman Philbrick Biography

Rodman PhilbrickRodman Philbrick is an American writer who was mainly writing detective novels, until the day a boy living in the next block inspired him to write “Freak the Mighty”.

The become has become a worldwide phenomenon and has been adapted for the screen as well.

Plot

Maxwell Kane is a boy living in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (a literary version of it), along with his grandparents Grim and Gram.

He has incredibly low self-esteem, mostly because he looks very much like his father, or at least that is what people say, who has been convicted of murder.

The first lines and pages of the story are filled with Max’s reminiscences about the past, especially about the moments while he was in daycare and made the acquaintance of a boy named Kevin.

This boy recalls a situation with one of his classmates nicknamed Freak.

They chose such name because he had Morhuio syndrome and has to use crutches in order to support himself since he wears leg braces.

Other people bully him because he is quite short, but Max actually likes his braces and crutches. Kevin, on the other hand, decides to turn his condition in fantasy and thinks of himself as a robot.

Years pass and Max grows up, and he loses touch with Freak.

But then, one day, while he is in middle school, he finds out that Freak and his mother are going to be his next-door neighbors.

Max approaches Freak, but at first, he colds his distance, and is even aggressive towards him.

However, after Max helps him save one toy that is stuck in a tree, he starts to trust him, and they become friends.

On the Independence day, they go together to watch the fireworks. There, they stumbled upon one boy named Tony “Blade” D that moves along with his gang, who attack them.

However, they wish to avoid any kind of conflict, so they try to escape. In order for them to be able to outrun the gang that is chasing them, Freak gets on Max’s shoulders. Then, a police car notices them and takes them back to their houses.

After that day, Freak gets on Max’s shoulders regularly and moves like that. They create a name for themselves: Freak the Mighty and go on different adventures together.

During one of those adventures, they found a lost woman’s purse and return it to her.

Her name is Loretta Lee and is the spouse of the leader of a motorcycle gang Iggy Lee. This motorcycle gang called the Panheads is fearsome for everyone, the cops included.

The Lees talk to the boys, and they reveal that they knew Max’s father and that Kevin’s father was also a part of the gang, but left once he found out about his son’s birth defect.

Later on, Max’s grandfather tells him that his father has been released on parole. This news brings unrest in the family – in fact, Max’s grandparents are afraid that their grandchild will grow up like him.

As the story develops we find out that Max’s father strangled his mother to death and that is why they are all afraid of him. His grandfather wants to buy a gun to protect the family because he believes that the parole will bring them unease and problems.

These fears become real when Max’s father shows up on Christmas Eve and kidnaps Max to be his assistant, taking him to Iggy Lee.

He swears to Max that he did not kill his mother, but he is very intimidating not only to Max but everyone else as well. On Christmas morning he ties Max up in an abandoned apartment, and he leaves him alone.

That is when Loretta feels sorry for the boy, and shocked that someone would do that to his own son, he helps Max escape.

However, this is only a try since Max’s father arrives while she is untying him, and tries to strangle her.

Max tells him that he had once witnessed him killing his mother the same way. So, his father gets angry and gives up trying to make him his assistant and decides that it would be better for him just to kill him.

He tries to strangle him, but at the right moment Freak arrives and squirts Kane with a squirt gun filled with curry, vinegar, and soap (but everyone thinks it is sulfuric acid).

The police are already waiting on the scene, and Max’s father is taken back to prison where his sentence is prolonged.

He pleads guilty.

Freak the Mighty Epilogue

Freak has a seizure on his birthday, and he is given to the hospital.

Before he is taken in, he gives Max a blank notebook which he asks him to fill up with the story of Freak the Mighty.

Max returns the next day, only to learn that he passed away.

The reason?

His heart was too big for his tiny body.

It seems that he knew about his destiny, but he never told his friend since he wanted him to have hope.

Max feels depressed for days and refuses to leave the comfort of his room.

But then, he realizes that doing nothing is the worst he could do, so he fills up the blank book as he was asked to, to honor his best friend.

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“Freak the Mighty PDF Quotes”

Books are like truth serum-- if you don't read, you can't figure out what's real. Click To Tweet Pain is just a state of mind. You can think your way out of everything, even pain. Click To Tweet Sure it will hurt. But so what? Pain is just a state of mind. You can think your way out of anything, even pain. Click To Tweet Remembering is a great invention of the mind. Click To Tweet His heart was simply too big for his body. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

This was such a heartwarming experience!

“Freak the Mighty” is a book like I have not read in a long time.

I loved every bit of it. And so will you, if you give it a chance.

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Business Strategy PDF Summary

Business Strategy PDFWhat differentiates successful leaders and companies from unsuccessful ones?

What is the road you need to take in order to achieve all you strive for?

Today, we will try to give you the answer.

Who Should Read “Business Strategy”? And Why?

“Business Strategy” is a book about, just as the title states, business strategy, its importance, the components that it consists of, and how companies can become better at strategizing and therefore reaching more of their goals.

Tracy has an interesting approach, as he uses the historical example of the Macedonian king Alexander the great to illustrate his points.

We recommend it to all managers, leaders, as well as corporate strategists.

About Brian Tracy

Brian TracyBrian Tracy is a writer, a speaker and a consultant with vast experience in business, economics, and psychology.

He is one of the world’s top sales trainers, with over half a million salespeople in over 500 companies having learned his techniques.

He has authored 26 books and has produced over 300 audio and video programs. His works have been sold in over 38 countries and translated into more than 20 languages.

“Business Strategy PDF Summary”

Let’s start with some history.

Alexander the Great, was a king of Macedon, which was an ancient kingdom that was situated in modern-day’s northern part of Greece.

He was given the name “the Great” because he was a great strategist and used his power of judgment to create a vast kingdom for his people.

He became a king rather young when he was twenty years old, and he immediately decided to reorganize the army, appointing generals who were loyal and trustworthy, since he heard some rumors that rebels are trying to assassinate him.

By the age of 21, no one could doubt his rule.

He decided to conquer the world and introduce his culture to them. Those that did not oppose his plans and governance from the countries he conquered were allowed to keep their positions, as long as they paid annual taxes to the kingdom.

He also allowed soldiers from other countries to join the army, if they wish to do so, in order to catch booty.

There were many fights Alexander won by employing his strategic tactics, and not by just brute force.

Many times he was unnumbered, but that did not stop him from winning.

Strategizing means that you plant an image of a future desired position in your mind, and then work backward from there to understand what you need in order to achieve it in reality.

All of the strategic principles Alexander used to strengthen his power and expand his rule can even be applied today in modern environments and situations.

Just think of organizations as armies that go in battle. If they fail to do right in just one step of the strategy, they risk being defeated.

So, what are the principles that companies should follow in order to win every battle they face?

There are seven of them.

First is “the principle of the objective” that revolves around the importance of a business having a clear direction and goal in mind. For your employees’ efforts to be directed the right way, they need to know the result they are striving for.

Next is “the principle of the offensive,” which states that you have to be ‘offensive’ with the market, offering new products and services that will satisfy customers’ needs better than your competitors do.

Furthermore “the principle of the mass” means that you have to mass your forces in one niche. If you are not still a leader in your niche market, do not your energy on expansion – instead invest it in becoming better in the territory you currently operate.

“The principle of maneuver,” asks you to be flexible to move in all directions in the market if such a need occurs.

Then, “the principle of concerted action” is all about teamwork. In order to succeed, you need to be able to create an atmosphere where people work as a team, and where they see their coworkers as sort of an ‘extension’ of their abilities.

“The principle of surprise” will allow you to keep your competitors on their toes, and you can accomplish it by trying always to find novel ways to do things.

Lastly, “the principle of exploitation” explains to you the importance of staying on the offensive, so that your competitors will not be able to catch up. Just exploit your advantages and keep striving for more, keep moving forward.

Key Lessons from “Business Strategy

1.      The Five Strategic Questions
2.      Four Strategic Planning Principles
3.      Five Phases For Building and Implementing A Strategy

The Five Strategic Questions

You can ask yourself five strategic questions that can help you get the answers you need about how you can become better at what you do.

First, ask yourself about your current situation. Then, retrace the steps of how you got to where you are.

Third, think about the place you want to be in the future, your goals.

Then, asks yourself what you should do to get there. And finally, ask what kind of assets you will need to help you with your endeavor.

Four Strategic Planning Principles

There are four strategic planning principles. First focus on what you do the best of all, which is the principle of “specialization.”

Then you need to separate and differentiate your products from those of your competitors that embodies the principle of “differentiation.”

Furthermore, you need to create a good target group that you would focus on which is known as “segmentation.” And lastly, use your resources for the area in which you can reap the most benefits, known as “concentration.”

Five Phases For Building and Implementing A Strategy

  • “Strategic intelligence gathering and analysis.”
  • “Strategy formulation.”
  • “Strategy master-project planning.”
  • “Strategic implementation.”
  • Monitor your strategy

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Business Strategy Quotes”

Peter Drucker once said that, even when a business is starting out at a kitchen table, if the business does not dream of world leadership, it will never be a big success. Click To Tweet The most successful men and women in the world seem to be those whose values are clear to them. They refuse to compromise them for any short-term gain or advantage. Click To Tweet Strategic planning is not only about what you need to start doing… It’s also about what you need to stop doing. Click To Tweet Become brilliant on the basics of strategic planning by continuing to ask and answer the right questions. Click To Tweet Embed the strategy in the company. This means that most of your employees fully understand, accept and support the strategy. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Just like all other of Tracy’s books (and we have covered a lot of them so far), this one is quite comprehensive and helpful.

It is filled with actionable and useful advice, which, according to me, is the most significant aspect of business books.

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The Divine Comedy PDF Summary

The Divine Comedy PDF SummaryIn case you didn’t know till now, Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece “The Divine Comedy” is not called “Divine” because it’s about deities; it’s called “divine” because it’s, simply, that good.

So, we guess you wouldn’t mind having a walk with us through it, would you?

Who Should Read “The Divine Comedy”? And Why?

For years now, whenever there has been a debate on who the greatest basketball player in history is, two names tend to appear and reappear: Michael and Kobe.

In soccer, it’s between Maradona and Pele, or, more recently, between Messi and Ronaldo.

In football – between Jim Brown and Jerry Rice, or, lately, between Payton and Brady.

Our point is – it always boils down to a couple of guys.

Well, in literature, those guys are Billy “The-I’m-Gonna-Kill-All-My-Characters-Bard” Shakespeare and Dante “The-Afterlife-Tourist” Alighieri.

T. S. Eliot states this explicitly: “Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them. There is no third.”

So, there’s no LeBron in this debate.

Do we need to say anything more?

By analogy, not reading “The Divine Comedy” is the same as never having seen a layup by Jordan or a touchdown pass by Brady.

Is that the life you want to live?

Dante Alighieri Biography

Dante AlighieriDante Alighieri was an Italian poet, widely considered the greatest in the Italian language, the foremost of the Middle Ages, and the most influential of the last millennium.

He was the first one who decided to use the Italian language to write poetry, and he did that so well that he singlehandedly founded the Italian literature.

He also invented the three-line rhyme scheme (terza rima) which he used to write “The Divine Comedy,” one of the greatest works in the history of literature, a feat so great that it’s basically unimaginable that someone will ever repeat it.

In Italy, Dante is known as The Supreme Poet.

Or, even simply, as The Poet.

Plot

The basic plot of “The Divine Comedy” is very simple.

On the night before Good Friday, the 35-year-old Dante loses himself in a dark wood, inhabited by vicious beasts (a lion, leopard, and a she-wolf), incapable of finding the right way or seeing the rays of the sun behind a mountain.

Just like for most of the book – not that covert symbolism, is it?

Translated into everyday terms: Dante is lost in a world of sins and can’t find the way out of it to salvation.

Enter Virgil, one of Rome’s greatest poets and – at least according to T. S. Eliot – the guy who wrote the emblematic book of the Western civilization (“Aeneid”).

Also, a pagan – so a strange choice for a leader by a Christian.

But, we’ll get to that later.

Anyway, Virgil takes Dante by the hand and walks him through the majesty of Hell.

Inferno, aka Hell

And Hell, should we bother saying, is not a nice place to be in.

But from Dante, we first learned that there are different levels to the unpleasantness of the experience.

More precisely – 9.

Before we move on to see who’s in each of them, we’ll leave you with the inscription above the Gates of Hell:

Through me the way is to the city dolent;
Through me the way is to eternal dole;
Through me the way among the people lost.

Justice incited my sublime Creator;
Created me divine Omnipotence,
The highest Wisdom and the primal Love.

Before me there were no created things,
Only eternal, and I eternal last.
All hope abandon, ye who enter in!

Apparently, in Hell, you need to understand well archaic iambic pentameters – or, in the original, hendecasyllabic terza rima verses – aka your worst nightmare in Literature class.

But isn’t that the point?

First Circle: Limbo

This was Dante’s way to justify before himself the fact that he liked to read the books of many guys who couldn’t have been Christian – you know, on account of being born before Jesus.

So, there’s one place in the Afterworld for all those virtuous and unbaptized pagans who didn’t even have a chance to become Christians in life.

Unfortunately, that place is the first circle of Hell.

Now, isn’t that great Plato, Homer, Cicero, Socrates and the rest of you?

Second Circle: Lust

If someone was overcome by lust in the upper world, he or she ends up here, in the second circle of hell.

And just like that person had once been swayed from the right path on earth by the strong winds of passion, he or she endures the exact same destiny after death.

Only, in this case, in a much more literal fashion.

Adulterers, Toby the Devil welcomes you in Hell!

Third Circle: Gluttony

The third circle is reserved for the gluttonous, i.e., the overeaters. Fittingly, watched over by Cerberus, they wallow in a putrid slush produced by everlasting icy rain, howling like dogs. So, it’s kind of like lying in your own fat, as primitive and animalistic as possible.

Fourth Circle: Greed

The greedy are divided into two groups – the hoarders and the squanderers. The first, miserly hoarded their possessions, the latter threw them away. These people joust with great weights (symbolizing their selfish greed) and are guarded by the ancient Greek god of wealth, Pluto.

Unsurprisingly, here Dante finds many familiar faces, cardinals, and popes mostly.

Fifth Circle: Anger

Nothing to see here: the angry are angry in Hell as well.

Those who were actively angry (the wrathful) are now fighting each other on Styx, and those who were passively angry on earth (the sullen) gurgle below the waters of the hellish river.

Sixth Circle: Heresy

Obviously, for God, the heretics are bigger sinners than the angry and the greedy because they don’t believe in him.

Their punishment?

Trapped in flaming tombs.

Seventh Circle: Violence

This circle is subdivided into three rings.

The first ring houses those who were violent against their neighbors, so a fitting place for Alexander the Great. These guys bathe in a Phlegethon, a river of fire and boiling blood.

The second ring is reserved for those who were violent against themselves, aka those who attempted to or successfully committed suicide. Here they are transformed into trees and eaten by harpies. And they thought that they would find salvation after death!

The final third ring is for those who were violent against God, Nature, and Art.

(Ha – you didn’t expect that, did you? Yes, by implication that means that destroying a painting of Picasso is worse than killing Picasso.

Not really – Dante is actually talking about usurers!)

It also means that God doesn’t like homosexuals because that’s what being violent against nature means in Dante’s eyes.

As for the blasphemers (violent against God) – may God have mercy on their soul!

Oh, wait a minute – we already know that:

He has absolutely none of it.

Eighth Circle: Fraud

This circle – called Malebolge – is divided into ten bolgias (picture it as a stony amphitheater).

And there are all kinds of bad people in each of them.

Bolgia 1: panderers and seducers.
Bolgia 2: flatterers.
Bolgia 3: Simoniacs.
Bolgia 4: Sorcerers and false prophets (so, presumably, this is where Gandalf is).
Bolgia 5: corrupt politicians, aka politicians.
Bolgia 6: hypocrites.
Bolgia 7: thieves.
Bolgia 8: counselors of fraud.
Bolgia 9: sowers of discord.
Bolgia 10: falsifiers (alchemists, imposters, perjurers, and counterfeits).

Ninth Circle: Treachery

Needless to point out, the ninth circle of Hell is the worst you can do in life. It’s basically a frozen lake, Cocytus, divided into four concentric rings (rounds):

Round 1: Caïna. Here you’ll find the traitors to their kindred, not the least among them the original brother traitor, Cain, after who this round is named.

Round 2: Antenora. The traitors to their country are in this round, which is named after Antenor who betrayed Troy to the Greeks.

Round 3: Ptolomaea. Traitors to their Guests – a big no-no in all written history. Ptolemy, according to the Bible, invited Simon Maccabaeus, his father-in-law, and his sons to a banquet and then killed them. So, he should also be in Circle 7, Round 1. And really how do they solve these things down under? Dante gives no explanation, so we’ll never know.

Round 4: Judecca. Traitors to their Lord. Judas Iscariot has that peculiar honor to have the deepest part of Hell named after him. Congratulations, Judas – you’ve been humiliated yet again!

Center of Hell

They are not done just yet, Dante and Virgil.

Because there’s someone who’s betrayed someone even bigger than Jesus and the center of Hell is reserved for that guy.

And the only one bigger than Jesus is His Father: God himself.

So, yeah: we’re talking about Lucifer.

This is his description:

O, what a marvel it appeared to me,
When I beheld three faces on his head!
The one in front, and that vermilion was;

Two were the others, that were joined with this
Above the middle part of either shoulder,
And they were joined together at the crest;

And the right—hand one seemed ‘twixt white and yellow
The left was such to look upon as those
Who come from where the Nile falls valley-ward.

So, Dante’s Satan looks nothing like Milton’s Satan.

Too bad!

We kinda liked the second one better.

Purgatorio, aka Purgatory

We have to warn you – in “Inferno” Dante sets up the bar so high, that, no matter how beautiful the rest of “The Divine Comedy” is, it’s all downhill from there.

Even though, of course, it’s quite literally uphill: Virgil and Dante actually climb on a Mount located on the only island in the Southern Hemisphere.

Nowadays, we’d call it Antartica, but hey – it looked way more mythological back when hemispheres weren’t a thing.

And you know the drill: 7 terraces of Purgatorio – here we come!

7?

But weren’t here 9 of them?

Well, not exactly, because the first two are located in the Ante-Purgatory.

Ante-Purgatory 1: The Excommunicate

This is the base of the Purgatory mountain, reserved for those who delayed the time before they turned Christian.

Their punishment?

They have to wait here 30 times the period of the delay before they are redirected to heaven.

So, an eye for an eye.

Or, more like, 30 eyes for an eye.

Ante-Purgatory 2: The Late Repentant

The Late Repentant are those who did repent but not exactly on time (i.e., they waited more than necessary) and those who repented at the last moment without receiving last rites.

Their waiting periods?

As many years as they lived.

It is at this moment that Dante falls asleep – just before the dawn of Easter Monday – and he wakes up in front of the door of Purgatory.

An angel comes and draws seven “P”-s on his forehead (P stands for peccatum, i.e., sins): these will be erased as Dante and Virgil progress through the next levels, one for each.

First Terrace: Pride

We kind of feel that those in the ante-purgatory will have a better time than those inside.

For example, the prideful – the good prideful – are cleansed from their sins by carrying huge weights on their back, as opposed to just waiting for time to pass.

Because of their weights, they are unable to see the beautiful sculptures around, all of which are representations of humility.

Hey, shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Second Terrace: Envy

If you desire something which belongs to someone during your lifetime, your eyes will be sewn with iron wire, and you’ll be hearing angelic voices reciting examples of envy and generosity in the Purgatory.

OK, the second part – not that bad.

The first part – we’ll pass!

Third Terrace: Wrath

The wrathful – but penitent – don’t fight each other on Styx.

They just wander around on a cloud of black smoke, which symbolizes the anger they felt on earth.

So good that they were repentant: it saved them a lot of trouble!

Fourth Terrace: Sloth

There is no better way to punish a slothful person than forcing him or her to run.

God knows this full well, so the slothful do nothing else but restlessly run around the fourth terrace of the Purgatory.

Which made us think: not one marathon runner will end up here!

Fifth Terrace: Avarice

The Avaricious and the Prodigal lie on the floor of the fifth terrace hands and feet bound together, face facing the ground.

The reason?

They wanted too much on earth, and they’ll now learn the value of the absolute nothingness of the floor.

Sixth Terrace: Gluttony

The repentant gluttonous have to purge themselves by constantly experiencing hunger and thirst even though there are many fruit trees around them.

But, God has a good sense of humor throughout all this, so he has put the trees there so that the gluttonous can watch, but not touch.

You know – Tantalus-like.

Seventh Terrace: Lust

The penitent lustful are the ones who are closest to God.

However, they do have a serious problem here, because they need to pass through a wall of flame.

Dante has to do that too – but, since he’s not dead, he’s a bit afraid.

And then Virgil says the magic words: Beatrice is on the other side, waiting for you in Paradise.

Well, if that’s the case, says Dante –

Paradiso, aka Heaven

Because in case you didn’t know, Beatrice Portinari is the Juliet to Dante’s Romeo.

Or, better yet, Romeo and Juliet are the Dante and Beatrice of later days.

Or, at least, they would have been if Romeo had seen Juliet just twice and had fallen madly in love with her, but Juliet had married another man and had borne him few children before dying at the age of 24.

Possibly not even knowing who Dante was, let alone that he had loved her.

That’s romantic love for you, right there!

But, you see, writers have an unfair advantage over everybody: they are capable of changing history. And even getting the girl of their dreams in the fictional land of their imagination.

In Dante’s case, it’s fictional times twenty, since Dante doesn’t get anything but a new guide in Beatrice, and because Beatrice is already dead even in his fantasy, and hence is much more of a chaste Christian soul than a body.

But, you can’t walk around Heaven unless you are a chaste Christian soul, which is, in fact, the reason, why Virgil hands Dante to Beatrice.

Not that he minds.

We’re back to number 9 in Heaven – in Dante, it’s always about 9, because he first met Beatrice when he had as many years, and because he saw her the second and last time nine years later.

Pretty obsessed guy, ha?

First Sphere, The Moon: The Inconstant

The Moon is associated with inconstancy, and it’s the best place for those who were inconstant in their lives, mostly by failing to keep their vows for reasons which were not in their control.

Like forcibly being taken out from a convent by a king.

Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do in life!

Second Sphere, Mercury: The Ambitious

So, you can be ambitious and yet be nice enough to earn yourself a place in Heaven?

We didn’t know that!

But Justinian, the Byzantine Emperor, is here, so that’s nice to know!

Because it means that you can occupy other countries and still be considered good enough for Heaven. If, however, you are an all-around good guy, but depressed enough to want to kill yourself – well, I’m sorry, Werther, but you’re going to Hell.

Third Sphere, Venus: The Lovers

It’s Venus, so it was always going to be the lovers!

Mostly, though, the lovers of God and humanity.

The other types of lovers (the interhuman ones) are actually mostly located in the better circles of Hell.

Fourth Sphere, The Sun: The Wise

Just like the sun, these guys – 24 in number – enlightened the world with their knowledge.

The first 12 of them are who’s who in the world of philosophy: Thomas Aquinas, Albertus Magnus, Gratian, Peter Lombard, King Solomon, Dionysius the Areopagite, Orosius, Boethius, Isidore of Seville, Bede, Richard of Saint Victor, and Siger of Brabant.

The second dozen are led by St. Bonaventure, and we learn that these two groups didn’t get along on Earth, but here they praise each other constantly.

Because that’s what Heaven does to you.

Fifth Sphere, Mars: The Warriors of Faith

Mars is reserved for the Warriors… of Fate.

In other words, those who died during the Crusades.

Because no matter which religion you are, your God probably likes nothing more than you killing people from other religions.

So, this is where some of the greatest holy warriors (seriously, Dante, that should be an oxymoron) in history live forever after Joshua, Charlemagne, Roland, Robert Guiscard, Judas Maccabeus, and others.

Sixth Sphere, Jupiter: The Just Rulers

What do David, Hezekiah, Constantine, Trajan, William II of Sicily, and the Trojan Ripheus have in common?

Nothing much, really.

Not if you ask Dante, however: they were all just rulers, he thinks, and they all deserved their place in Heaven.

Also: they were not.

On the contrary: all of them were responsible for the deaths of many.

Seventh Sphere, Saturn: The Contemplatives

Did we mention that Dante had some reallife problems with the Catholic Church?

If not, this is a good place to do that, because, in the seventh sphere of Heaven, Dante encounters upon some contemplatives who mostly contemplate about how corrupted the Church has become.

That’s not something you’d expect people to contemplate about in Heaven, but, on the other hand, that may mean that you’ve seen a glimpse of it at some of your family’s gatherings.

Still want to end up there?

Eighth Sphere, Fixed Stars: Faith, Hope, and Love

We’re entirely in the realm of the mythical here.

Virgin Mary, Peter, John, James, Adam.

And they all seem interested in testing Dante on all matters related to faith, hope, and love.

They also want to speak about how bad the Catholic Church is (a common conversation topic in the Afterlife).

Peter, the original Pope, especially.

As far as he is concerned, the Papal See is empty, and Pope Boniface VIII is the worst Pope there ever was.

An interesting trivia: that’s the guy the real Dante had serious issues with.

Peter concurs: he should be having issues with Boniface VIII.

Which is the number of the circle in Hell he is located in.

Ninth Sphere, Primum Mobile: The Angels

Here are the Angels, all nine orders of them.

You’d think that at this point in Heaven (we’re just whiff away from God himself), all is harmony and acceptance, but think again!

Now, it is Beatrice who wants to say a word or two on current political matters:

Christ did not to his first disciples say,
“Go forth, and to the world preach idle tales,”
But unto them a true foundation gave;

And this so loudly sounded from their lips,
That, in the warfare to enkindle Faith,
They made of the Evangel shields and lances.

Now men go forth with jests and drolleries
To preach, and if but well the people laugh,
The hood puffs out, and nothing more is asked.

But in the cowl there nestles such a bird,
That, if the common people were to see it,
They would perceive what pardons they confide in.

If you have problems following the symbols, the bird is a demon and it perches under the hood of the preachers of Dante’s days.

The Divine Comedy Epilogue

Finally, Dante’s there:

The Empyrean

This is the abode of God, a realm beyond physical existence.

Beatrice turns into something Dante says is indescribable in the words of the mortals.

He is not too shabby himself, becoming enveloped in light which enables him to finally meet God.

A meeting which makes Dante bemoan his incapability to write better twice more – on top of a nice description of the three faces of God:

Shorter henceforward will my language fall
Of what I yet remember, than an infant’s
Who still his tongue doth moisten at the breast

Not because more than one unmingled semblance
Was in the living light on which I looked,
For it is always what it was before;

But through the sight, that fortified itself
In me by looking, one appearance only
To me was ever changing as I changed.

Within the deep and luminous subsistence
Of the High Light appeared to me three circles,
Of threefold color and of one dimension

And by the second seemed the first reflected
As Iris is by Iris, and the third
Seemed fire that equally from both is breathed.

O how all speech is feeble and falls short
Of my conceit, and this to what I saw
Is such, ’tis not enough to call it little!

And that’s your “Divine Comedy” for you.

It is divine alright.

But it’s hardly a comedy by today’s standards.

For there’s absolutely nothing funny about it.
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“The Divine Comedy PDF Quotes”

All hope abandon, ye who enter here. Click To Tweet The more a thing is perfect, the more it feels pleasure and pain. Click To Tweet O human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall? Click To Tweet Into the eternal darkness, into fire and into ice. Click To Tweet There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Jorge Luis Borges called “The Divine Comedy” “the best book literature has achieved.”

And Borges was a librarian and the librarian – having read practically everything important anyone had written before he left us.

So, we’ll just strongly advise you to believe him.

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao PDF Summary

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao PDF SummaryA Pulitzer Prize winner, a “New York Times” bestseller, a “Time Magazine” #1 Fiction Book of 2007, a counterculture favorite, an overnight cult classic.

No matter how hard we try, we can’t think of a book which checks all those (often contradictory) boxes as neatly as Junot Díaz’s “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.”

It’s a tour de force and a joy to read!

Who Should Read “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”? And Why?

In a 2012 Q&A with “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” Junot Díaz described his style as “a disobedient child of New Jersey and the Dominican Republic if that can be possibly imagined with way too much education.”

And then he added: “You can never do it justice. It’s sort of like describing a kiss versus having a kiss. To read the book is to have it.”

We think so too.

“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” is more than just a touching story, more than a thought-provoking history lesson.

It’s also style, a very unique, original style.

And we can’t tell you much more about it.

You can only experience it.

Trust us: it’ll hit you in the face right from the first page.

By the second – you’ll be hooked and wanting for more.

Junot Díaz Biography

Junot DíazJunot Diaz is a Dominican American writer, whose work focuses mainly on the Latino immigrant experience in the United States.

Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, at the age of six, Díaz immigrated with his family to New Jersey. He earned a BA from Rutgers University and an MFA from Cornell. Soon after, he published his first book, a collection of short stories titled “Drown.”

A decade later, he published his second book and first novel, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” a book which brought him both wide acclaim and dedicated audience.

His third – and, so far, last – book was another short story collection, published in 2012, “This Is How You Lose Her.”

Plot

“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” is an interestingly structured book. It’s divided into three parts, each few chapters long, and it contains 33 footnotes by the author himself.

So, here’s your chance to finally read one.

Prologue: Fukú

And it’s mostly about a person who never appears as a character in the story but, nevertheless, shrouds the experiences of all the book’s characters; a man who permeates through each and every aspect of what it means to be a Dominican – even today, half a century after his death.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Rafael Leónidas Trujillo.

El Jefe.

A politician, a dictator, a sadist, and an all-around madman.

Also – the hypeman, the high priest of something called fukú americanus, fukú for short, “a curse or a doom of some kind; specifically the Curse and the Doom of the New World”:

No one knows whether Trujillo was the Curse’s servant or its master, its agent or its principal, but it was clear he and it had an understanding, that them two was tight. It was believed, even in educated circles, that anyone who plotted against Trujillo would incur a fukú most powerful, down to the seventh generation and beyond

So, basically, Trujillo is not a mere human being (and that’s basically a quote from a newspaper celebrating his 25 years in power).

He’s a sort of a Sauron.

And we’re not going overboard here!

That’s how Díaz describes him.

The book is filled with references of this type!

Part I

One: Ghetto Nerd at the End of the World (1974 – 1987)

Now, fukú plagues everyone under Trujillo’s rule, notwithstanding Oscar’s family – and Oscar himself.

But, we’ll get to that later.

For now, let’s see: who’s Oscar?

Well, he is Nerdiness personified, the archetype of the anti-Dominican (read: anti-Latino, anti-macho and many other anti-stereotypical versions of a Hispano-American man).

Or, in other words, a Latino who doesn’t have much luck with the ladies. (“How very un-Dominican of him,” notes our narrator.)

It wasn’t always like that, though.

When he was very young, he had been “something of a Casanova,” one time even dating two girls at once.

But during the course of most of this book – he isn’t capable of getting the attention of not one.

And that’s because –

Dude wore his nerdiness like a Jedi wore his light saber or a Lensman her lens. Couldn’t have passed for Normal if he’d wanted to.

Unsurprisingly, what Oscar dreams most about is, well, what he can’t have: a girl.

Also: sex.

Which to him is more SF than any SF in the world – since he’s read basically everything SF ever written!

His search for those two things – a girl and sex, not SF – is basically what the whole book is about.

It could have been a much shorter book if his first girlfriend (not counting the two he had for a brief period of time when he was seven years old), Ana Obregón, cared some more about him.

Unfortunately, she abandons Oscar once her boyfriend Manny comes back from the army. It doesn’t matter that he’s a drug addict who beats her.

Oscar, somehow, is worse.

And that’s the story of Oscar’s life right until college.

Two: Wildwood (1982 – 1985)

You see, Oscar has a restless sister called Lola and a tough mother with breast cancer called Beli. Their relationship is what the second chapter of the first part is about.

It is exactly what you’d expect from a relationship between a mother and a rebellious teenage daughter.

Times twenty.

Needless to add, at one point, Lola runs away, but, with the help of Oscar, Beli finds Lola and sends her to live with her grandmother, La Inca, back in the Dominican Republic.

Three: The Three Heartbreaks of Belicia Cabral (1955 – 1962)

Just look at the years in the titles – Díaz is moving us back and forth in time as if a Doctor Who on drugs!

Anyway, now that we’ve experienced adolescence through Oscar and Lola, we spend some time doing the same through the eyes of Beli.

In her case, we are back in the Dominican Republic, and the aforementioned Trujillo is in power.

And you know what they say – an apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree: Beli in the 1950s is not much different from Lola in the 1980s.

She lives with her adopted mother – so, La Inca – and she’s a catch, to say the least.

Such a catch, in fact, that (after a few stints with the handsomest studs around) she catches the eye of a powerful and wealthy guy nicknamed the Gangster. Little does she know that the Gangster is influential because he’s married to Trujillo’s sister.

Fukú.

Or, in an entirely expected turn of events: the beating up of a lifetime.

The same night, fortunately (we never said we’d say that for a man, but…), Trujillo is assassinated.

Unfortunately, the Trujillo-governed fukú travels across deaths and time and space.

So, Beli’s life goes from bad to worse.

And La Inca sends her on a plane to New York.

Four: Sentimental Education (1988-1992)

Once again with Oscar, back where we left him in 1: in college.

Here he befriends (as we’ll find out only later) the narrator of the novel, Yunior.

And falls in love with another girl, Jenni Muñoz, a black-eyed goth and your regular Halloween dominatrix.

Their strangeness connects them.

Not enough, it seems, and Oscar has his heart broken again.

This time, however, it’s serious: he tries to commit suicide, by jumping off a train bridge.

Fortunately, he doesn’t die.

And it’s all because of a mongoose – although, don’t ask us what the mongoose is and what it does.

Some kind of a guardian angel, it seems.

Not all-powerful, though, so we leave here Oscar in the hospital, with both of his legs broken.

We also leave Yunior a bit smitten.

With none other but Oscar’s sister, Lola.

Part II

Five: Poor Abelard (1944 – 1946)

Oh, come on, Junot!

We wanted to move forward in time, not as back as we’ve never gone before!

And who is this guy Abelard?

And what does he have to do with anything?

Remember when we said earlier that seven generations might be afflicted by the fukú if someone tries doing something bad to Trujillo?

Well, this is where it all started.

Abelard Luis Cabral, a doctor, is Belicia’s father (i.e., Oscar’s grandfather), the husband of Socorro Cabral, a nurse, Oscar’s grandmother.

Well-educated and successful, they had a nice time living in Santo Domingo.

They also had two more daughters besides Belicia, one of which is named Jacquelyn.

Beauty seems to run affluent in this family: Jacquelyn, it seems, is even more beautiful than Belicia, making her the catch of catches.

And nobody can have those in the Dominican Republic unless Trujillo has them first.

Abelard tries to protect his daughter. Or, maybe makes a joke about El Jefe. Or, maybe – just maybe – he looks Trujillo the wrong way.

It doesn’t matter: it’s prison sentence or death for all of them.

Abelard gets both: 14 years into his 18-year prison sentence, he dies, a shell out of his former self.

His wife Socorro dies as well in mysterious circumstances, shortly after Belicia is born.

Mysterious is the death of Jacquelyn Cabral as well, few days after she is accepted to a medical school in France.

Three years after Jacquelyn’s death, Astrid, the third of the Cabral sisters, is killed by a strayed bullet in a church.

Beli is the only one left.

It makes a lot more sense now her behavior with Lola, doesn’t it?

Six: Land of the Lost (1992 – 1995)

You look at those years, and you know that we’re once again back with Oscar.

We learn that he has graduated from college and that he has become a substitute teacher (later teacher) at Don Bosco, his old high school.

We also learn that he doesn’t want to do that – or anything else, for that matter. He’s still the sad, miserable, deeply depressed nerd without a girlfriend.

The only difference is that now he teaches few classes no one attends.

So, not that much of an improvement.

Anyway, Oscar decides to join Belicia and Lola for a summer trip to the Dominican Republic.

And then and there, Oscar’s final love happens.

Oh, come on – it’s not a spoiler! The title, after all, is “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” – so, please don’t tell us that you didn’t know that he was going to die.

But, hey – we said “wondrous”!

There was nothing wondrous about it till now, you say, so there better be if you’re going to kill him in the end!

Well, here’s a good start:

In DR (that’s short for the Dominican Republic), Oscar falls in love with a semiretired prostitute, Ybón Pimentel, La Inca’s next-door 36-year-old neighbor.

The only problem with this: one of Ybón’s many boyfriends is/was/has been the ultra-possessive captain of the National Police force.

It’s not like it’s not obvious what may happen to Oscar if he spends any more time with Ybón.

Also, it’s not like he isn’t warned about this – by literally everyone.

But Oscar would have none of it.

So, Beli sends him back to Paterson.

(She’s known to send people away, that Beli, she is…)

Part III

Seven: The Final Voyage

Back in Paterson, Oscar thinks about Ybón and only about her.

So, he asks Yunior for some money and goes back to the Dominican Republic. Here he spends his time either writing or chasing after Ybón.

The former’s great – he dreamt about being the new Tolkien ever since childhood – but the latter one – not so much.

Because it leads to the only place where it could: the police’s capitán catches Oscar and has him lined up before a firing squad. It’s not that the police officers – or whatever they are – want to listen, but Oscar nevertheless speaks:

The words coming out like they belonged to someone else, his Spanish good for once. He told them that what they were doing was wrong, that they were going to take a great love out of the world. Love was a rare thing, easily confused with a million other things, and if anybody knew this to be true it was him.

He told them about Ybón and the way he loved her and how much they had risked and that they’d started to dream the same dreams and say the same words. He told them that it was only because of her love that he’d been able to do the thing that he had done, the thing they could no longer stop, told them if they killed him they would probably feel nothing and their children would probably feel nothing either, not until they were old and weak or about to be struck by a car and then they would sense him waiting for them on the other side and over there he wouldn’t be no fatboy or dork or kid no girl had ever loved; over there he’d be a hero, an avenger.

Because anything you can dream (he put his hand up) you can be.

The firing squad isn’t that fascinated or touched.

So, they shoot him.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Epilogue

Eight: The Last Days of Oscar Wao

“That’s pretty much it” – that’s how Díaz starts this last chapter of his book.

Only – it isn’t.

First of all, you didn’t learn the whole story of our narrator, Yunior, and Lola.

If you remember, back in the fourth chapter, we informed you that Yunior fell for Lola. Well, after a while, Lola fell for him too.

She asked him to never lie to her. He, the playboy that he is, does.

She leaves him.

One day, ten years later, he wakes up next to someone he doesn’t care a bit about, his upper lip covered in coke and blood and says: “OK, Wao, OK. You win.”

Fast forward to today, he is the changed man writing this book.

There’s a zafa to every fukú, we learn.

Telling your story may be one of the most powerful.

Apparently, Yunior is also still in love with Lola.

Only Lola is already married to someone else and even has a daughter with him going by the name of Isis.

So, it’s too late:

Before all hope died I used to have this stupid dream that shit could be saved, that we would be in bed together like the old times, with the fan on, the smoke from our weed drifting above us, and I’d finally try to say the words that could have saved us.

__________ ___________ ____________

But before I can shape the vowels I wake up. My face is wet, and that’s how you know it’s never going to come true.

Never, ever.

It ain’t too bad, though. During our run-ins we smile, we laugh, we take turns saying her daughter’s name. I never ask if her daughter has started to dream. I never mention our past. All we ever talk about is Oscar.

Those three lines above – not a mistake.

Just a symbol that, once you do enough bad things, there are no such words.

Epilogue: The Final Letter

Believe it or not, there’s still some left.

Because the second thing you’ve found nothing about is what was happening to Oscar during the last few days of his life.

Fortunately, eight months after Oscar is shot, a letter reaches Lola’s mailbox. It’s from Oscar – sent just before he was killed.

(Man, the efficiency of that postal service… Makes you think of Seinfeld’s postal Newman!)

And the letter recounts his last days, all spent with Ybón.

Yes – before you ask us – they did have sex.

And, unsurprisingly, it was fun.

However –

You know what, we’ll just quote this last paragraph.

It always gets us.

So, for Oscar, sex was great, but

what really got him was not the bam-bam-bam of sex—it was the little intimacies that he’d never in his whole life anticipated, like combing her hair or getting her underwear off a line or watching her walk naked to the bathroom or the way she would suddenly sit on his lap and put her face into his neck.

The intimacies like listening to her tell him about being a little girl and him telling her that he’d been a virgin all his life.

He wrote that he couldn’t believe he’d had to wait for this so goddamn long. (Ybón was the one who suggested calling the wait something else. Yeah, like what? Maybe, she said, you could call it life.)

He wrote: So this is what everybody’s always talking about! Diablo! If only I’d known. The beauty! The beauty!

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao PDF Quotes

But if these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in. Click To Tweet If you didn't grow up like I did then you don't know, and if you don't know it's probably better you don't judge. Click To Tweet That’s life for you. All the happiness you gather to yourself, it will sweep away like it’s nothing. If you ask me I don’t think there are any such things as curses. I think there is only life. That’s enough. Click To Tweet Love was a rare thing, easily confused with a million other things, and if anybody knew this to be true it was him. Click To Tweet It's exactly at these moments, when all hope has vanished, that prayer has dominion. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If there’s one 21st century book you should bother reading, it’s this one.

And that’s not just our opinion.

In 2009, it was chosen by readers of “The Millions” as the best novel written since the beginning of the third millennium. And in 2015, in a poll of American critics organized by BBC, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” was voted the best novel of the 21st century.

So, there you have it.

Everybody – whether an avid reader or an erudite critic – thinks that you must read it.

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