Excerpt | Rose

It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Little Prince (1943)

Et Cetera | Le Corbusier
 Communal roof terrace at Cité radieuse, Unité d'habitation Marseille, by Le Corbusier, completed 1952

Communal roof terrace at Cité radieuse, Unité d'habitation Marseille, by Le Corbusier, completed 1952

Excerpt | Mirror

I’ll be your mirror, 
Reflect what you are, in case you don’t know, 
I’ll be the wind, the rain and the sunset,
The light on your door to show that you’re home.

Reed, L. I’ll be your mirror (1966)

Excerpt | Georgia O’Keefe

I found I could say things with colours and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way -
things I had no words for.

Excerpt | Not To Yield

Though much is taken, much abides;
and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Tennyson, A. (1889) Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems

Excerpt | Civilized People

Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:


8/ They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility. Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts, they require mens sana in corpore sano.

And so on. That's what civilized people are like. Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings.

§ From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886

Chekhov, A. (2004) A Life in Letters

Atmospheres | Paris
 1960s. Writing Desk and Chair by Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq

1960s.
Writing Desk and Chair by Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq

Excerpt | Civilized People

Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:

7/ If they do possess talent, they value it. They take pride in it. They know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on (others) rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits.

§ From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886

Chekhov, A. (2004) A Life in Letters

Excerpt | Civilized People

Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:

6/ They are not vain. They don't waste time with the fake jewellery of hobnobbing with celebrities, being permitted to shake the hand of a drunken (judicial orator), the exaggerated bonhomie of the first person they meet at the Salon, being the life and soul of the bar; They regard phrases like 'I am a representative of the Press!!' - the sort of thing one only hears from (very minor journalists) - as absurd. If they have done a brass farthing's work they don't pass it off as if it were 100 roubles' by swanking about with their portfolios, and they don't boast of being able to gain admission to places other people aren't allowed in. True talent always sits in the shade, mingles with the crowd, avoids the limelight. As Krylov said, the empty barrel makes more noise than the full one.

§ From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886

Chekhov, A. (2004) A Life in Letters

Excerpt | Civilized People

Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:

5/ They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others.
They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted; that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it's vulgar, old hat and false.

§ From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886

Chekhov, A. (2004) A Life in Letters

Excerpt | Civilized People

Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:

4/ They are not devious, and they fear lies as they fear fire. They don't tell lies even in the most trivial matters. To lie to someone is to insult them, and the liar is diminished in the eyes of the person he lies to.
Civilized people don't put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don't show off to impress their juniors.

§ From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886

Chekhov, A. (2004) A Life in Letters

Excerpt | Civilized People

Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:

3/ They respect other people's property, and therefore pay their debts.

§ From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886

Chekhov, A. (2004) A Life in Letters