All posts tagged: books

Hearts and Minds: Friendship and Beautiful Books for Child Detainees

On the Befriend a Child in Detention community project “When the child detainees realised there were letters inside the books, there were tears all round. They said that they were not forgotten and that Australians don’t all hate us,” says Dr June Factor, convenor and founder of the Befriend a Child in Detention project. “In July we sent four boxes of beautiful new children’s books to the children in the detention centre on Nauru, and every book included a letter – a greeting and encouragement of friendship. There were also stamped addressed envelopes, in the hope that some asylum seeker children might write back. Some of the letters and envelopes were from adults and many were from children. We know that a number of people – including 17 children from one school – have received letters from the children detained on Nauru.” Since then, says Dr Factor, more books and letters have gone to Nauru, and to every asylum seeker detention centre on the Australian mainland. Befriend a Child in Detention is a community project which aims …

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

On this day, July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho, USA, the sound of a single gunshot echoed in the Hemingway home: Ernest Hemingway, the Nobel and Pulitzer prize winner had accidentally shot himself while cleaning his 12-gauge shotgun. The gun was found next to a robe-clad Hemingway, and Mary had to be sedated from her distress. It was a great loss to the Hemingway family, and a great loss to the literary world. It seems as though anything I would write in this anniversary post would seem somewhat clichéd and overdone. So instead, I’ve compiled some photos taken throughout Hemingway’s life to celebrate the unique individual that he was. Whenever I read his work, I am always imbued with a greater sense of meaning which facilitates coping with existential threat. Hemingway’s work is like an existential bandaid, if you will…I guess that just means his books make me happy. Photo Credit: JFK Library Hemingway Collection

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Virginia Woolf and Susan Sontag On The Beginning of an Idea

“Boredom is a function of attention,” wrote Susan Sontag in As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980. There are creative benefits to be found in being bored, for Sontag there was also creative influence from reading because it stalled her from writing. “Stalling by way of reading and of listening to music, which energizes me and also makes me restless. Feeling guilty about not writing.” “Getting started to write is never an easy feat. The handsome devil that is procrastination can play a recurring role for many writers, much like the overwhelming sense of having too many ideas and not knowing where to start. Add to that the relatively unquenchable desire of discovery of new things to enlarge not only our minds, but our hearts also.” But where do our ideas come from? This got me thinking about other writers and what the beginning of an idea looks like. I came across this extract from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s journal, “Saw the morn rise from the hilltop but could not wait for the sun. Those long slender bard of …