Why do I write today? The beauty of the terrible faces of our nonentities stirs me to it: colored women day workers— old and experienced— returning home at dusk, in cast off clothing faces like old Florentine oak.
In academia, ...an art historian, on being stirred to tears by the tenderness and serenity he detects in a work by a fourteenth-century Florentine painter, may end up writing a monograph, as irreproachable as it is bloodless, on the history of paint manufacture in the age of Giotto. It seems easier to respond to our enthusiasms by trading in facts than by investigating the more naive question of how and why we have been moved.Alain de Botton
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