Contented Reader

just point me toward the nearest library

Essays in Idleness

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Essays in Idleness and The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon are collections of tiny personal essays.  In Japan, they’re called zuihitsu.  They’re charming because each essay is so tiny and so personal.  They can range from thoughts about ethics and ideas to thoughts about fashion, art, and individual anecdotes, and it’s easy to imagine their authors sitting down, in a quiet moment, to reflect on whatever they’ve been thinking about today.

Marcus Aurelius, who couldn’t have read either of those books, sat down in his quiet moments to write Reflections, tiny personal essays on how to live his best life and be his best self.

These little windows into the soul, from people who aren’t afraid to be earnest, are irresistible.  They are also an interesting model of what a blog might be.  A blogger could be a person who sits down in a moment of quietness to write a tiny essay, or maybe just a few sentences, about what is good, what is beautiful, what is wise, what is useful, and how one blogger tries to live a good life.


Written by Contented Reader

January 18, 2016 at 8:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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