Nice work, if you can get it

But most of the work he did on his own, just by putting himself in the right place and being smart, genial, attractive, and rich.

»Joan Acocella on Lincoln Kirstein. “Heroes and Hero Worship” in Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints : Essays. New York : Pantheon Books, 2007.

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Goethe on Etna

… walks on foot through the most astonishing landscape in the world; treacherous ground under a pure sky; ruins of unimaginable luxury, abominable and sad; seething waters; caves exhaling sulfur fumes; slag hills forbidding all living growth; barren and repulsive areas; but then, luxurious vegetation, taking root wherever it can, soars up out of all the dead matter, encircles lakes and brooks, and extends its conquest even to the walls of an old crater by establishing there a forest of noble oaks.

»Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. (W.H. Auden and Elizabeth Mayer, trans.) Italian Journey : 1786-1788. San Francisco, North Point Press, 1982.