Tag Archives: living life to the fullest

Michael Lewis

A lot of things that most human beings would never think to do, to Amos simply made sense. For instance, when he wanted to go for a run he . . . went for a run. No stretching, no jogging outfit or, for that matter, jogging: He’d simply strip off his slacks and sprint out his front door in his underpants and run as fast as he could until he couldn’t run anymore. “Amos thought people paid an enormous price to avoid mild embarrassment,” said his friend Avishai Margalit, “and he himself decided very early on it was not worth it.”

Michael Lewis, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, New York, 2016, ch. 3

Anaïs Nin

He said “I’m not laughing at you, Richard, but I just can’t help myself. I don’t care a bit, not a bit who’s right. I’m too happy. I’m just so happy right this moment with all the colors around me, the wine. The whole moment is so wonderful, so wonderful.”

Anaïs Nin, Henry and June: From the Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, London, 2001, p. 6

Henry David Thoreau

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden; or, Life in the Woods, Boston, 1854

Sheldon Reaven

Paul loved to live. Many periods of his life were a flurry of dinners, plays, operas, romantic evenings, wrestling matches. These occasions were marked by a great sociability. Killing Time itemizes these activities, but does not, I think, fully convey their athmosphere.

Feyerabend would hold court at Berkeley’s faculty lunchroom, in later years at the Chez Panisse restaurant. A steady stream of students, faculty, and assorted personages came and went. Paul was the main attraction. Discussions would careen through fine food and wine; music and opera; romantic prospects and dénouements; Feyerabend’s revered classics of literature, history, and philosophy—perhaps he would be rereading an old favorite, perhaps a new book offered a novel treatment; Perry Mason, mystery books, and the best soap opera actors—soap opera being the sole repertory acting on TV; intellectual celebrity gossip; even philosophy of science. Feyerabend would discuss the state of his ailments, and his newest try for a remedy (e.g., acupuncture). Discussion would continue afterward, as Feyerabend with difficulty would make his way to a class or his bus stop; it was a big occasion when he got a specially outfitted car. His house was a dense labyrinth of books; indeed for years one of my functions was to scout out interesting books on any topic, and interesting musical discoveries, to recommend to him. These were immensely sunny times. Feyerabend was like champagne, sheer fun to be around.

Sheldon Reaven, ‘Time Well Spent’, in John Preston, Gonzalo Munévar and David Lamb (eds.), The Worst Enemy of Science? Essays in Memory of Paul Feyerabend, Oxford, 2000, p. 24

John Berryman

Social drinking until 1947 during a long & terrible love affair, my first infidelity to my wife after 5 years of marriage. My mistress drank heavily & I drank w. her. Guilt, murderous & suicidal. Hallucinations one day walking home. Heard voices. 7 years of psychoanalysis & group therapy in N. Y. Walked up & down drunk on a foot-wide parapet 8 stories high. Passes at women drunk, often successful. Wife left me after 11 yrs of marriage bec. of drinking. Despair, heavy drinking alone, jobless, penniless, in N. Y. Lost when blacked-out the most important professional letter I have ever received. Seduced students drunk. Made homosexual advances drunk, 4 or 5 times. Antabuse once for a few days. Agony on floor after a beer. Quarrel w. landlord drunk at midnight over the key to my apartment, he called police, spent the night in jail, news somehow reached press & radio, forced to resign. Two months of intense self-analysis-dream-interpretations etc. Remarried. My chairman told me I had called up a student drunk at midnight & threatened to kill her. Wife left me bec. of drinking. Gave a public lecture drunk. Drunk in Calcutta, wandered streets lost all night, unable to remember my address. Married present wife 8 yrs ago. Many barbiturates & tranquilizers off & on over last 10 yrs. Many hospitalizations. Many alibis for drinking, lying abt. it. Severe memory-loss, memory distortions. DT’s once in Abbott, lasted hours. Quart of whisky a day for months in Dublin working hard on a long poem. Dry 4 months 2 years ago. Wife hiding bottles, myself hiding bottles. Wet bed drunk in London hotel, manager furious, had to pay for new mattress, $100. Lectured too weak to stand, had to sit. Lectured badly prepared. Too ill to give an examination, colleague gave it. Too ill to lecture one day. Literary work stalled for months. Quart of whiskey a day for months. Wife desperate, threatened to leave unless I stopped. Two doctors drove me to Hazelden last November, 1 week intensive care unit, 4 wks treatment. AA 3 times, bored, made no friends. First drink at Newlbars’ party. Two months’ light drinking, hard biographical work. Suddenly began new poems 9 weeks ago, heavier & heavier drinking more & more, up to a quart a day. Defecated uncontrollably in a University corridor, got home unnoticed. Book finished in outburst of five weeks, most intense work in my whole life exc. maybe first two months of 1953. My wife said St. Mary’s or else. Came here.

John Berryman, ‘Step One’, in John Haffenden, The Life of John Berryman, London, 1982, pp. 374-375