For Nietzsche, to be truly existing, to really be a person, has to do with taking control of your own life, realizing your particular talents and virtues, falling in love with yourself, understanding that your life is about manifesting your talents and virtues, passionately throwing yourself into the work you do, and becoming the person that you really are.
Robert C. Solomon, No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life (via stxxz)
The daily routine of most adults is so heavy and artificial that we are closed off to much of the world. We have to do this in order to get our work done. I think one purpose of art is to get us out of those routines. When we hear music or poetry or stories, the world opens up again.
The life of the cultivated mind should be private, reticent, discreet: Most of its celebrations will occur with no audience, because there can be no applause for that moment when the solitary reader gets up and paces round the room, having just noticed the hidden image in the sonnet, or the profane joke in the devotional text, or the secret message in the prison diaries.