An Extract From Reiner Stach’s “Kafka: The Years of Insight”


(Ricardo Bofill.)

The easy possibility of writing letters–from a purely theoretical point of view–must have brought ruination to the souls of the world. Writing letters is actually communication with ghosts, not only with the ghost of the recipient, but also with one’s own ghost, which secretly evolves inside the letter one is writing or even in a whole series of letters where one letter corroborates another and can cite it is a witness. How did people ever get the idea they could communicate with one another by letter! One can think about someone far away and one can hold on to someone nearby; everything else is beyond human power. But writing letters means barring oneself to the ghosts, who are greedily awaiting that. Written kisses never arrive at their destination; the ghosts drink them up along the way. This ample nourishment enables them to multiply so enormously. Mankind…

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A strange moment was when I realized the interconnected-ness that truly does exist within the inhabitants of the Earth. Now, this isn’t something that is new to me. It’s occurred to me on multiple occasions. But when the moment does arise, it hits me like a ton of bricks wrapped in pretty pink paper, it does just that, it hits. I’m thrown off into a perpetual wonderment filled with questions that are to be left unanswered. 

It’s similar to when your driving in a car, awaiting the deep sleep that is one more song away on a long trip, when you realize that every car you are passing contains human life. Life that is separate from yours, but connected now through a high way. You will never know these people, their lives are different from yours. It’s a fleeting moment. 

I recently went on the Dr. Stem show to talk about my fundraising process for the Thrive Fellowship program. I thought my stomach was going to sky rocket out of my eye socket. I sat anxious and jittery. It was a product of years of suppressing my thoughts and ideas and now being faced with the chance to speak to the general masses about myself and my inhibitions. It went fairly well, when I was able to just say what I needed to say without pretense and too much thought behind it. I spoke and hoped that I got my message through well enough. 

When I left the studio and realized that people in many different communities could possibly see my face, hear my voice, and sense my love for the work I wish to do I felt that hit all over again; it scared me. I think I will always prefer anonymity over notoriety but this was a whole new level of fear. It was just astounding to know that for about 15 minutes, my life was going to be intertwined with someone else. That they could possibly be essential in funding my trip to the Whidbey Institute to do my training. That feeling is enough to keep someone going for the rest of their life. It reminds me of why Generation Waking Up, the Pachamama Alliance, Spark 540, and myself are the way we are. We understand the connectedness and the importance of living your life in regards to that connectedness. Living within the guidelines of relativity to other humans is not the norm in American culture, but those that do foster that belief always seem to have the heart to follow through enough to create change.

I’m glad I possess the feeling of interconnectedness. On occasion, it makes human existence truly breathtaking and worthwhile.


Photo Gallery: Hillary Rodham Clinton at BookPeople

Regardless of what people say about Hillary Rodham Clinton, you cannot deny that the woman is savvy and smart. Women like her have inspired me to not cease to be powerful and personal in demand of what you want. I have always seen her as a brave, intelligent, and strong woman who is not where near as idiotic as the world would like to think she is. Live on HRC!


Last Friday, June 20th, we had the honor of hosting Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton here at BookPeople to sign copies of her new book, Hard Choices. Over 1,000 people turned out to meet Secretary Clinton, who shook hands and signed books for two hours with a smile. It was one of the biggest, most successful events in BookPeople history. Thank you to everyone who joined us for an unforgettable afternoon. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this incredible book tour.

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It’s Time to Write LGBT History into the Textbooks


On the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots—an event that transformed a minuscule pre-Stonewall gay rights movement into a mass movement—LGBT history is still being left out of the public school curriculum. California is the sole exception to this rule, having passed the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act in 2011. It mandated the inclusion of the political, economic and social contributions of LGBT persons in textbooks and the social studies curricula in California public schools. While the control of curriculum and the choice of textbooks rests with local school boards, it’s time for state legislatures to take up the issue so that such curricula are adopted nationwide.

The 1960s homophile movement, which preceded the gay and LGBT rights movements, determined that the oppression of homosexuals rested on three things: that psychiatry declared gay men and lesbians to be mentally ill, that the law criminalized homosexual sex acts and…

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