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Muriel Barbery

  • When illness enters a home, not only does it take hold of a body. It also weaves a dark web between hearts, a web where hope is trapped.

  • The tea ritual ... has the extraordinary virtue of introducing into the absurdity of our lives an aperture of serene harmony. Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea.

  • ... tea is no minor beverage. When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things.

  • ... shocked to realize how much vitality is required simply to support our primitive requirements, we wonder, bewildered, where Art fits in.

  • ... art is emotion without desire.

  • ... where can one find more noble distraction, more entertaining company, more delightful enchantment, than in literature?

Muriel Barbery, Morocco-born French writer, educator

(1969)