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92Y's Read By

Aug 15, 2021

Alexandra Zuckerman on her selection:

In her book, On Beauty and Being Just, it is as if, in Elaine Scarry’s view, the external world has the power to tumultuously expose to us our errors of judgment; wrong beliefs cannot merely be held. Her small anecdote about a palm tree that compels her to experience “being in error” about beauty has stayed with me through the years. She argues that such small experiences guide our instinct to be just. Her palm, its leaves “barely moving, just opening and closing slightly as though breathing,” reveals to her its true beauty. She had denied it even the right to be a tree. On Beauty and Being Just is grounding and gives me hope when it is hard to see where true change comes from.

On Beauty and Being Just, by Elaine Scarry

Music: “Shift of Currents” by Blue Dot Sessions // CC BY-NC 2.0