2020 Reads

The books I choose to read often inspire photographs. At the very least, they cause me to look at the photographs I make in different ways. These are a few of my favorite reads from 2020, paired with the images and quotes that serve them.

The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso
Dante Alighieri (translated by Robert Hollander and Jean Hollander)

Inferno XII
“the deep and foul abyss shook on every side,
so that I thought the universe felt love,”

Purgatorio IX
“It was the hour when the ascent did not permit delay,
for the sun had left the meridian to the Bull,
and night had left it to the Scorpion.”

Paradiso XXXIII
“And, as I neared the end of all desire,
I extended to its limit, as was right,
the ardor of the longing in my soul.”

Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman

“I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop some where waiting for you.”

The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: one sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”


“In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don’t dare disobey.”


“And no grown-up will ever understand how such a thing could be so important.”

Notes from Underground
Fyodor Dostoevsky (translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)

“But the more evening advanced and the twilight thickened, the more my impressions and, after them, my thoughts as well, kept changing and tangling. Something within me, deep in my heart and conscience, would not die, refused to die, and betrayed itself in a burning anguish.”


“… shouldn’t I just end my Notes here? I think it was a mistake to begin writing them. At least I’ve felt ashamed all the while I’ve been writing this story: so it’s no longer literature, but corrective punishment.”