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"Ronald Reagan was, from 1964 on, the leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Like it or not, he was the advocate, the public face, the intellectual motor of the Republican Right, where Bush II is just a twerp. He’s a bundle of resentment. He’s never had any real interest in political ideology. It’s all an Oedipal drama. And ultimately that’s how it will be understood."
"So, in honor of the occasion -- the earthy smelling carpets, the condoms by the bed stand (also "NOT COMPLIMENTARY"), and the professional giggling in the lobby, this month's column is all about sex. From Our Bodies, Ourselves to Seventeen Magazine's oh-so-condescending "Sex and Your Body Column" to the stack of porn behind the woodshed…"
“Americans tend to be very persuasive when it comes to using and endorsing violence as a means of conflict resolution,” he wrote me recently. “Iraq and the War on Terror are examples of this, but I also see it reflected in what passes for entertainment and culture in America. As Flannery O’Conner said, there’s a kind of obscene sentimentality that arises when a person or people argues for their own innocence when it’s clear that they are anything but innocent."
"I always loved the Brothers Grimm -- the child baked into a pie, the bad things that can happen even to good little girls. Children can be, are, vicious, and the part I loved was always the children in jeopardy."
"I never felt that my English is good enough for writing fiction the way I want to write it. A serious writer writes fiction with the concentration and inspiration one usually associates with writing poetry. It is hard to acquire such mastery with foreign language. Emile Cioran wrote this fantastic aphorism: 'To write in a foreign language is like not being able to write a love letter without dictionary.'"
"I don’t think I’d want to have dinner with Woolf, say, or Henry James, but I do have this need to communicate with them in my own way. And I’m often just so amazed at what I find in a book when I read it for the second or 10th time. Or when I return to it after many years and suddenly notice all these bizarre things I either never noticed before or forgot. Then again, I’m also attracted to absences in a text, to what isn’t there, or to what is almost there, sort of glittering on the periphery."
“Feral” means untamed or living in a wild state. It’s this wildness that draws Malkin, a teen-magazine editor, to the cats straying around her home in Brooklyn: “The allure of these cats comes down to one thing for me. Savagery. Ostensibly I’m seeking to subdue them, but I want to be around them precisely because they are wild. This, I am loath to admit, is nothing new. All through my extended adolescence I dated boys least likely to meet with parental approval.”
Barbara J. King