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"After the first book I swore I would never edit anything again, because I am not of the right temperament to be an editor. As you can see, I did not learn my lesson. But this time, I swear, I have learned. What I want more than anything is to be able to draw again, and that means giving up other things, such as editing books."
"Probably, being lucky is the best thing -- but even that is in doubt, as luck itself is simply the pendulum swaying to one or the other extreme. Is it better to be shallowly happy a lot of the time, or deeply sad with occasional firestorms of delight and joy? The point of all this is that: if we aren't even certain about what to aim for, then what is the use in one form of order over another? Instead of trying to come to some conclusion about what the objectives of progress are, society drives headlong towards objectives with unknown application. Consider this: nobody has even been able to dream up a utopia that sounds very good at all to anyone."
"There’s a difference between being picked on and abused. There are people who go to high school who are literally physically and mentally abused the entire time they’re there. That wasn’t the story I wanted to tell. You either go down the road where he gets his spider powers, goes to high school, and then turns into Carrie and murders everybody. Or you watch him just persevere. This is the “with great power comes great responsibility” thing. If you have someone who is that abused then the audience wants to see him on a vengeance quest."
We do not read Yates to confirm some idealized vision of ourselves, but because he reveals how such illusions destroy those who indulge in them. His renewed appeal comes not from what he can tell us about the past, but what he can tell us about the present: Yates’s characters lie to themselves, lie to others, and silence those who resist or refute their lies. What they do is good because they are the ones doing it, and to maintain this belief they must preserve their image of themselves as glorious and exceptional, no matter what delusions or denials of fact this requires.
I thought, or I knew, that I would never find another poet to love in the raw, painful way I love Vasko Popa or Primo Levi or T.S. Eliot. I was wrong, which means I could be wrong about so many other things, too. There could be whole countries where -- instead of gobbling up the fatuously “spiritual” memoirs of Elizabeth Gilbert in between eating Lite desserts and shopping for leggings produced by children in sweatshops -- writers are exploding the language, and readers -- well, readers are letting them.