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"The pigeonholing is terribly painful. It makes me crazy and sad, and ashamed, too. I raise this point with every book I do but there remains this determination to market me as "a women's author," or as it is often phrased, "to appeal to the broadest audience possible." The problem is that the broadest audience possible HATES me, and those who might appreciate what I do don't handily find their way to me. I have, on occasion, said that I wouldn't pick up my own book in a bookstore. People will read up, but they won't read down. My readers either stumble on me by accident or word of mouth, although there have been some astute critics and I am tremendously grateful to them, just as, yes, I am grateful for any reader who gets why I'm trying to do. I just wish they'd tell more of their friends."
"The architectural strata of a city can correspond to layers of consciousness, to the sediment, individual and collective, that builds up over time. Berlin is a very visible palimpsest. Each type of architecture tells a different story. And one still finds many traces of the attempts at whitewashing and erasure that have taken place over the past few decades in particular. As a city, Berlin will always have to struggle with its alter ego. It will never escape the shadow of its past nor be free of the huge myths and preconceptions attached to it. Everyone has his or her Berlin that exists alongside the 'real' one."
Sean P. Carroll
"I’m very fond of iTunes and my iPod, obviously, and yet I’d like to display my CDs even though I never play them. And certainly other people felt when you went from LP to CD that you lost cover art. It’s really the end of it now when you’re down to a postage stamp on your screen. And Kindle and e-readers, I totally understand the appeal. I don’t use them, and I understand why you would want to use them, but it does sort of hurt my feelings a little bit. Is it necessarily painful? Yeah, you know you get your memories attached not only to the work of art but also to the medium that carries the work of art to you."
For modern-day Cassandras, one would think that the knowledge that you’d been cursed would alleviate some of the pain -- the worse thing is not knowing whether people will hear you or see you or believe you. Sometimes people will nod in agreement with you because of your greater force of will, your greater charisma. They will pretend to hear your point about Auschwitz, about the Trail of Tears, about pharmaceutical companies or immigration detention centers, about how many women are getting beaten up right this moment, about how the average age of entry into prostitution for girls in New York City circa 2008 was 13. These people who settle, who live as though life is not precious, will pretend to hear your point because you are forceful, or because you are interesting, or because other, more conscientious people, have decided you matter, or because you write well. But it won’t transform them, or change them, at all.
Nonetheless, the next question is obvious: Do we humans have as much conscious control over our moment-to-moment lives as we like to think? Pentland offers an answer with his characteristic confidence: “The idea that our conscious, individual thinking is the key determining factor of our behavior may come to be seen as foolish a vanity as our earlier [historical] idea that we were the center of the universe.”
Barbara J. King
"Several years ago, I brought home a postcard of Degas’s “Combing the Hair” from London and set it on my desk -- I liked the way the long orange hair was used to tether the tension between the women, and as a writing exercise, I responded to it -- and found I could write about the absence of my mother in a way I never could before. So I decided to try the exercise again with “Dancers in Blue,” and it worked again. Somehow looking at his paintings facilitated speech for me."
Colette LaBouff Atkinson
"Interviews are odd things and I wonder how I come off. I’m not sure it’s possible to fuck up an interview. I guess if I said something like “I like to rape kittens,” then that would cause a negative reaction and books wouldn’t be sold. The other side is I can be really smart and clever and charming and people want to buy the book. Really, I’m just trying to answer interview questions honestly and kind of quickly."
Laura van den Berg