« Previous Month
Next Month »
"I’ve thought hard about what it means to be an individual but to also exist socially, how we try to be true to ourselves and yet also live with others, which requires subterfuge, white lies, conformity. Individualism taken too far means lonely. Community taken too far means self-effacement. Finding the middle ground is the most all-consuming 'work' we do in our lives."
"The appeal of astrology or discussions of faith and destiny is that it gives people comfort. It’s like reading the last page of a book, to know where you’re going. It does relieve you from some of the burden of choice -- destiny makes you adjust and deal with what is. So if you think of marriage in terms of destiny, most of your choices are around adjusting to your destiny, as opposed to saying 'this is what I really want.' And I think there is some real beauty in that."
Dave Eggers and I were in love. The fact that no one else knew
it did not bother me. I was similarly unbothered by the fact that my
communications with Dave were limited to email exchanges, the great
bulk of which occurred between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm, Monday
through Friday, or that Dave did not email me from his McSweeney’s
account, or from an account registered in his name, but instead wrote
me from a Hotmail address which incorporated a Tragically Hip lyric
and entered my inbox as “Homeless Funambulist.” I figured Dave had his
"The feelings that these [soldiers] had, the relationship they had with one another, interested me much more. These guys were together through all their training, before they came to Vietnam, so they not only knew each other -- they knew each others’ families. And yet all these guys are a stripe of men that can compartmentalize. They can, under stress, suddenly provide the leadership they have to, or obey the orders that they have to. I tried my damnedest to show them as human beings."
Maybe trying to learn a new language is like getting to know a new person. Exhilarating in that same way. Daunting in that same way. I used to think that poetry -- lyric poetry, tragic poetry -- was a way to put into words what cannot actually be expressed in words. Now I’m wondering if all beautiful writing, writing that is lyric or tragic enough to be unique, poetry, essays on art or geography, is just a new language that teaches you itself.
"I'm never serious, I just want to play around, make jokes and go
home and check my Gmail, Facebook and read a goofy ass book like the
The Twelve Caesars
. . . I should be reading new books of
literature to be a better writer. I should move to New York City and
do readings and read normal modern books and sit with interns from The
New Yorker but instead I'm in Youngstown reading spaced out on a lawn
chair reading Antigone
. . . I'm so much like a child, my
world is just imagination and a complete lack of seriousness. Seriousness hurts me."
Steves describes himself as a traveler and “a historian, Christian, husband, parent, carnivore, musician, capitalist, minimalist, member of NORML, and a workaholic.” . . . Promising not to “take the edge off” his opinions, Steves embraces geopolitical philosophizing “with the knowledge that good people will respectfully disagree with each other.” Speaking of assumptions, that’s a generous one. Given the mood of a large segment of the American public and Steves’s penchant for pointed passages, anyone care to wager how his fan mail is running?
Barbara J. King
"I have a strong family connection to polygamy, but I had no real understanding of how polygamy is lived today, and after doing the
research and writing the article there was no question my next novel
would be about contemporary polygamy. This all occurred well before
the wave of fascination with polygamy in this country, and I thought
it was something I absolutely had to write about, to call attention to
in a fair, non-judgmental and (hopefully) compelling way."
A simple search on Wikipedia or Google can turn up a litany of background information and intellectual (or, as is often the case with the Internet, boneheaded) analysis on the deeper meanings behind Lloyd Dobler’s hoisted boombox in Say Anything
or Pretty In Pink’s
Duckie-Blane dichotomy. As Gora rightly points out in both her book and our interview, hundreds of thousands of teens the world over have made a habitual practice of rediscovering these films year after year: soaking up their messages, and absorbing the life lessons to be found as a compass for navigation of the self.
Emma Kat Richardson
"(B)asically, my poems are an extension of me: representative M&M's with crisp outer shells and yielding centers. I'm interested in contrasts and contradictions, poems that do more than one thing -- both funny and sad, idea-driven but attentive to sound, etc. How do I do that? Well, I guess I'm moved to write a poem when I have an interesting nexus of thoughts. If the thoughts aren't multi-dimensional (if they're all hot or all cold in your schematic), I don't bother, or I stow those ideas away until I figure out how to enrich them with some variance in tone or texture."