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A book can do that, though. The right book (or the wrong book?) can transport you from Paraparaumu to Paris, or from Paris to Paraparaumu. It can transform you into another person. At the very least, even the most ordinary book can change the morning you have ahead of you. So why am I choosing Young Adult books these days? Believe me, it’s not that I want to be twelve again.
"There’s definitely something exploitative about writing nonfiction, where you take your subjects out of the chaotic wilderness of real life and then rearrange their corpses. It’s fun work, but sometimes you feel like you’re engaging in something that ought to be illegal."
"Sadly, I don’t think anything is eternal. If you want something to stick around you have to use it. And even then, things change as we use them. I try to get the new and the old to co-exist in my life. So, for example, I am a letterpress printer who sometimes sets metal type by hand and sometimes sets on the computer and prints the result on the letterpress from photo-polymer plates. Fifteenth-century technology goes hand-in-hand with 21st-century technology."
"All the qualities that we grapple with -- ego, doubt, appetite -- are flattened out in celebrities, so that they become thinner but more widespread. They live larger. They cover a larger area. But we use them to work through our own insecurities, which is why I thought they were good subjects for literature."
"The only thing anyone who loves literature can do is keep going. Keep writing, keep reading good books, keep trying to encourage other people to read them. The thing I love about small presses is that they’re generally doing what they do for the right reasons -- they’re not in it to make a bazillion bucks, they’re in it because they want to be part of a literary culture."
J. T. Hill
Reading this book was a kind of prayer. It had the peace of a prayer litany, of a rosary, of a misbaha. I read Sam Fathers spreading the “hot smoking blood” of Ike McCaslin’s first killed deer over the boy’s face and I was stunned. I remember looking out over the snow-covered mountains of Vermont -- looking out from my strange little dormitory perch -- and crying.
"Poetry isn’t about proving anything; it’s about fuck-up and flood -- maybe not totally, but essentially, because it’s always the misuse and mismanagement of (ordinary) language (which is the only language we’ve got) to create artistic effects/affect. The meaning and message and function of words is contextual, but that also makes them slippery (which is why poetry’s so fun and amazing and strange)."
Give a group of undergraduates War and Peace and ask them to read the opening chapters. Instruct the students to tap a key whenever they become aware that their minds are wandering away from the text. On average, that key will be tapped 5.4 times during 45 minutes of the students’ reading.
Barbara J. King
"I’m not sure I’m a storyteller first, who uses the language as a tool to transmit those stories. I am rather someone who really personally just delights in how bendable the English language can be. So for me to not be precise and deliberate with the language would be me not writing at all. I am precise and deliberate with my text messages."
Sean P. Carroll
Baldwin's essays are among the best in English since Orwell's, and are freighted with the same weary skepticism, the same register of encomium and warning. If his friend and mentor Richard Wright (whom he followed to Paris) was the African American Moses, Baldwin was the African American Jeremiah. His critical arm did not have the widest sweep; rather, with a cocked sniper's finger and thumb, he zeroed in on the phonies and renegades who, unchecked, could bring down liberation's nimble, slow-chugging locomotive.
"One of the points of the book -- and the reason so many different kinds of people relate to it -- is that poverty comes in many forms, and most of us have something that we yearn for, that we lack, that we feel is out of our reach. You may grow up with with lots of money but little affection or encouragement, for instance. That is its own kind of poverty. The way I see it, you don't have to be poor to live in poverty, but it helps."