I’m not writing much these days. Or am I? It’s hard to say, because the words are everywhere: they wind up in little scribbles on receipts, in autocorrect-encrypted phrases on my phone, in no order whatsoever in one of three cool looking paper notebooks, as well as scattered among work in progress – a novella, a mutant short story, and half a dozen poems exhibiting every symptom of delusional thinking. But I guess that’s writing, right? Well then, I’ve been writing a good bit these days.
I read a ton of essays and posts after the election – do we still call them thinkpeices – “to get some perspective” “to get other people’s thoughts.” I read pundit thoughts, journalist thoughts, politician thoughts, and economist thoughts. I read foreign thoughts and domestic thoughts. I read black thoughts …
Places and people are like things: both made of memories and meaningful to us in the same way: we construct ourselves in our conversations with them.
– Bilal Tanweer in “The Scatter Here is Too Great”
Realization: I’m tired of being confined to the incredibly limited dialogue around me. All anyone talks about are events, people, politics, opinions-made-facts-made-battle-cries, and yes I know these things can often be important, but where is the talk about ideas, or, god forbid, life itself? These latter topics are what lend …
Every Western ideology promises some ultimate goal — a happy, a just, or a peaceful society. I don’t believe in that. We are things in flux. It may be that the stone always slides away from us and must be rolled back up again, but it’s something we must do; the stone belongs to us.
Gunter Grass in the Paris Review’s Art of Fiction No. 124
I’m growing to believe that the matter of faith is much bigger than any religion, or all religion. It seems to me that faith satisfies a fundamental human need to reside within a continuum which provides a context for our everyday existence. It is important, I feel, to have faith, …
One should not fear the rebel. One should not be afraid of becoming a rebel himself. To do something new has always been called rebellion…What is to be feared is the death of the spirit. To believe only what one is taught to believe, to say only what one is taught to say, to do only what one is asked to do, to find security in life by existing formally like a doll poured from a model, to lose completely the idea of self confidence in ones independence and the belief in self-improvement – this is death of the spirit. To live is to rebel.
– Tokutomi Roka, 1911, Japan
I smile to keep from howling, I sing so I won’t pray or curse.
– Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives