“You could go upstairs right now, get pregnant, and come back, and we could keep talking.”—L., to me, during our skype date. Conversations in our 30s are still as real as when we were in our 20s, also, possibly more hilarious.
“Art is the one place we all turn to for solace. We turn to it constantly, whether you are listening to music, or pop in a film; you want to escape reality, and if you thinking deeply, you want to engage in art in a complex way. Art allows us to navigate the more complicated parts of our lives in a way that is more palpable. We don’t go to the movies just to see a movie; we go for the experience. I’m very interested in the experience. Art has saved my life on a regular basis. I wanted to offer that experience to children, to enlist them, to show them the possibilities that are in the arts, to persuade them to pursue it for both their own personal salvation and for changing the way we are understood.”—Carrie Mae Weems (via tobia)
“The knives and forks jingled on the tables as we sped through the darkness; the little circle of gin and vermouth in the glasses lengthened to oval, contracted again, with the sway of the carriage, touched the lip, lapped back again, never spilt; I was leaving the day behind me. Julia pulled off her hat and tossed it into the rack above her, and shook her night-dark hair with a little sigh of ease—a sigh fit for the pillow, the sinking firelight and a bedroom window open to the stars and the whisper of bare trees.”—Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisted
Yesterday I gave an informational interview to a woman who went to Carleton, just like me. She’s rebooting her career at age 28 by moving to New York and attempting to get into agenting. It kind of cracks me up that I could be considered an “expert” in anything, except having a lot of different jobs, but as a matter of fact I am an “expert” at this exact activity, having done it myself six years ago. We talked about that and a few other publishing matters and then I said, “Honestly, if I could go back in time ten years, I would tell anyone trying to get into publishing not to do it, and I feel like I should say that to anyone trying to start now. Do anything, anything else.” She asked me a good question then, which is, knowing what I know now, what would I have done differently? and I gave the trite answer that goes something like Nothing I suppose as the experiences of your mistakes and bad decisions are necessary to create the current incarnation of yourself and that self’s successes as well as failures. I’m not sure I really believe that. But it’s true that had I not moved to New Zealand, I would have never figured out I want to write, and without attending and then dropping out of grad school and also without getting fired from a job for terribly dumb reasons, I would never have started Emily Books, and those are things I like about this current self, so.
“Words are to be taken seriously. I try to take seriously acts of language. Words set things in motion. I’ve seen them doing it. Words set up atmospheres, electrical fields, charges. I’ve felt them doing it. Words conjure. I try not to be careless about what I utter, write, sing. I’m careful about what I give voice to.”—Toni Cade Bambara (via the-dreamtiger)
“Fiction is risky for writers also in that the process of making certain books, of shaping certain narratives, leaves scars and marks on your inner life. If there was no risk, it wouldn’t be art. It wouldn’t be worth making.”—Chris Abani (The Secret History of Las Vegas), interviewed at the Rumpus (via luxlotus)
“yet even when men have been lifelong readers, poring over books at night in bed when life offered no other suitable periods, they rarely, i suspect, have unmet friends. perhaps they move so constantly in groups that they are seldom lonely and in need of such companionship. perhaps no man, reading the life of a contemporary as i have read maxine kumin’s life, would transform that literary exercise into friendship. women, i believe, search for fellow beings who have faced similar struggles, conveyed them in ways a reader can transform into her own life, confirmed desires the reader had hardly acknowledged—desires that now seem possible. women catch courage from the women whose lives and writings they read, and women call the bearer of that courage friend.”—
Important: “women, i believe, search for fellow beings who have faced similar struggles, conveyed them in ways a reader can transform into her own life, confirmed desires the reader had hardly acknowledged—desires that now seem possible. “