“You should never read just for “enjoyment.” Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends’ insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick “hard books.” Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god’s sake, don’t let me ever hear you say, “I can’t read fiction. I only have time for the truth.” Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of “literature”? That means fiction, too, stupid.”—John Waters (via afternoon-tea-and-books)
“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”—Susan Cain (via quotes-shape-us)
“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success—but only if you persist.”—Isaac Asimov
This? Is why I think it’s vital that we fight for diverse literature in schools. When the book-banning folks come out, it’s so often to shut down a person belonging to a minority group speaking about experiences that make people uncomfortable. Of course we are uncomfortable. We are complicit. It takes discomfort to impel change.
Not all kids will get a real picture of the world at home; I certainly didn’t. Those kids may go on to be the next generation of oppressors, having been taught lies that cause them to see minorities as subhuman, unless they have outside influences to show them otherwise. It matters that they read books by African-Americans, by women, by LGBT authors. It matters that they gain empathy and experience others’ lives.
It matters that they become uncomfortable enough to change.
“David Foster Wallace was by the end a good person, loved and mourned by just about everyone except Bret Easton Ellis. It’s possible to see Wallace’s career as the inversion of that of another great American novelist who wrote journalism that was pervaded by his personality: Norman Mailer. Monstrousness was the thing Mailer was always trying to enact and the thing Wallace was always trying to deflect or recover from. Wallace was consumed by guilt even on the page; Mailer never seemed to feel a pang. Wallace couldn’t stand Mailer’s books: ‘Unutterably repulsive. I guess part of his whole charm is his knack for arousing strong reactions. Hitler had the same gift.’”—Christian Lorentzen’s LRB review of ‘Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace’ by D.T. Max
“And that’s why books are never going to die. It’s impossible. It’s the only time we really go into the mind of a stranger, and we find our common humanity doing this. So the book doesn’t only belong to the writer, it belongs to the reader as well, and then together you make it what it is.”—Paul Auster
“I once had to say this on a show many years ago, and I truly believe it: Loneliness is a choice. I like to be alone; I’m more comfortable alone. But I do recognise that I take it too far sometimes and so I try to force myself to keep up with being sociable. I just am a bit of a lone ranger; I always have been. But I don’t believe that necessarily has to translate to being lonely. You can be lonely in a crowd of a thousand people. I can be in a hotel room on my own, and not feel lonely. It all comes down to how comfortable you are with who you are in the silence.”—Gillian Anderson (via cyberqueer)
“I like to think that each book I start is a completely new departure … But I’ve learned that whatever you do, readers will have no difficulty assimilating it into what you’ve done before.”—Ian McEwan (via theparisreview)
“Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control. We can love and care for others but we cannot possess our children, lovers, family, or friends. We can assist them, and wish them well, yet in the end their happiness and suffering depend on their thoughts and actions, not on our wishes.”—
“I drink to the ruined house,
To the evil of my life,
To our shared loneliness
And I drink to you-
To the lie of lips that betrayed me,
To the deadly coldness of the eyes,
To the fact that the world is cruel and depraved,
To the fact that God did not save.”—Emily Dickinson, The Last Toast (via poemusicoffee)