“You have to look at what you have right in front of you, at what it could be, and stop measuring it against what you’ve lost. I know this to be wise and true, just as I know that pretty much no one can do it.”—Jonathan Tropper; This is Where I Leave You
“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”—
[I’d add to that, it also dies because we expect love to always be this soaring emotion that we feel on a regular basis. We want love to be something it’s not. We want love to take action when in fact love only exists because we make it happen. Love is a verb, not an emotion. It takes effort, our effort. Love is not easy, it takes work.]
“I have to write to be happy whether I get paid for it or not. But it’s a hell of a disease to be born with. I like to do it. Which is even worse. That makes it from a disease into a vice. Then I want to do it better than anyone has ever done it which makes it into an obsession. An obsession is terrible. Hope you haven’t got any.”—Ernest Hemingway (via dominicmatthew)
“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