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Aphorisms are bad for novels. They stick in the reader’s teeth.
– Anatole Broyard
To be misunderstood can be the writer’s punishment for having disturbed the reader’s peace. The greater the disturbance, the greater the possibility of misunderstanding.
Lapped in poetry, wrapped in the picturesque, armed with logical sentences and inalienable words.
There is something about seeing real people on a stage that makes a bad play more intimately, more personally offensive than any other art form.
Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city.
People have no idea what a hard job it is for two writers to be friends. Sooner or later you have to talk about each other’s work.
It is one of the paradoxes of American literature that our writers are forever looking back with love and nostalgia at lives they couldn’t wait to leave.
There was a time when we expected nothing of our children but obedience, as opposed to the present, when we expect everything of them but obedience.
When friends stop being frank and useful to each other, the whole world loses some of its radiance.
The epic implications of being human end in more than this: We start our lives as if they were momentous stories, with a beginning, a middle and an appropriate end, only to find that they are mostly middles.
The more I like a book, the more slowly I read. this spontaneous talking back to a book is one of the things that makes reading so valuable.
The tension between ‘yes’ and ‘no’, between ‘I can’ and ‘I cannot’, makes us feel that, in so many instances, human life is an interminable debate with one’s self.
We are all tourists in history, and irony is what we win in wars.