Every single thing, once he tried to dislodge it from its place in his mind, he found thus cumbered with other matter like the lump of glass which, after a year at the bottom of the sea, is grown about with bones and dragon-flies, and coins and the tresses of drowned women.
—Virginia Woolf, Orlando
Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.
—Joan Didon, On Keeping a Notebook
Let them think what they liked, but I didn’t mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank — but that’s not the same thing.
(Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys epigraph)
I have always possessed a kind of knapsack, if nothing more than a piece of cloth or skin tied in a knot. My sack, worthy companion, produces, when opened, a world defined by its contents — fluxion, unique, beloved.
—Patti Smith, “Indian Rubies,” Woolgathering
“In “life” I don’t want to be reduced to my work. In “work” I don’t want to be reduced to my life.
my work is too austere
my life is a brutal anecdote.”
From As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980, by Susan Sontag. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, p. 357. This quote is from 1973.
Despite its utility, language defies categorical statements, and this slipperiness makes it beautiful, like an old friend you never tire of talking to.
—Graham Meyer, Let’s Eat Grammar, MoMA catalog for Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language
I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do.
—Haruki Murakami, “Sputnik Sweetheart” (via deluminary)
It’s no different at all; it seems it never was a matter of finding more felicitous surroundings, but of finding myself
—Susan Sontag, Reborn
written by a good friend of mine. says it perfectly. Check out her new blog paper thin.
As a previously sworn nemesis of blogs and all their ego stroking self-affirmation, it’s hard to sit down at the end of a long day and admit to yourself that your respective Facebook, 8tracks, Pinterest, Twitter, Goodreads, Bookmooch, and LinkedIn accounts just aren’t cutting it anymore. If that’s not bad enough, you’ve gone from perusing the “writing gigs” section of craigslist to the “free stuff,” “strictly platonic,” and finally “missed connections” for some late night entertainment… and that’s when it hits you. Before you know it every magazine you submit to, every account you sign up for is asking for a blog url—but who needs it right? So you brush it off a little longer. You’re too cool for that crock…
But soon until it’s unbearable to watch your most recent pins stay estranged from your favorite music videos, or your friend’s clever memes lead separate lives from the hilarious Jake and Amir episode you just watched. All of the books on your virtual “to-read” shelf are hanging out with the wrong crowd and your old vacation pictures are getting too cozy with your failed art projects. And then you break down. You do it. You learn all the buttons and doo-dads and start to see the light. You won’t be like the rest of them, oh no. Your blog will change the world.
Freud, one of the great masters of narrative, knew that the past is not fixed in the way that linear time suggests. We can return. We can pick up what we dropped. We can mend what others broke. We can talk with the dead.
—Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?