What I really like to learn how to do is to build sentences that are equal to mental states.
Librarian is a service occupation. Gas station attendant of the mind.
Reading is the last act of secular prayer.
Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about reverence, not mastery.
I would say the flip side to my fascination with systems is a fascination with components. So many of my books are dialogues between little and big.
All we can ever do is lay a word in the hands of those who have put one in ours.
I'd like, each time out as a writer, to reinvent who I am and what I'm doing. That's one of the great pleasures and rewards of the occupation.
The job of taste was to thin the insane torrent of human creativity down to manageable levels. But the job of appetite was never to be happy with taste.
The use of music is to remind us how short a time we have a body.
The Midwest is such a tabula rasa.
I used to work for 12 or 14 hours at a time but the digital age has made such happy immersions almost impossible.
The desire to live in our imagination is driven by this suspicion that we're disembodied sensibilities cobbled into our bodies. That idea has infused most of human thought since the very beginning.
This idea that a book can either be about character and feeling, or about politics and idea, is just a false binary. Ideas are an expression of the feelings and the intense emotions we hold about the world.
I think that if the novel's task is to describe where we find ourselves and how we live now, the novelist must take a good, hard look at the most central facts of contemporary life - technology and science.
Only white men have the luxury of ignoring race.
When you're sure of what you're looking at, look harder.
The thing that makes reading and writing suspect in the eyes of the market economy is that it's not corrupted.
Type a few lines of code, you create an organism.
I keep a quotes journal - of every sentence that I've wanted to remember from my reading of the past 30 years.
I don't mind arguing with myself. It's when I lose that it bothers me.
All the different ways we know the world all come from the brain, and they all depend on each other to make sense.
Maybe happiness is like a virus. Maybe it's one of those bugs that sits for a long time, so we don't even know that we are infected.
Evil is the refusal to see one's self in others.
We will live with racism for ever. But senses of self, senses of belonging, senses of us and of others? Those are up for grabs.
The web: yet another total disorientation that becomes status quo without anyone realizing it.
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