Kurt Vonnegut, to himself in Breakfast of Champions
“I get really angry when someone says they don’t read fiction because it’s all made up and ‘not real.’ Bullshit! Nothing is more real than fiction. Nothing helps us make sense of the real world more than fiction. Nothing instills in us empathy for others like fiction. As David Foster Wallace said, ‘Fiction is what it is to be a fucking human being.’ That’s my favorite quote of all time, because nothing more true has ever been said.”
I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.
So I kept writing through the summer, and in August the baby was born and I’d cradle him in my left arm while writing melodies at the piano with my right, and I said, let Osiris the keeper of the gates be my witness, other songwriters may go soft when they get to be parents but I am going to keep going all the way down into the inner darkness, it will set a good example for the baby, and besides, what am I going to do, suddenly start writing songs about cute things instead of songs about how to wrest cries of triumph from the screaming places? Please. May the baby grow up to spit in my face if I should pose that hard.
john darnielle is a quality person and hurray! for a new mountain goats album.
hilarious/full disclosure: my mother told me about this quote. because my mother reads john darnielle’s blog. (she called me because she found three paintings by an artist we like (which are worth several thousand dollars) at a garage sale this morning)
so, i live with that burden.
The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.
You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently.
Why hold onto all that? And I said,
Where can I put it down?
Being born a woman is an awful tragedy… Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars - to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording - all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night…
You and Anderson Cooper have the same coming out calendar week in common, but in many obvious ways, you couldn’t be more different. Anderson Cooper is an heir to one of America’s great Industrial Age fortunes and a network professional whose maleness and whiteness backed by his considerable accomplishments guarantee him work. You are a young Black man from New Orleans who fled your still struggling city. You didn’t arrive in Los Angeles with generational wealth and privilege, only the beautiful lyrics and melodies that danced through you and your dream of making it in a music industry whose sand castles were crumbling.
This wasn’t actually written by Jay Z, it’s just on his website.