Be Daring

Be daring, take on anything. Don’t labor over little cameo works in which every word is to be perfect. Technique holds a reader from sentence to sentence, but only content will stay in his mind.

JOYCE CAROL OATES


Be Daring

Shirley is a frequent political commentator of the conservative Republican stripe (a biographer of both Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich), but he’ll be puzzling to many ordinary human beings in that regard, since unlike virtually all publicly visible Republicans these days, he isn’t stupid, he isn’t vicious, and he isn’t patently, observably insane. Certainly in terms of his historical writing, at least, he’s the very last thing most Republicans currently are: responsible.

After suggesting [that young writers] look into The Writer’s Chapbook I recommend they keep a diary, at least a page a day, and faithfully, and also to get into the habit of letter writing to other writers. The advantages that come with doing this seem obvious—both are exercises which hone the communicative skills.

GEORGE PLIMPTON

Alfred-Kazin/Journals/book

“We moved today to 415 Central Park West. Enormous business of packing and unpacking my books, which I have been carrying on my back for so many years. Lord, how I would like to get free of all these things sometime. I date my maturity from the day I realized there were books I could get along without.”


Alfred-Kazin/Journals/book

Winterson on the importance of books

I heard today that one in three kids in the UK does not own a book. I would be dead if I had never found books. So I wouldn’t call them a luxury or a leisure item. I’d call them allies in the life and death struggle.

My old Jewish friend Mona Howard – nearly 90 and totally aware, says that we go through life carrying 2 bags: Time and Money. The Life and Death Struggle. When we are confronted, with difficulties or when we have personal problems, we have to know which bag to go to. Is it Time and Money, or is it more central to the core of who we are?

Books have always been central to the core of me. Fiction and poetry made me who I am; inevitable that I would start making the books in return.