July 7, 2015
Writes my smart poet/translator friend E.C. Belli:
Because we are so multi-rooted, because we are from everywhere, we are no longer really from a place. Instead, we are from beings. Saint-Exupéry noted, “We come from our childhoods as we come from a country.” But what is childhood if not the moment in which we experience some of the strongest social bonds of our lifetime? For all of our nomadic existence, our roots today are as people based as they are placed based. We belong to beings as we belong to a country.
February 23, 2014
Poet and novelist Alejandro Zambra on “Silence and Silencing,” via BombBlog (via Montana Ray):
The language of parents, the silence of our parents: sometimes we didn’t even know their position on what was happening in Chile. It was a way of protecting us. This was a very common sentence: we don’t talk politics in this house. Because it was understood that politics divided families, and because speaking was dangerous in itself. It was especially dangerous to speak about these topics with the neighbors. Television, as such, concealed reality with immense effectiveness, thoroughly compromised with the repressive apparatus. Nor did we know if our parents were the way they were owing to fear and repression or simply because that’s how adults always were. What were the differences between being an adult and being an adult under a dictatorship? I tended to think that grown-ups were boring, gray, stingy: only two or three adults seemed amusing or luminous to me. And what was the difference between silence and silencing? Or between being a child and being a child under a dictatorship?
Read the whole article here.
Besos y abrazos,
November 28, 2012
“Experiment, play, dare to be really bad, fool around, and just notice what an incredible luxury it is to be in this formative, uncertain, experimental phase, one where you learn and discover new things very rapidly but also haphazardly – you don’t know when and how it is going to happen so it is crucial that you try different things and weird things, and that you read very unexpected things and glom onto influences that are uncomfortable but fascinating. Because you know, later, if you persist and become a writer, the rate of change will slow down, expectations that you produce from within and expectations that are produced from without will tend to slightly concretize this task for you, it will become something more professionalized, so make sure you relish this period that won’t come again. It belongs only to you, for the time being.”
Jonathan Lethem. From an interview at Days of Yore. Lots of other gems over there, from the likes of Lauren Slater and Kate Christensen, so check ’em out.
November 2, 2012
Elizabeth Cady Stanton on gender parity from 1874:
The talk about women being so much above men, celestial, ethereal, and all that, is sentimental nonsense. … The real woman is not up in the clouds nor among the stars, but down here upon earth by the side of man. She is on the same material plane with man, striving and working to support herself.
Basically says it all. Via Popular History.
May 23, 2012
There are some beautiful books out there. But the ones that leave me cold are the ones where I feel—it’s that postmodern thing—it’s more experimentation with language than it is a deep compassionate falling into another human being’s experience.
Andre Dubus III, via Practicing Writing, via Writer’s Digest.
May 16, 2011
Photo: Pedro Veneroso (Flickr)
My policy is “unless you know the full story, don’t judge”, and you never know the full story. — John Waters, quoted here.
This reminds me of a lovely quote that Courtney Martin uses as her email signature:
Engrave this upon your heart: there isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you heard their story. — Mary Lou Kownacki