Guilt is the source of sorrow, 'tis the fiend,Th' avenging fiend, that follows us behind,With whips and stings
Jen's Mum Will WriteJen's mum writes advertising copy.She specializes in white goods:washing machines, dryers, fridges,freezers, dishwashers.She hates these applianceshulkingin corners,power-hungry and fractious.One day, she will have a wood stove,and she'll write about things that matter-she will write about birth and death,about love and the absence of love,about fathers and children,about mothers and daughters,about lovers and friends.She'll write about the whole goddamnwonderful, awful businessof loving and being loved
I would not have majored in English and gone on to teach literature had I not been able to construct a counterargument about the truthfulness of fiction; still, as writers turn away from the industrious villages of George Eliot and Thomas Hardy, I learn less and less from them that helps me to ponder my life. In time, I found myself agreeing with the course evaluations written by my testier freshman students:'All the literature we read this term was depressing.' How naive. How sane.
Most people who fall obsessively in love claim that it happens precipitously, unexpectedly [...]But I believe there's almost always a prerequisite. Falling in love in this way will usually occur at a time of transition. We may not be conscious of it, but something has ended and something new must begin. Romantic obsession is like a cataclysm breaking up the empty landscape. Like a strange exotic plant, it grows in arid soil. (pp. 27-28)
The written word is all that stands between memory and oblivion. Without books as our anchors, we are cast adrift, neither teaching nor learning. They are windows on the past, mirrors on the present, and prisms reflected all possible futures. Books are lighthouses erected on the dark sea of time.
But your book is wrong, Mrs. Strunk, says George, when it tells you that Jim is the substitute I found for a real son, a real kid brother, a real husband, a real wife. Jim wasn't a substitute for anything. And there is no substitute for Jim, if you'll forgive my saying so, anywhere.
I started writing morning pages just to keep my hand in, you know, just because I was a writer and I didn't know what else to do but write. And then one day as I was writing, a character came sort of strolling in and I realized, Oh my God, I don't have to be just a screenwriter. I can write novels.