Quote by Joan Didion
Before I'd written movies, I never could do big set-piece scenes with a lot of different speakers - when you've got twelve people around a dinner table talking at cross purposes. I had always been impressed by other people's ability to do that.
In this quote, the speaker, who is a writer of movies, expresses their previous inability to create scenes with numerous speakers or complex interactions. They specifically mention struggling with depicting situations where multiple individuals engage in conversation around a dinner table, speaking over one another. The speaker acknowledges being in awe of others who possess the skill to effectively capture and convey such intricate and chaotic dialogue in their writing.
The trade of advertising is now so near perfection that it is not easy to propose any improvement. But as every art ought to be exercised in due subordination to the public good, I cannot but propose it as a moral question to these masters of the public ear, whether they do not sometimes play too wantonly with our passions.
A quarter-horse jockey learns to think of a twenty-second race as if it were occurring across twenty minutes--in distinct parts, spaced in his consciousness. Each nuance of the ride comes to him as he builds his race. If you can do the opposite with deep time, living in it and thinking in it until the large numbers settle into place, you can sense how swiftly the initial earth packed itself together, how swiftly continents have assembled and come apart, how far and rapidly continents travel, how quickly mountains rise and how quickly they disintegrate and disappear.