Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

“Every book is different and the editor’s job is always the same: to work with the writer in the way they want to be supported, to understand as well as possible what it is the writer has set out to do, and to point out any places where the editor believes that the author has not lived up to the expectations they have created. It’s an intimate process, and an extraordinary trust to be allowed to see a writer’s work before it goes out into the world.”

– Editor Michael Pietsch in conversation with Donna Tartt on Slate

Quote of the day

A bit longer today, but so beautiful:

“And as the ax bites into the wood, be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it. And when you resent the ache in your heart, remember: You will be dead and buried soon enough.

Keep reading…

Quote of the day

“Karma drags one far away,
and it drags one from afar.
It drags a creature to that place
where his karma will mature.”

– Andy Rotman (translator), “The Story of Rudrāyaṇa” in
Divine Stories: Translations from the Divyāvadāna Part 2 (forthcoming)

Quote of the day

“When we talk about the writer’s country we are liable to forget that no matter what particular country it is, it is inside as well as outside him. Art requires a delicate adjustment of the outer and inner worlds in such a way that, without changing their nature, they can be seen through each other. To know oneself is to know one’s region. It is also to know the world, and it is also, paradoxically, a form of exile from that world. The writer’s value is lost, both to himself and to his country, as soon as he ceases to see that country as a part of himself, and to know oneself is, above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against Truth, and not the other way around. The first product of self-knowledge is humility, and this is not a virtue conspicuous in any national character.”

– Flannery O’Connor, “The Fiction Writer & His Country” in Mystery & Manners

Quote of the day

“But our notebooks give us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable ‘I.’ We are not talking here about the kind of notebook that is patently for public consumption, a structural conceit for binding together a series of graceful pensées; we are talking about something private, about bits of the mind’s string too short to use, an indiscriminate and erratic assemblage with meaning only for its maker.”

– Joan Didion, “On Keeping a Notebook” in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Quote of the day

“The art of editing is running against the cultural tide. We are in an age of volume; editing is about refinement. It’s about getting deeper into a piece, its ideas, its structure, its language. It’s a handmade art, a craft. You don’t learn it overnight. Editing aims at making a piece more like a Stradivarius and less like a microchip. And as the media universe becomes larger and more filled with microchips, we need the violin makers.”

– Gary Kamiya,

Quote of the day

“Language is like a wish-conferring cow that gives what is desirable to those who can use it in the proper manner. For others it will only impart bovine qualities.”

– Charles Hallisey’s translation of the 10th-century Siyabaslakara

Quote of the day

“Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.”

– Susan Cain’s Manifesto

Quote of the day

“Despair young and never look back.”

– Samuel Beckett via The Cat’s Table