Two Quotes

We tell ourselves stories in order to live…We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the “ideas”, with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.

~Joan Didion “The White Album”

I distrust summaries, any kind of gliding through time, any too great a claim that one is in control of what one recounts; I think someone who claims to write with emotion recollected in tranquility, is a fool and a liar. To understand is to tremble. To recollect is to re-enter and be riven…I admire the authority of being on one’s knees in front of the event.

~Harold Brodkey “Manipulations”


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