Interview Quotes

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I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein
Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way.
Seamus Heaney (Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney)
Peeta, you said at the interview you’d had a crush on me forever. When did forever start? Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair...it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up." Your father? Why?" He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner.'" What? You’re making that up!" No, true story. And I said, 'A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?' And he said, 'Because when he sings...even the birds stop to listen.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Definition of rock journalism: People who can't write, doing interviews with people who can't think, in order to prepare articles for people who can't read.
Frank Zappa (The Real Frank Zappa Book)
I want to grow a flower for every time someone tells me “F*** you.” Then I’ll go back to that person and pin the flower on their lapel in a gesture of friendship. And while they are looking down on it in astonishment, I’ll bunch up my knuckles and punch them in the face.
Jarod Kintz (I Want Two apply for a job at our country's largest funeral home, and then wear a suit and noose to the job interview.)
Interviewer: 'So Frank, you have long hair. Does that make you a woman?' Frank Zappa: 'You have a wooden leg. Does that make you a table?
Frank Zappa
My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus." [The Science of Second-Guessing (New York Times Magazine Interview, December 12, 2004)]
Stephen Hawking
I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day." (Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)
Gail Carriger
Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.
William S. Burroughs (The Job: Interviews with William S. Burroughs)
Liam, shut up. I'm trying to do an interview
Niall Horan
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more, From these our interviews, in which I steal From all I may be, or have been before, To mingle with the Universe, and feel What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Lord Byron (Childe Harold's Pilgrimage)
Anger ... it's a paralyzing emotion ... you can't get anything done. People sort of think it's an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don't think it's any of that — it's helpless ... it's absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers ... and anger doesn't provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever." [Interview with CBS radio host Don Swaim, September 15, 1987.]
Toni Morrison
There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words." [Interview, The Paris Review, Summer 1956]
Dorothy Parker
I don't profess any religion; I don't think it’s possible that there is a God; I have the greatest difficulty in understanding what is meant by the words ‘spiritual’ or ‘spirituality.' [Interview, The New Yorker, Dec. 26, 2005]
Philip Pullman
The world changes, we do not, therein lies the irony that kills us.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire)
In most cases, the best strategy for a job interview is to be fairly honest, because the worst thing that can happen is that you won't get the job and will spend the rest of your life foraging for food in the wilderness and seeking shelter underneath a tree or the awning of a bowling alley that has gone out of business.
Lemony Snicket (Horseradish)
People don't read any more. It's a sad state of affairs. Reading's the only thing that allows you to use your imagination. When you watch films it's someone else's vision, isn't it?" [Interview in The Independent, 15 October 2005]
Lemmy Kilmister
Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, then it's not the end.
Ed Sheeran
I always felt like I was meant to have been born in another era, another time.
Johnny Depp
She should've interviewed Snape," said Harry grimly. "He'd give her the goods on me any day. "Potter has been crossing lines ever since he first arrived at this school...
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
I want to gather up all the ink cartridges in the universe, because somewhere, mixed in with all that ink, is the next great American novel. And I’d love nothing more than to drink it.
Jarod Kintz (I Want Two apply for a job at our country's largest funeral home, and then wear a suit and noose to the job interview.)
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body; it calls attention to the development of an unhealthy state of things. If it is heeded in time, danger may be averted; if it is suppressed, a fatal distemper may develop." [New Statesman interview, 7 January 1939]
Winston S. Churchill
And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.
Paulo Coelho
Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That's why it's so hard." (Interview with NEH chairman Bruce Cole, Humanities, July/Aug. 2002, Vol. 23/No. 4)
David McCullough
I am not gay, although I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes.
Kurt Cobain
Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
If she could have done one thing to make absolutely sure that every single person in this school will read your interview, it was banning it!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Because this absolutely insane - the craziest thing I'd ever done. Worse than giving a one-star review, scarier than asking for an interview with an author I'd give my firstborn to eat lunch with, more stupid than kissing Daemon.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
Consequently, if you believe God made Satan, you must realize that all Satan's power comes from God and so that Satan is simply God's child, and that we are God's children also. There are no children of Satan, really.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
I never lie," I said offhand. "At least not to those I don't love.
Anne Rice (The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles, #2))
Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
E.L. Doctorow (Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews (2nd Series))
The only power that exists is inside ourselves.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
Harry and Hermione are very platonic friends. But I won't answer for anyone else, nudge-nudge wink-wink!
J.K. Rowling
A writer - and, I believe, generally all persons - must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
Jorge Luis Borges (Twenty-Four Conversations with Borges: Interviews by Roberto Alifano 1981-1983)
To me, history ought to be a source of pleasure. It isn't just part of our civic responsibility. To me, it's an enlargement of the experience of being alive, just the way literature or art or music is." [The Title Always Comes Last; NEH 2003 Jefferson Lecturer interview profile]
David McCullough
Just think how many books I could've sold if Harry had been a bit more creative with his wand." -[On the success of 50 Shades of Grey]
J.K. Rowling
It was as if when I looked into his eyes I was standing alone on the edge of the world...on a windswept ocean beach. There was nothing but the soft roar of the waves.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
When you look at what C.S. Lewis is saying, his message is so anti-life, so cruel, so unjust. The view that the Narnia books have for the material world is one of almost undisguised contempt. At one point, the old professor says, ‘It’s all in Plato’ — meaning that the physical world we see around us is the crude, shabby, imperfect, second-rate copy of something much better. I want to emphasize the simple physical truth of things, the absolute primacy of the material life, rather than the spiritual or the afterlife. [The New York Times interview, 2000]
Philip Pullman
People who cease to believe in God or goodness altogether still believe in the devil... Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.
Isaac Asimov
Interviewer: So. Tell me about your mother. Ezra: You're taping this, right? Interviewer: Audio only. Camera is faulty. Ezra: Okay, well for the benefit of the sight-impaired, I am now raising my… oh, dear… yes, it's my MIDDLE finger at Mr. Postgrad here. Interviewer: Mr. Mason... Ezra: Now I'm wiggling it. Interviewer: Terminating interview at 13:58 on 03/19/75. Ezra: Look at it wiggl- -audio ends-
Amie Kaufman (Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1))
Interviewer: Didn't Sagan want to believe? Druyan: he didn't want to believe. he wanted to know.
Ann Druyan
How?" I demanded. "How could you have screwed this one up?" "When I got in, they said the manager was on the phone and would be a few minutes. So, I sat down and ordered a drink." This time, I did lean my forehead against the steering wheel. "What did you order?" "A martini." "A martini." I lifted my head. "You ordered a martini before a job interview." "It's a bar, Sage. I figured they'd be cool with it.
Richelle Mead (Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1))
Like all strong people, she suffered always a measure of loneliness; she was a marginal outsider, a secret infidel of a certain sort.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
I want to say something so embarrassing about September that even the leaves start blushing and turning red.
Jarod Kintz (I Want Two apply for a job at our country's largest funeral home, and then wear a suit and noose to the job interview.)
So Mr.Bass why do you think you should become an Usher?" asked the interviewer.Chuck smiled. Because I'm Chuck Bass.
Cecily von Ziegesar (Would I Lie to You (Gossip Girl, #10))
I asked the Zebra, are you black with white stripes? Or white with black stripes? And the zebra asked me, Are you good with bad habits? Or are you bad with good habits? Are you noisy with quiet times? Or are you quiet with noisy times? Are you happy with some sad days? Or are you sad with some happy days? Are you neat with some sloppy ways? Or are you sloppy with some neat ways? And on and on and on and on and on and on he went. I’ll never ask a zebra about stripes...again.
Shel Silverstein
I'm a little bit naked, but that's okay.
Lady Gaga
It is one thing to describe an interview with a gorgon or a griffin, a creature who does not exist. It is another thing to discover that the rhinoceros does exist and then take pleasure in the fact that he looks as if he didn't.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Ezra: And then I said it. Interviewer; What did he say? Kady Grant: He said, ‘You picked a hell of a day to dump me, Kades.
Amie Kaufman (Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1))
I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief... I'm not in the business of offending people. I find the books upholding certain values that I think are important, such as life is immensely valuable and this world is an extraordinarily beautiful place. We should do what we can to increase the amount of wisdom in the world. [Washington Post interview, 19 February 2001]
Philip Pullman
You have a very open relationship with your fans." "Yes. We have an open relationship. Obviously they can see other authors if they want, and I can see other readers.
Neil Gaiman
I think that my job is to observe people and the world, and not to judge them. I always hope to position myself away from so-called conclusions. I would like to leave everything wide open to all the possibilities in the world.
Haruki Murakami
Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up? It’s ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.
Chetan Bhagat
I want to read the employment section of the Bible. I think it’s simply called Job.
Jarod Kintz (I Want Two apply for a job at our country's largest funeral home, and then wear a suit and noose to the job interview.)
In his suicide note, Kurt Cobain wrote, "It's better to burn out than to fade away." He was quoting a Neil Young song about Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols. When I was twenty-four, I interviewed John Lennon. I asked him about this sentiment, one that pervades rock and roll. He took strong, outraged exception to it. "It's better to fade away like an old soldier than to burn out, " he said. "I worship people who survive. I'll take the living and the healthy.
David Sheff (Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction)
This should be a pleasant little interview. All I have to do is put on my scary face." "You have a scary face?" Ingrid sounded skeptical. "Yes," said Myfanwy indignantly. "I have a very scary face." Ingrid surveyed her for a moment. "You may wish to take off the cardigan then, Rook Thomas," she advised tactfully. "The flowers on the pocket detract somewhat from your menace.
Daniel O'Malley (The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1))
Ambrose, your presence is the horseshit frosting on the horseshit cake that is the admissions interview process.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
It really seems to me that in the midst of great tragedy, there is always the horrible possibility that something terribly funny will happen.
Philip K. Dick
And I realized that I’d tolerated him this long because of self-doubt.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
Who can tell me which president had a cross-eyed wife with a bad case of the uglies?" Chaney asked. "Make sure you get that down," Travis whispered. "I'm gonna need to know that for job interviews.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
If I won't be myself, who will?
Alfred Hitchcock (Alfred Hitchcock: Interviews)
[On writing:] "There's a great quote by Julius Irving that went, 'Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don't feel like doing them.'" (One On 1, interview with Budd Mishkin; NY1, March 25, 2007.)
David Halberstam (Everything They Had: Sports Writing)
An interview: Interviewer: How do you sleep with long hair? Paul McCartney: How do you sleep with short hair? George Harrison: How do you sleep with your arms and legs still attached? Paul: It's just as much bother. Less, even. John Lennon: Short hair has to be trimmed. Ringo Starr: Yeah. John: That's why we have parties! Paul: Yeah, that must be it! We can't sleep with all this long hair!
The Beatles
Interviewer: What is your greatest regret? Gorey: That I don't have one
Edward Gorey (Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey)
Life is a play that does not allow testing. So, sing, cry, dance, laugh and live intensely, before the curtain closes and the piece ends with no applause.
Charlie Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin: Interviews)
I don't accept the currently fashionable assertion that any view is automatically as worthy of respect as any equal and opposite view. My view is that the moon is made of rock. If someone says to me 'Well, you haven't been there, have you? You haven't seen it for yourself, so my view that it is made of Norwegian Beaver Cheese is equally valid' - then I can't even be bothered to argue. There is such a thing as the burden of proof, and in the case of god, as in the case of the composition of the moon, this has shifted radically. God used to be the best explanation we'd got, and we've now got vastly better ones. God is no longer an explanation of anything, but has instead become something that would itself need an insurmountable amount of explaining. So I don't think that being convinced that there is no god is as irrational or arrogant a point of view as belief that there is. I don't think the matter calls for even-handedness at all.
Douglas Adams
Extremism is so easy. You've got your position, and that's it. It doesn't take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right you meet the same idiots coming around from the left. (Interview, Time Magazine, February 20, 2005)
Clint Eastwood
Do you know what it means to be loved by Death?... Do you know what it means to have Death know your name?
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
Evil is a point of view. We are immortal. And what we have before us are the rich feasts that conscience cannot appreciate and mortal men cannot know without regret. God kills, and so shall we; indiscriminately He takes the richest and the poorest, and so shall we; for no creatures under God are as we are, none so like Him as ourselves, dark angels not confined to the stinking limits of hell but wandering His earth and all its kingdoms.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
Your hair is still wet!
Justin Bieber
If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away. The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, “Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.” And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently. (Steve Jobs)
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
It was as if the empty nights were made for thinking of him. And sometimes I found myself so vividly aware of him it was as if he had only just left the room and the ring of his voice were still there. And somehow, there was a disturbing comfort in that, and, despite myself, I’d envision his face.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
As if the night had said to me, ‘You are the night and the night alone understands you and enfolds you in its arms’ One with the shadows. Without nightmare. An inexplicable peace.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
I'm relieved Peeta's alive. I tell myself again that if I get killed, his winnings will benefit my mother and Prim the most. This is what I tell myself to explain the conflicting emotions that arise when I think of Peeta. The gratitude that he game an edge by professing his love for me in the interview. The anger at his superiority on the roof. The dread that we may come face-to-face at any moment in this arena.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Interviews seem like such artificial situations, everyone on their best behavior trying desperately to hide behind a professional facade. Did my face fit? I shall have to wait and see.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1))
How pathetic it is to describe these things which can't truly be described.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
All men are created equal. Now matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.
Harvey Milk (The Harvey Milk Interviews: In His Own Words)
And what constitutes evil, real evil, is the taking of a single human life. Whether a man would die tomorrow or the day after or eventually... it doesn't matter. Because if God does not exist, then life... every second of it... Is all we have.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
This story ["The Depressed Person"] was the most painful thing I ever wrote. It's about narcissism, which is a part of depression. The character has traits of myself. I really lost friends while writing on that story, I became ugly and unhappy and just yelled at people. The cruel thing with depression is that it's such a self-centered illness - Dostoevsky shows that pretty good in his "Notes from Underground". The depression is painful, you're sapped/consumed by yourself; the worse the depression, the more you just think about yourself and the stranger and repellent you appear to others.
David Foster Wallace
Reader: Dear Mr. Snicket, What is the best way to keep a secret? Lemony Snicket : Tell it to everyone you know, but pretend you are kidding.
Lemony Snicket
Yeah, about the test... The test will measure whether you are an informed, engaged, and productive citizen of the world, and it will take place in schools and bars and hospitals and dorm rooms and in places of worship. You will be tested on first dates, in job interviews, while watching football, and while scrolling through your Twitter feed. The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you’ll be easily persuaded by empty political rhetoric, and whether you’ll be able to place your life and your community in a broader context. The test will last your entire life, and it will be comprised of the millions of decisions that, when taken together, will make your life yours. And everything, everything, will be on it. ...I know, right?
John Green
You accused me of murder. Do you make a habit of bringing schoolgirls into an interview room with murder suspects?' He waved his hand. 'Oh, I was only joking about that. I don't really think you murdered someone. Unless you did, in which case I reserve the right to say I knew it all along.
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you...And you...And you...Gotta give em hope.
Harvey Milk (The Harvey Milk Interviews: In His Own Words)
I'm a real self-educated kind of guy. I read voraciously. Every book I ever bought, I have. I can't throw it away. It's physically impossible to leave my hand! Some of them are in warehouses. I've got a library that I keep the ones I really really like. I look around my library some nights and I do these terrible things to myself--I count up the books and think, how long I might have to live and think, '[email protected]#%k, I can't read two-thirds of these books.' It overwhelms me with sadness." --David Bowie, quoted in the Daily Beast in a 2002 interview with Bob Guccione, Jr.
David Bowie
I was a newborn vampire, weeping at the beauty of the night.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
Zane hurried to catch up. “Wait, Ty, you want to do that with her with us?" “She’s a year old. She won’t understand death and destruction for at least another year.” “If we ever decide to adopt, you’re a mute in any interviews.” “Understood.
Abigail Roux (Ball & Chain (Cut & Run, #8))
[A]lways get to the dialogue as soon as possible. I always feel the thing to go for is speed. Nothing puts the reader off more than a big slab of prose at the start." (Interview, The Paris Review, Issue 64, Winter 1975)
P.G. Wodehouse
Every moment must be first known and then savored.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
While Adrian was interviewing in the back, I got a table and some coffee. Trey came to visit me after about fifteen minutes. "Is that really your brother?" he demanded. "Yes," I said, hoping I sounded convincing. "When you said he was looking for a job, I pictured a male version of you. I figured he'd want to color code the cups or something." "What's your point?" I asked. Trey shook his head. "My point is that you'd better keep looking. I was just back there and overheard him talking with my manager. She was explaining the cleanup he would have to do each night. Then he said something about his hands and manual labor.
Richelle Mead (Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1))
A Master without a submissive is a guy. Just a guy. He needs someone who wishes to submit to him, in order to become a Master.
Jason Luke (Interview with a Master (Interview with a Master, #1))
There’s nothing like that feeling of waiting for a guy. It’s the loneliest feeling in the world. Holding that cell phone in your hand as you take out the trash, use the bathroom, change the litter box. Fearful that the one second you aren’t looking will be when they call. Pathetic. And something I have done as recently as last week.
Hilary Winston (My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me: And Other Stories I Shouldn't Share with Acquaintances, Coworkers, Taxi drivers, Assistants, Job Interviewers, Bikini Waxers, and Ex/Current/Future Boyfriends but Have)
Besides getting several paper cuts in the same day or receiving the news that someone in your family has betrayed you to your enemies, one of the most unpleasant experiences in life is a job interview.
Lemony Snicket (The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9))
Don't you see? I'm not the spirit of any age. I'm at odds with everything and always have been! I have never belonged anywhere with anyone at any time!
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
In the spring of 1988, I returned to New Orleans, and as soon as I smelled the air, I knew I was home. It was rich, almost sweet, like the scent of jasmine and roses around our old courtyard. I walked the streets, savoring that long lost perfume.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
I want to mail my mailman something. He always brings me mail, yet I never give him any mail. Maybe he will appreciate the thought, or maybe he will feel I am making more work for him.
Jarod Kintz (I Want Two apply for a job at our country's largest funeral home, and then wear a suit and noose to the job interview.)
Don't be a fool for the Devil, darling.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
I don't know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower.
Banksy
The whole idea of god is absurd. If anything, '2001' shows that what some people call 'god' is simply an acceptable term for their ignorance. What they don't understand, they call 'god' -Stanley Kubrick, interview, 1963
Stanley Kubrick
Observation is a dying art.
Stanley Kubrick (Stanley Kubrick: Interviews)
Nature is what we know. We do not know the gods of religions. And nature is not kind, or merciful, or loving. If God made me — the fabled God of the three qualities of which I spoke: mercy, kindness, love — He also made the fish I catch and eat. And where do His mercy, kindness, and love for that fish come in? No; nature made us — nature did it all — not the gods of the religions. [October 2, 1910, interview in the NY Times Magazine]
Thomas A. Edison
I don't see what women see in other women," I'd told Doctor Nolan in my interview that noon. "What does a woman see in a woman that she can't see in a man?" Doctor Nolan paused. Then she said, "Tenderness.
Sylvia Plath
I know my own reasons for keeping Peeta alive. He's my friend, and this is my way to defy the Capitol, to subvert its terrible Games. But if I had no real ties to him, what would make me want to save him, to choose him over myself? Certainly he is brave, but we have all been brave enough to survive a Games. There is that quality of goodness that's hard to overlook, but stil... and then I think of it, what Peeta can do so much better than the rest of us. He can use words. He obliterated the rest of the field at both interviews. And maybe it's because of that underlying goodness that he can move a crowd--no, a country--to his side with the turn of a simple sentence. I remember thinking that was the gift the leader of our revolution should have. Has Haymitch convinced the others of this? That Peeta's tongue would have far greater power against the Capitol than any physical strength the rest of us could claim? I don't know. It still seems like a really long leap for some of the tributes. I mean, we're talking about Johanna Mason here. But what other explanation can there be for their decided efforts to keep him alive?
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
General fiction is pretty much about ways that people get into problems and screw their lives up. Science fiction is about everything else.
Marvin Minsky
Interview? Oh don't be ridiculous.
Freddie Mercury
Bigfoot was interviewed on The Patty Winters Show this morning and to my shock I found him surprisingly articulate and charming.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
I think being a liberal, in the true sense, is being nondoctrinaire, nondogmatic, non-committed to a cause - but examining each case on its merits. Being left of center is another thing; it's a political position. I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they're not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen. If they're preordained dogmatists for a cause, then they can't be very good journalists; that is, if they carry it into their journalism." [Interview with Ron Powers (Chicago Sun Times) for Playboy, 1973]
Walter Cronkite
I love you still, that's the torment of it. Lestat I never loved. But you! The measure of my hatred is that love. They are the same! Do you know now how much I hate you!
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
the psychological need to believe that others take you as seriously as you take yourself. There is nothing particularly wrong with it, as psychological needs go, but yet of course we should always remember that a deep need for anything from other people makes us easy pickings.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
I was born very far from where I'm supposed to be, and so I'm on my way home.
Bob Dylan (No Direction Home: Bob Dylan)
I lived like a man who wanted to die but who had no courage to do it himself.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
Before I die, I want to change my name to "Here," so that my tombstone could simply read, "Here lies." And then people who knew me could walk by, shake their head, and say, "Ain't that the truth.
Jarod Kintz (I Want Two apply for a job at our country's largest funeral home, and then wear a suit and noose to the job interview.)
Libraries are the thin red line between civilization and barbarism." [Libraries on the Front Lines, ALA interview 2011]
Neil Gaiman
Jon Spiro had not hired Pex and Chips for their debating sills. In the job interview, they had only been set one task. A hundred applicants were handed a walnut and asked to smash it however they could. Only two succeeded. Pex had shouted at the walnut for a few minutes, then flattened it between his giant palms. Chips had opted for a more controversial method. He placed the walnut on the table, grabbed is interviewer by the ponytail, and used the man's forehead to smash the nut. Both men were hired on the spot. They quickly established themselves as Arno Blunt's most reliable leiutenants for in-house work. They were not allowed outside Chicago, as this could involve map reading, something Pex and Chips were not very good at.
Eoin Colfer (The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl #3))
But then, that’s the beauty of writing stories—each one is an exploratory journey in search of a reason and a shape. And when you find that reason and that shape, there’s no feeling like it." [Peter Wild Interviews TC Boyle, 3:AM Magazine, June 2003]
T. Coraghessan Boyle
It wasn’t about physical domination for me. It still isn’t. It’s about that emotional transfer of power: the command and control. That’s what turns me on, Leticia. That’s what I find so addictive about being a Master. I love the power, given to me by the submissive.
Jason Luke (Interview with a Master (Interview with a Master, #1))
Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down." (CBS 60 Minutes interview, March 6, 1983)
Grace Murray Hopper
I don't believe in being serious about anything. I think life is too serious to be taken seriously." [Writer’s Digest Interview (Robert Jacobs, Writer’s Digest, February 1976)]
Ray Bradbury
Peeta,” I say lightly. “You said at the interview you’d had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?” “Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up,” Peeta says. “Your father? Why?” I ask. “He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner,’” Peeta says. “What? You’re making that up!” I exclaim. “No, true story,” Peeta says. “And I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings... even the birds stop to listen.’” “That’s true. They do. I mean, they did,” I say. I’m stunned and surprisingly moved, thinking of the baker telling this to Peeta. It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think it’s a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father. “So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent,” Peeta says. “Oh, please,” I say, laughing. “No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew—just like your mother—I was a goner,” Peeta says. “Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.” “Without success,” I add. “Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck,” says Peeta. For a moment, I’m almost foolishly happy and then confusion sweeps over me. Because we’re supposed to be making up this stuff, playing at being in love not actually being in love. But Peeta’s story has a ring of truth to it. That part about my father and the birds. And I did sing the first day of school, although I don’t remember the song. And that red plaid dress... there was one, a hand-me-down to Prim that got washed to rags after my father’s death. It would explain another thing, too. Why Peeta took a beating to give me the bread on that awful hollow day. So, if those details are true... could it all be true? “You have a... remarkable memory,” I say haltingly. “I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.” “I am now,” I say. “Well, I don’t have much competition here,” he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can’t. It’s as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, “Say it! Say it!” I swallow hard and get the words out. “You don’t have much competition anywhere.” And this time, it’s me who leans in.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Let the flesh instruct the mind.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
I hope you remember that if you encounter an obstacle on the road, don’t think of it as an obstacle at all… think of it as a challenge to find a new path on the road less traveled.
Hyeonseo Lee (The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story)
Creative work is often driven by pain. It may be that if you don't have something in the back of your head driving you nuts, you may not do anything. It's not a good arrangement. If I were God, I wouldn't have done it that way. [Interview, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20, 2009]
Cormac McCarthy
Every woman who is aroused by submission is also aroused by an alpha male who can tame her. These women aren’t looking for a husband in the bedroom who will make them feel safe and loved. They already have that in their relationship. These women are looking for a man who is strong enough to conquer them. That way the woman can still feel vibrant and independent… but also feel comfortable submitting to their lover. That’s the turn-on for women. They don’t want to be submissives… they want to feel like they can’t resist submitting.
Jason Luke (Interview with a Master (Interview with a Master, #1))
I think that perhaps if I had had to slow down the ideas so that I could capture them on paper I might have stifled some of them.
J.K. Rowling
We actually wanted to ask you a few questions. About the interview you did this morning." At the mention of her KTVU debut, Caitlyn softened a little. "You saw that?" I nodded. "How did I look on camera?" Her grief was touching.
Gemma Halliday (Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool, #1))
In researching this volume, I interviewed veterans who had been at the front during World War II. I read countless books, examined film footage, and listened to many detailed and intense stories firsthand, but the one comment that affected me the most came from a former soldier who lowered his gaze to the tabletop and said, ‘I never watch war movies.
Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist Complete Box Set)
how come you're so ugly?" "my life has hardly been pretty — the hospitals, the jails, the jobs, the women, the drinking. some of my critics claim that i have deliberately inflicted myself with pain. i wish that some of my critics had been along with me for the journey. it’s true that i haven't always chosen easy situations but that's a hell of a long ways from saying that i leaped into the oven and locked the door. hangover, the electric needle, bad booze, bad women, madness in small rooms, starvation in the land of plenty, god knows how i got so ugly, i guess it just comes from being slugged and slugged again and again, and not going down, still trying to think, to feel, still trying to put the butterfly back together again…it’s written a map on my face that nobody would ever want to hang on their wall. sometimes i’ll see myself somewhere…suddenly…say in a large mirror in a supermarket…eyes like little mean bugs…face scarred, twisted, yes, i look insane, demented, what a mess…spilled vomit of skin…yet, when i see the “handsome” men i think, my god my god, i’m glad i’m not them
Charles Bukowski (Charles Bukowski: Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews and Encounters 1963-1993)
Hope is essential to any political struggle for radical change when the overall social climate promotes disillusionment and despair.
bell hooks (Talking About a Revolution: Interviews with Michael Albert, Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, bell hooks, Peter Kwong, Winona LaDuke, Manning Marable, Urvashi Vaid, and Howard Zinn)
You know, they ask me if I were on a desert island and I knew nobody would ever see what I wrote, would I go on writing. My answer is most emphatically yes. I would go on writing for company. Because I'm creating an imaginary — it's always imaginary — world in which I would like to live. (Interview, The Paris Review)
William S. Burroughs
What girl doesn't love the tortured bad boy? I think when it comes to bad boys, girls/women have this desire to step forward and try to rescue that sort of individual. It is very appealing to the nurturer inside us I think." - author Lacey Weatherford during an interview on whether she was a bad boy kinda girl
Lacey Weatherford
Rights are won only by those who make their voices heard.
Harvey Milk (The Harvey Milk Interviews: In His Own Words)
I couldn’t understand what the Taliban were trying to do. “They are abusing our religion,” I said in interviews. “How will you accept Islam if I put a gun to your head and say Islam is the true religion? If they want every person in the world to be Muslim, why don’t they show themselves to be good Muslims first?
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
You see that old woman? That will never happen to you. You will never grow old, and you will never die. And it means something else too, doesn't it? I shall never ever grow up.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
A starving child is a frightful sight. A starving vampire, even worse.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
[She] knew there were women who worked successfully out of the home. They ran businesses, created empires and managed to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children who went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard or became world-renowned concert pianists. Possibly both. These women accomplished all this while cooking gourmet meals, furnishing their homes with Italian antiques, giving clever, intelligent interviews with Money magazine and People, and maintaining a brilliant marriage with an active enviable sex life and never tipping the scale at an ounce over their ideal weight... She knew those women were out there. If she'd had a gun, she'd have hunted every last one of them down and shot them like rabid dogs for the good of womankind.
Nora Roberts (Birthright)
I want to be the Everyman and take an IQ test and get a perfect 100.
Jarod Kintz (I Want Two apply for a job at our country's largest funeral home, and then wear a suit and noose to the job interview.)
I heard a story about her once,' said James. 'She was interviewing a psychopath. She showed him a picture of a frightened face and asked him to identify the emotion. He said he didn't know what the emotion was but it was the face people pulled just before he killed them.
Jon Ronson (The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry)
I said to myself: what if I woke up, and every single day I did everything within my ability during that day to change my life. What could happen in just a month? A year?
Liz Murray
LIFE HAS NO PLOT, WHY MUST FILMS OR FICTION?
Jim Jarmusch (Jim Jarmusch: Interviews)
I allowed myself to forget how totally I had fallen in love with Lestat's iridescent eyes, that I'd sold my soul for a many-colored and luminescent thing, thinking that a highly reflective surface conveyed the power to walk on water.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
In the old days, before I was married, or knew a lot of women, I would just pull down all the shades and go to bed for three or four days. I'd get up to shit. I'd eat a can of beans, go back to bed, just stay there for three or four days. Then I'd put on my clothes and I'd walk outside, and the sunlight was brilliant, and the sounds were great. I felt powerful, like a recharged battery. But you know the first bring-down? The first human face I saw on the sidewalk, I lost half my charge right there.
Charles Bukowski (Charles Bukowski: Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews and Encounters 1963-1993)
We seem to live in a world where forgetting and oblivion are an industry in themselves and very, very few people are remotely interested or aware of their own recent history, much less their neighbors'. I tend to think we are what we remember, what we know. The less we remember, the less we know about ourselves, the less we are. (Interview with Three Monkeys Online, October 2008)
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Reading is more important than writing.
Roberto Bolaño (The Last Interview and Other Conversations)
It was as if this night were only one of thousands of nights, world without end, night curving into night to make a great arching line of which I couldn’t see the end, a night in which I roamed alone under cold, mindless stars.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
I had an interview once with some German journalist—some horrible, ugly woman. It was in the early days after the communists—maybe a week after—and she wore a yellow sweater that was kind of see-through. She had huge tits and a huge black bra, and she said to me, ‘It’s impolite; remove your glasses.’ I said, ‘Do I ask you to remove your bra?
Karl Lagerfeld
Women need to feel loved in order to want sex. And men need sex, in order to feel loved.
Jason Luke (Interview with a Master (Interview with a Master, #1))
Women don't want to be forced to their knees. They want to be made to feel weak at the knees. Husbands and lovers need to make the woman in their life feel conquered.
Jason Luke (Interview with a Master (Interview with a Master, #1))
Who is better off? The one who writes to revel in the voluptuousness of the life that surrounds them? Or the one who writes to escape the tediousness of that which awaits them outside? Whose flame will last longer?
Roman Payne
When they were introduced, he made a witticism, hoping to be liked. She laughed extremely hard, hoping to be liked. Then each drove home alone, staring straight ahead, with the very same twist to their faces. The man who'd introduced them didn't much like either of them, though he acted as if he did, anxious as he was to preserve good relations at all times. One never knew, after all, now did one now did one now did one.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
I mean, the human race, we are a tribe, let's face it, and let's stop all this religious bullshit. I think everybody, or at least a lot of my friends, are just so exhausted with this whole self-importance of religious people. Just drop it. We're all fucking animals, so let's just make some universal tribal beat. We're pagan. Let's just march.
Björk
The depressed person was in terrible and unceasing pain, and the impossibility of sharing or articulating this pain was itself a component of the pain and a contributing factor in its essential horror.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
I see men assassinated around me every day. I walk through rooms of the dead, streets of the dead, cities of the dead; men without eyes, men without voices; men with manufactured feelings and standard reactions; men with newspaper brains, television souls and high school ideas. Kennedy himself was 9/10ths the way around the clock or he wouldn't have accepted such an enervating and enfeebling job -- meaning President of the United States of America. How can I be concerned with the murder of one man when almost all men, plus females, are taken from cribs as babies and almost immediately thrown into the masher?
Charles Bukowski (Charles Bukowski: Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews and Encounters 1963-1993)
Most of life is offline, and I think it always will be; eating and aching and sleeping and loving happen in the body. But it's not impossible to imagine losing my appetite for those things; they aren't always easy, and they take so much time. In twenty years I'd be interviewing air and water and heat just to remember they mattered.
Miranda July (It Chooses You)
I was at a loss suddenly; but conscious all the while of how Armand listened; that he listened in the way that we dream of others listening, his face seeming to reflect on every thing said. He did not start forward to seize on my slightest pause, to assert an understanding of something before the thought was finished, or to argue with a swift, irresistible impulse -- the things which often make dialogue impossible. And after a long interval he said, 'I want you. I want you more than anything in the world.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.
Brendan Behan (Brendan Behan, Interviews and Recollections)
I didn't feel physically sick. But mentally. My mind was twisting in so many ways. (...) We once saw a documentary on migraines. One of the men interviewed used to fall on his knees and bang his head against the floor, over and over during attacks. This diverted the pain from deep inside his brain, where he couldn't reach it, to a pain outside that he had control over.
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
If you’re purely after facts, please buy yourself the phone directory of Manhattan. It has four million times correct facts. But it doesn’t illuminate.
Werner Herzog
And I was -- this is just how I was afraid you'd take it. I knew it, that you'd think this means you were right to be afraid all the time and never feel secure or trust me. I knew it'd be 'See, you're leaving after all when you promised you wouldn't.' I knew it but I'm trying to explain anyway, okay? And I know you probably won't understand this either, but --wait-- just try to listen and maybe absorb this, okay? Ready? Me leaving is not the confirmation of all your fears about me. It is not. It's because of them. Okay? Can you see that? It's your fear I can't take. It's your distrust and fear I've been trying to fight. And I can't anymore. I'm out of gas on it. If I loved you even a little less maybe I could take it. But this is killing me, this constant feeling that I am always scaring you and never making you feel secure. Can you see that?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
For example, highly sensitive people tend to be keen observers who look before they leap. They arrange their lives in ways that limit surprises. They're often sensitive to sights, sounds, smells, pain, coffee. They have difficulty when being observed (at work, say, or performing at a music recital) or judged for general worthiness (dating, job interviews). But there are new insights. The highly sensitive tend to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than materialistic or hedonistic. They dislike small talk. They often describe themselves as creative or intuitive (just as Aron's husband had described her). They dream vividly, and can often recall their dreams the next day. They love music, nature, art, physical beauty. They feel exceptionally strong emotions -- sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear. Highly sensitive people also process information about their environments -- both physical and emotional -- unusually deeply. They tend to notice subtleties that others miss -- another person's shift in mood, say, or a lightbulb burning a touch too brightly.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Have you ever cheated on someone?" Whoa. Where did that come from? "Well?" Was this an interview to date her brother? Staring her straight in the eye so she would know I was being deadly serious, I replied more honestly than ever, trusting Ellie not to push me too much on the subject, "I never get close enough to anyone for that to be an issue.
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
She took a sort of abject pride in her mecilessness toward herself.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
The Potter books in general are a prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to bigotry. And I think it's one of the reasons that some people don't like the books, but I think that's it's a very healthy message to pass on to younger people that you should question authority and you should not assume that the establishment or the press tells you all of the truth.
J.K. Rowling
All the managers I interviewed had the same sense of identity and self-assurance. None of them were arrogant. Instead, they were clear about who they were and what needed accomplishing. They used that sense of self to engage their team and learn each team member’s strengths and contributions. Their courage and confidence were infectious to their team and to anyone who crossed their paths.
Raymond Wheeler (Lift: Five Practices Great Managers Do Consistently: Raise Performance and Morale - See Your Employees Thrive)
I went to the kitchen, found a glass in a cupboard and filled it with tap water. As a rule I never drank the stuff. Fish have sex in water… think about that…
Jason Luke (Interview with a Master (Interview with a Master, #1))
I have three rules to live by: Get your work done. If that doesn't work, shut up and drink your gin, and when all else fails, run like hell.
Ray Bradbury (Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews)
Good writing is clear. Talented writing is energetic. Good writing avoids errors. Talented writing makes things happen in the reader's mind---vividly, forcefully...
Samuel R. Delany (About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, & Five Interviews)
Anticipation is more potent than a whip and more compelling than handcuffs. The ability to tease and arouse a woman is a subtle skill few men ever bother to learn,” I said. “But learning the art of anticipation can make a woman go weak at the knees with longing.
Jason Luke (Interview with a Master (Interview with a Master, #1))
I think all of us are looking for that which does not admit of bullshit . . . If you tell me you can bench press 450, hell, we'll load up the bar and put you under it. Either you can do it or you can't do it—you can't bullshit. Ultimately, sports are just about as close to what one would call the truth as it is possible to get in this world.
Harry Crews (Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews)
Ah, come now. I look like an angel, but I'm not. The old rules of nature encompass many creatures like me. We're beautiful like the diamond-backed snake, or the striped tiger, yet we're merciless killers
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
A book is really like a lover. It arranges itself in your life in a way that is beautiful. Even as a kid, my sister, who was the eldest, brought books home for me, and I think I spent more time sniffing and touching them than reading. I just remember the joy of the book, the beauty of the binding. The smelling of the interior. Happy." [Interview with Emma Brockes, The Believer, November/December, 2012]
Maurice Sendak
I don't give a shit, Dad!" "Well I do! I absolutely give a shit! This will completely exhaust you." "It's my body. I can do what I like!" "So you don't care about your body now?" "No, I'm sick of it! I'm sick of doctors and needles and blood tests and transfusions. I'm sick of being stuck in a bed day after day while the rest of you get on with your lives. I hate it! I hate all of you! Adam's gone for a university interview, did you know that? He's going to be here for years doing whatever he likes and I'm going to be under the ground in a couple of weeks!
Jenny Downham (Before I Die)
A significant number of people believe tribal people still live and dress as they did 300 years ago. During my tenure as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, national news agencies requesting interviews sometimes asked if they could film a tribal dance or if I would wear traditional tribal clothing for the interview. I doubt they asked the president of the United States to dress like a pilgrim for an interview.
Wilma Mankiller
Cat doesn’t have to work. She’s a woman of independent means. I settled enough money on her to allow her the freedom to do anything she wished. She went to boarding school for four years, and stayed to teach for another two. Eventually she came to me and said she’d accepted a position as a governess for the Hathaway family. I believe you were in France with Win at the time. Cat went for the interview, Cam and Amelia liked her, Beatrix and Poppy clearly needed her, and no one seemed inclined to question her lack of experience.” “Of course not,” Leo said acidly. “My family would never bother with something so insignificant as job experience. I’m sure they started the interview by asking what her favorite color was.
Lisa Kleypas (Married By Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
Or, you know, you could interview the perfectly willing Epic walking beside you.” I coughed into my hand. “Well, um, this scheme may have started because I was thinking about how to rescue you from your powers. I figured if I knew how long it took, and what was required to hold an Epic … You know. It might help you.” “Aw,” she said. “That has to be the sweetest way someone has ever told me they were planning to kidnap and imprison me.
Brandon Sanderson (Firefight (The Reckoners, #2))
Okay, it's like this. You wake up, you watch TV, and you get in the car and you listen to the radio. You go to your little job or your little school, but you're not going to hear about that on the 6:00 news, since guess what. Nothing is really happening. You read the paper, or if you're into that sort of thing you read a book, which is just the same as watching only even more boring. You watch TV all night, or maybe you go out so you can watch a movie, and maybe you'll get a phone call so you can tell your friends what you've been watching. And you know, it's got so bad that I've started to notice, the people on TV? Inside the TV? Half the time they're watching TV. Or if you've got some romance in a movie? What to they do but go to a movie? All those people, Marlin," he invited the interviewer in with a nod. "What are they watching?" After an awkward silence, Marlin filled in, "You tell us, Kevin." "People like me.
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
That is the crowning evil, that we can even go so far as to love each other, you and I. And who else would show us a particle of love, a particle of compassion or mercy? Who else, knowing us as we know each other, could do anything but destroy us? Yet we can love each other.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
Mortal beauty often makes me ache, and mortal grandeur can fill me with that longing...but Paris, Paris drew me close to her heart, so I forgot myself entirely. Forgot the damned and questing preternatural thing that doted on mortal skin and mortal clothing. Paris overwhelmed, and lightened and rewarded more richly than any promise.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
Let my assure you, Brethren, that some day you will have a personal Priesthood interview with the Savior, Himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which He will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities. First, He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual? Second, He will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child. Third, He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence. Fourth, He will want a summary of your activity in your church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and a mission president are probably equals, but He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellowmen in your Church assignments. Fifth, He will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings. Sixth, He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world.
David O. McKay
One night a friend lent me a book of short stories by Franz Kafka. I went back to the pension where I was staying and began to read The Metamorphosis. The first line almost knocked me off the bed. I was so surprised. The first line reads, “As Gregor Samsa awoke that morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. . . .” When I read the line I thought to myself that I didn’t know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories.
Gabriel García Márquez
A summer rain had left the night clean and sparkling with drops of water. I leaned against the end pillar of the gallery, my head touching the soft tendrils of a jasmine which grew there in a constant battle with a wisteria, and I thought of what lay before me throughout the world and throughout time, and resolved to go about it delicately and reverently, learning that from each thing which would take me best to another.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
The trick to this solution is that you’d have to be 100% honest. Meaning not just sincere but almost naked. Worse than naked - more like unarmed. Defenseless. ‘This thing I feel, I can’t name it straight out but it seems important, do you feel it too?’ - this sort of direct question is not for the squeamish. For one thing, it’s perilously close to “Do you like me? Please like me,” which you know quite well that 99% of all interhuman manipulation and bullshit gamesmanship that goes on goes on precisely because the idea of saying this sort of thing straight out is regarded as somehow obsene. In fact one of the very last few interperonal taboos we have is kind of obscenely naked direct interrogation of somebody else. It looks pathetic and desperate. That’s how it’ll look to the reader. And it will have to. There’s no way around it.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
...What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might. When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day... If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things. Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology. The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased... I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim. I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do... I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation. The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study. ...Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now. [Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
Well to understand me, you need to understand the BDSM lifestyle. Not many people do. Most people have preconceived notions about the role of the Master and the role of the sub. I think if more people understood the reality, they’d be less inclined to classify the lifestyle as abusive, or demeaning. Those kind of comments come from ignorance.
Jason Luke (Interview with a Master (Interview with a Master, #1))
But during all these years I had a vague but persistent desire to return to New Orleans. I never forgot New Orleans. And when we were in tropical places and places of those flowers and trees that grow in Louisiana, I would think of it acutely and I would feel for my home the only glimmer of desire I felt for anything outside my endless pursuit of art.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
Paris was a universe whole and entire unto herself, hollowed and fashioned by history; so she seemed in this age of Napoleon III with her towering buildings, her massive cathedrals, her grand boulevards and ancient winding medieval streets--as vast and indestructible as nature itself. All was embraced by her, by her volatile and enchanted populace thronging the galleries, the theaters, the cafes, giving birth over and over to genius and sanctity, philosophy and war, frivolity and the finest art; so it seemed that if all the world outside her were to sink into darkness, what was fine, what was beautiful, what was essential might there still come to its finest flower. Even the majestic trees that graced and sheltered her streets were attuned to her--and the waters of the Seine, contained and beautiful as they wound through her heart; so that the earth on that spot, so shaped by blood and consciousness, had ceased to be the earth and had become Paris.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
Study, along the lines which the theologies have mapped, will never lead us to discovery of the fundamental facts of our existence. That goal must be attained by means of exact science and can only be achieved by such means. The fact that man, for ages, has superstitiously believed in what he calls a God does not prove at all that his theory has been right. There have been many gods – all makeshifts, born of inability to fathom the deep fundamental truth. There must be something at the bottom of existence, and man, in ignorance, being unable to discover what it is through reason, because his reason has been so imperfect, undeveloped, has used, instead, imagination, and created figments, of one kind or another, which, according to the country he was born in, the suggestions of his environment, satisfied him for the time being. Not one of all the gods of all the various theologies has ever really been proved. We accept no ordinary scientific fact without the final proof; why should we, then, be satisfied in this most mighty of all matters, with a mere theory? Destruction of false theories will not decrease the sum of human happiness in future, any more than it has in the past... The days of miracles have passed. I do not believe, of course, that there was ever any day of actual miracles. I cannot understand that there were ever any miracles at all. My guide must be my reason, and at thought of miracles my reason is rebellious. Personally, I do not believe that Christ laid claim to doing miracles, or asserted that he had miraculous power... Our intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the cells which make us up. There is no soul, distinct from mind, and what we speak of as the mind is just the aggregate intelligence of cells. It is fallacious to declare that we have souls apart from animal intelligence, apart from brains. It is the brain that keeps us going. There is nothing beyond that. Life goes on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals, or, for that matter, than in vegetables. Life, collectively, must be immortal, human beings, individually, cannot be, as I see it, for they are not the individuals – they are mere aggregates of cells. There is no supernatural. We are continually learning new things. There are powers within us which have not yet been developed and they will develop. We shall learn things of ourselves, which will be full of wonders, but none of them will be beyond the natural. [Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
Zombies are the middle children of the otherworldly family. Vampires are the oldest brother who gets to have a room in the attic, all tripped out with a disco ball and shag carpet. Werewolves are the youngest, the babies, always getting pinched and told they're cute. With all that attention stolen away from the middle child Zombie, no wonder she shuffles off grumbling, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.
Kevin James Breaux
Some years ago, there was a lovely philosopher of science and journalist in Italy named Giulio Giorello, and he did an interview with me. And I don’t know if he wrote it or not, but the headline in Corriere della Sera when it was published was "Sì, abbiamo un'anima. Ma è fatta di tanti piccoli robot – "Yes, we have a soul, but it’s made of lots of tiny robots." And I thought, exactly. That’s the view. Yes, we have a soul, but in what sense? In the sense that our brains, unlike the brains even of dogs and cats and chimpanzees and dolphins, our brains have functional structures that give our brains powers that no other brains have - powers of look-ahead, primarily. We can understand our position in the world, we can see the future, we can understand where we came from. We know that we’re here. No buffalo knows it’s a buffalo, but we jolly well know that we’re members of Homo sapiens, and it’s the knowledge that we have and the can-do, our capacity to think ahead and to reflect and to evaluate and to evaluate our evaluations, and evaluate the grounds for our evaluations. It’s this expandable capacity to represent reasons that we have that gives us a soul. But what’s it made of? It’s made of neurons. It’s made of lots of tiny robots. And we can actually explain the structure and operation of that kind of soul, whereas an eternal, immortal, immaterial soul is just a metaphysical rug under which you sweep your embarrassment for not having any explanation.
Daniel C. Dennett
You are the last Five left in the competition, yes? Do you think that hurts your chances of becoming the princess?" The word sprang from my lips without thought. "No!" "Oh, my! You do have a spirit there!" Gavril seemed pleased to have gotten such an enthusiastic response. "So you think you'll beat out all the others, then? Make it to the end?" I thought better of myself. "No, no. It's not like that. I don't think I'm better than any of the other girls; they're all amazing. It's just...I don't think Maxon would do that, just discount someone because of their caste." I heard a collective gasp. I ran over the sentence in my head. It took me a minute to catch my mistake: I'd called him Maxon. Saying that to another girl behind closed doors was one thing, but to say his name without the word "Prince" in front of it was incredibly informal in public. And I'd said it on live television. I looked to see if Maxon was angry. He had a calm smile on his face. So he wasn't mad...but I was embarrassed. I blushed fiercely. "Ah, so it seems you really have gotten to know our prince. Tell me, what do you think of Maxon?" I ahd thought of several answers while I was waiting for my turn. I was going to make fun of his laugh or talk about the pet name he wanted his wife to call him. It seemed like the only way to save the situation was to get back the comedy. But as I lifted my eyes to make one of my comments, I saw Maxon's face. He really wanted to know. And I couldn't poke fun at him, not when I had a chance to say what I'd really started to think now that he was my friend. I couldn't joke about the person who'd saved me from facing absolute heartbreak at home, who fed my family boxes of sweets, who ran to me worried that I was hurt if I asked for him. A month ago, I had looked at the TV and seen a stiff, distant, boring person-someone I couldn't imagine anyone loving. And while he wasn't anything close to the person I did love, he was worthy of having someone to love in his life. "Maxon Schreave is the epitome of all things good. He is going to be a phenomenal king. He lets girls who are supposed to be wearing dresses wear jeans and doesn't get mad when someone who doesn't know him clearly mislabels him." I gave Gavril a keen look, and he smiled. And behind him, Maxon looked intrigued. "Whoever he marries will be a lucky girl. And whatever happens to me, I will be honored to be his subject." I saw Maxon swallow, and I lowered my eyes. "America Singer, thank you so much." Gavril went to shake my hand. "Up next is Miss Tallulah Bell." I didn't hear what any of the girls said after me, though I stared at the two seats. That interview had become way more personal than I'd intended it to be. I couldn't bring myself to look at Maxon. Instead I sat there replaying my words again and again in my head.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Interviewer ...In the case of "American Psycho" I felt there was something more than just this desire to inflict pain--or that Ellis was being cruel the way you said serious artists need to be willing to be. DFW: You're just displaying the sort of cynicism that lets readers be manipulated by bad writing. I think it's a kind of black cynicism about today's world that Ellis and certain others depend on for their readership. Look, if the contemporary condition is hopelessly shitty, insipid, materialistic, emotionally retarded, sadomasochistic, and stupid, then I (or any writer) can get away with slapping together stories with characters who are stupid, vapid, emotionally retarded, which is easy, because these sorts of characters require no development. With descriptions that are simply lists of brand-name consumer products. Where stupid people say insipid stuff to each other. If what's always distinguished bad writing -- flat characters, a narrative world that's cliched and not recognizably human, etc. -- is also a description of today's world, then bad writing becomes an ingenious mimesis of a bad world. If readers simply believe the world is stupid and shallow and mean, then Ellis can write a mean shallow stupid novel that becomes a mordant deadpan commentary on the badness of everything. Look man, we'd probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is? In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what's human and magical that still live and glow despite the times' darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it'd find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it. You can defend "Psycho" as being a sort of performative digest of late-eighties social problems, but it's no more than that.
David Foster Wallace
Let me put it this way: You cannot live in the world without being in pain, spiritual and physical pain. We have developed mechanisms to deal with these pains, to overcome them somehow. Therapy, religion and spirituality, relationships, material success. All this can work, but also become a problem itself. The pursuit of happiness has even been put into the American constitution a couple centuries ago. Today we're so rich, we own much more than we need, we have liberties unknown before, even though they are endangered in the current political climate in the US - and we forget how wonderful it nevertheless is, compared to most other political and economic systems. We have a saying that goes: Give a man enough rope and he hangs himself.
David Foster Wallace
But criticism, for the most part, comes from the opposite place that book-enjoying should come from. To enjoy art one needs time, patience, and a generous heart, and criticism is done, by and large, by impatient people who have axes to grind. The worst sort of critics are (analogy coming) butterfly collectors - they chase something, ostensibly out of their search for beauty, then, once they get close, they catch that beautiful something, they kill it, they stick a pin through its abdomen, dissect it and label it. The whole process, I find, is not a happy or healthy one. Someone with his or her own shit figured out, without any emotional problems or bitterness or envy, instead of killing that which he loves, will simply let the goddamn butterfly fly, and instead of capturing and killing it and sticking it in a box, will simply point to it - "Hey everyone, look at that beautiful thing" - hoping everyone else will see the beautiful thing he has seen. Just as no one wants to grow up to be an IRS agent, no one should want to grow up to maliciously dissect books.
Dave Eggers
Now, I can tell you about some women writers who truly are fantastic. One is Anna Kavan. She writes stories like I approach "Land of a Thousand Dances": she's caught in a haze and then a light, a little teeny light, come through. It could be a leopard, that light, or it could be a spot of blood. It could be anything. But she hooks onto that and spirals out. And she does it within the accessible rhythms of plot, and that's really exciting. She's not hung up with being a woman, she just keeps extending herself, keeps telescoping language and plot. Another great woman writer is Iris Sarazan, who wrote The Runaway. She considered herself a mare, a wild runaway. She was a really intelligent girl stuck in all these convents with a hungry mind. I identify with her 'cause of her hunger to go beyond herself. She wound up in prison, but she escaped and wrote some great books before kicking off. Her books aren't page after page of her beating her breast about how shitty she's been treated, they're books about her exciting telescoping plans of escape. Rhythm, great wild rhythm.... The French poet, Rimbaud, predicted that the next great crop of writers would be women. He was the first guy who ever made a big women's liberation statement, saying that when women release themselves from the long servitude of men they're really gonna gush. New rhythms, new poetries, new horrors, new beauties. And I believe in that completely. (1976 Penthouse interview)
Patti Smith
The only dream I ever had was the dream of New York itself, and for me, from the minute I touched down in this city, that was enough. It became the best teacher I ever had. If your mother is anything like mine, after all, there are a lot of important things she probably didn't teach you: how to use a vibrator; how to go to a loan shark and pull a loan at 17 percent that's due in thirty days; how to hire your first divorce attorney; what to look for in a doula (a birth coach) should you find yourself alone and pregnant. My mother never taught me how to date three people at the same time or how to interview a nanny or what to wear in an ashram in India or how to meditate. She also failed to mention crotchless underwear, how to make my first down payment on an apartment, the benefits of renting verses owning, and the difference between a slant-6 engine and a V-8 (in case I wanted to get a muscle car), not to mention how to employ a team of people to help me with my life, from trainers to hair colorists to nutritionists to shrinks. (Luckily, New York became one of many other moms I am to have in my lifetime.) So many mothers say they want their daughters to be independent, but what they really hope is that they'll find a well-compensated banker or lawyer and settle down between the ages of twenty-five and twenty-eight in Greenwich, Darien, or That Town, USA, to raise babies, do the grocery shopping, and work out in relative comfort for the rest of their lives. I know this because I employ their daughters. They raise us to think they want us to have careers, and they send us to college, but even they don't really believe women can be autonomous and take care of themselves.
Kelly Cutrone (If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You)
Saint Bartleby's School for Young Gentlemen Annual Report Student: Artemis Fowl II Year: First Fees: Paid Tutor: Dr Po Language Arts As far as I can tell, Artemis has made absolutely no progress since the beginning of the year. This is because his abilities are beyond the scope of my experience. He memorizes and understands Shakespeare after a single reading. He finds mistakes in every exercise I administer, and has taken to chuckling gently when I attempt to explain some of the more complex texts. Next year I intend to grant his request and give him a library pass during my class. Mathematics Artemis is an infuriating boy. One day he answers all my questions correctly, and the next every answer is wrong. He calls this an example of the chaos theory, and says that he is only trying to prepare me for the real world. He says the notion of infinity is ridiculous. Frankly, I am not trained to deal with a boy like Artemis. Most of my pupils have trouble counting without the aid of their fingers. I am sorry to say, there is nothing I can teach Artemis about mathematics, but someone should teach him some manners. Social Studies Artemis distrusts all history texts, because he says history was written by the victors. He prefers living history, where survivors of certain events can actually be interviewed. Obviously this makes studying the Middle Ages somewhat difficult. Artemis has asked for permission to build a time machine next year during double periods so that the entire class may view Medieval Ireland for ourselves. I have granted his wish and would not be at all surprised if he succeeded in his goal. Science Artemis does not see himself as a student, rather as a foil for the theories of science. He insists that the periodic table is a few elements short and that the theory of relativity is all very well on paper but would not hold up in the real world, because space will disintegrate before lime. I made the mistake of arguing once, and young Artemis reduced me to near tears in seconds. Artemis has asked for permission to conduct failure analysis tests on the school next term. I must grant his request, as I fear there is nothing he can learn from me. Social & Personal Development Artemis is quite perceptive and extremely intellectual. He can answer the questions on any psychological profile perfectly, but this is only because he knows the perfect answer. I fear that Artemis feels that the other boys are too childish. He refuses to socialize, preferring to work on his various projects during free periods. The more he works alone, the more isolated he becomes, and if he does not change his habits soon, he may isolate himself completely from anyone wishing to be his friend, and, ultimately, his family. Must try harder.
Eoin Colfer
Okay, you know, is it weird to get so depressed watching a children’s Christmas special— Oh, wait, I shouldn’t say that. I mean, that’s not a good word. It’s not just “sadness,” the way one feels sad at a film or a funeral. It’s more of a plummeting quality. Or the way, you know, the way that light gets in winter just before dusk, or the way she is with me. All right, at the height of lovemaking, you know, the very height, when she’s starting to climax, and she’s really responding to you now, you know, her eyes widening in that way that’s both, you know, surprise and recognition, which not a woman alive could fake or feign if you really look intently at her, really see her. And I don’t know, this moment has this piercing sadness to it, of the loss of her in her eyes. And as her eyes, you know, widen to their widest point and as she begins to climax and arch her back, they close. You know, shut, the eyes do. And I can tell that she’s closed her eyes to shut me out. You know, I become like an intruder. And behind those closed lids, you know, her eyes are now rolled all the way around and staring intently inward into some void where l, who sent them, can’t follow.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
I just make the best book that I can and try to not worry about audience or if it will sell. The odds are against you, so why abuse your talent for the sake of a chimera? The only real pleasure for me in writing comes from pleasing myself. What readers think is interesting and illuminating (and it may even be correct), but that is nothing compared to the excitement of seeing a world develop. Besides, even though I like most individuals I meet, I have a pretty low opinion of people in general. So if I were to write for people in general, I would have to drastically lower my estimation of the intelligence of my reader. Rather than doing that, I write the way it seems the book has to appear. I don’t think that’s egotistic. There are often things I would like to include in my books—things about me personally and other materials—that I feel I have to leave out because they aren’t relevant to the book. I’m fairly ruthless along those lines, because I try to let nothing come in the way of what’s best for the book. If that means that the book won’t sell or that a publisher won’t buy it, then that’s my problem. I’ll suffer for that, but I won’t let the book suffer for it.
William T. Vollmann
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: Akashic U.S. Presidents Series)
Who are we to say getting incested or abused or violated or any of those things can’t have their positive aspects in the long run? … You have to be careful of taking a knee-jerk attitude. Having a knee-jerk attitude to anything is a mistake, especially in the case of women, where it adds up to this very limited and condescending thing of saying they’re fragile, breakable things that can be destroyed easily. Everybody gets hurt and violated and broken sometimes. Why are women so special? Not that anybody ought to be raped or abused, nobody’s saying that, but that’s what is going on. What about afterwards? All I’m saying is there are certain cases where it can enlarge you or make you more of a complete human being, like Viktor Frankl. Think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good that it happened? No, of course not. But did you read Viktor Frankl? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book, but it comes out of his experience. It’s about his experience in the human dark side. Now think about it, if there was no Holocaust, there’d be no Man’s Search for Meaning… . Think about it. Think about being degraded and brought within an inch of your life, for example. No one’s gonna say the sick bastards who did it shouldn’t be put in jail, but let’s put two things into perspective here. One is, afterwards she knows something about herself that she never knew before. What she knows is that the most totally terrible terrifying thing that she could ever have imagined happening to her has now happened, and she survived. She’s still here, and now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. Look, totally terrible things happen… . Existence in life breaks people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time, trust me I know. I’ve been there. And this is the big difference, you and me here, cause this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever, for you this is just ideas, you’ve never been there. I’m not saying nothing bad has ever happened to you, you’re not bad looking, I’m sure there’s been some sort of degradation or whatever come your way in life, but I’m talking Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning type violation and terror and suffering here. The real dark side. I can tell from just looking at you, you never. You wouldn’t even wear what you’re wearing, trust me. What if I told you it was my own sister that was raped? What if I told you a little story about a sixteen-year-old girl who went to the wrong party with the wrong guy and four of his buddies that ended up doing to her just about everything four guys could do to you in terms of violation? But if you could ask her if she could go into her head and forget it or like erase the tape of it happening in her memory, what do you think she’d say? Are you so sure what she’d say? What if she said that even after that totally negative as what happened was, at least now she understood it was possible. People can. Can see you as a thing. That people can see you as a thing, do you know what that means? Because if you really can see someone as a thing you can do anything to him. What would it be like to be able to be like that? You see, you think you can imagine it but you can’t. But she can. And now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. This is what you wanted to hear, you wanted to hear about four drunk guys who knee-jerk you in the balls and make you bend over that you didn’t even know, that you never saw before, that you never did anything to, that don’t even know your name, they don’t even know your name to find out you have to choose to have a fucking name, you have no fucking idea, and what if I said that happened to ME? Would that make a difference?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)