Friday, June 1, 2007


"What I know, love and desire in another person isn't inside him like a nut in its shell, but it is everywhere that he is, forming him. My identity isn't inside me--it is how I am. It is hard to express the way we know the forms of things, but this is the knowing that art exercises."
--Hugh Hood in "Sober Colouring: The Ontology of Super Realism"
Maybe I need to get out more, but I think that is the sexiest writing lesson I've ever read.

"You take a chance the day you're born. Why stop now?" That's Barbara Stanwyck, speaking as Lorna Moon in the Louis Meltzer's screenplay of Clifford Odets' play Golden Boys as quoted by Anthony Lane in a New Yorker article on Stanwyck's career last month. I like the line, of course--always good to be reminded not to be a chicken. I also just like the layers of quotation--obviously, Odets, Meltzer and Lane liked the line, too. I actually thought about doing the citation in MLA style, just for fun, but then I thought, "Do you want to be the sort of person who does MLA style 'for fun'?" Ahem.

One final quote note: In case anyone was deluded, my signoff lines are not original; though uncredited, they are from pop songs, usually good lines, often from bad songs. My point may or may not be that anything can sound deep taken way out of context, or perhaps I just like a lot of silly music. But I'll put a good one today, because I'm in the mood for other people's wisdom,

I'm walking up the face of the mountain
Counting every step I climb
Remembering the names of the constellations
Forgotten is a long long time

That's Paul Simon, I believe I've quoted those lines here before, but they are really really good.

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