Happy Birthday, David Shields, born 22 July 1956
- Anything processed by memory is fiction.
- Writing was, and in a way still is, very bound up for me with stuttering. Writing represented/represents the possibility of turning ‘bad language’ into ‘good language’. I now have much more control over my stutter.
- You’re one of 6.5 billion people now on the planet, and 99.9 percent of your genes are the same as everyone else’s.
- Isn’t everyone’s project, on some level, to offer tentative theses regarding what—if anything—we’re doing here? Against death, in other words, what solace, what consolation, what bulwark?
- Story seems to say that everything happens for a reason and I want to say, No, it doesn’t.
- When I’m having trouble writing something, I often close the document and compose the passage as email to, say, my friend Michael. I imagine I can feel the tug of the recipient at the other end of the wire, and this creates in me a needed urgency.
- Our culture is obsessed with real events because we experience hardly any.
- Most novels’ glacial pace isn’t remotely congruent with the speed of our lives and our consciousness of these lives.
- I don’t know what’s the matter with me, why I’m so adept at distance, why I feel so remote from things, why life feels like a rumour.