Happy Birthday, Rebecca Solnit, born 24 June 1961
Rebecca Solnit Quotes On Storytelling
- Stories are compasses and architecture; we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and our prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice.
- To love someone is to put yourself in their place, we say, which is to put yourself in their story, or figure out how to tell yourself their story. Which means that a place is a story, and stories are geography, and empathy is first of all an act of imagination, a storyteller’s art, and then a way of travelling from here to there.
- Writing is saying to no one and to everyone the things it is not possible to say to someone.
- The object we call a book is not the real book, but its potential, like a musical score or seed. It exists fully only in the act of being read; and its real home is inside the head of the reader, where the symphony resounds, the seed germinates. A book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another.
- Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming.
- The present rearranges the past. We never tell the story whole because a life isn’t a story; it’s a whole Milky Way of events and we are forever picking out constellations from it to fit who and where we are.
- Books are solitudes in which we meet.
- The self is also a creation, the principal work of your life, the crafting of which makes everyone an artist. This unfinished work of becoming ends only when you do, if then, and the consequences live on. We make ourselves and in so doing are the gods of the small universe of self and the large world of repercussions.
- Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.
- Every minute of every hour of every day you are making the world, just as you are making yourself, and you might as well do it with generosity and kindness and style. (via)
Rebecca Solnit is an American writer. She has written 20 books on many subjects, including feminism, history, the environment, politics, place, and art. She is also a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine and she is a regular contributor to the political blog TomDispatch and to LitHub. The Faraway Nearby was nominated for a National Book Award and River of Shadows won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism.
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