Happy Birthday, Chad Harbach, born 7 December 1975
- So much of one’s life was spent reading; it made sense not to do it alone.
- There were no words for that, no ceremony that would garantee your future. Every day was just that: a day, a blank, a nothing, in which you had to invent yourself and your friendship from scratch. The weight of everything you’d ever donewas nothing. It could all vanish just like that. Just like this.
- There were no whys in a person’s life, and very few hows. In the end, in search of useful wisdom, you could only come back to the most hackneyed concepts, like kindness, forbearance, infinite self patience.
- The novel has always been the form that incorporates other forms. For me, it has always been the ultimate medium.
- I mean, first, almost all writers these days teach because they don’t make enough money publishing to live on, to support themselves – people like Tobias Wolff, Anne Beattie, Amy Hempel, Stuart Dybek; a lot of short story writers, for one thing.
- It was easy enough to write a sentence, but if you were going to create a work of art, the way Melville had, each sentence needed to fit perfectly with the one that preceded it, and the unwritten one that would follow.
- She hated the namelessness of women in stories, as if they lived and died so that men could have metaphysical insights.
- Writing on a computer feels like a recipe for writer’s block. I can type so fast that I run out of thoughts, and then I sit there and look at the words on the screen, and move them around, and never get anywhere. Whereas in a notebook I just keep plodding along, slowly, accumulating sentences, sometimes even surprising myself.
- When a philosopher wants high ceilings, he goes outside. He doesn’t buy an oversize house that requires massive amounts of dwindling resources to heat in the winter.
- Literature could turn you into an asshole; he’d learned that teaching grad-school seminars. It could teach you to treat real people the way you did characters, as instruments of your own intellectual pleasure, cadavers on which to practice your critical faculties.
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