Happy Birthday, Paul Beatty, born 9 June 1962
- All this angst, all this stuff we all feel, is just tied to making art. It’s so ancient… Not that the work hasn’t changed—of course it has—but these fundamental things are the same. We’re still just humans creating.
- The real question is not where do ideas come from but where do they go.
- That’s the problem with history, we like to think it’s a book—that we can turn the page and move the fuck on. But history isn’t the paper it’s printed on. It’s memory, and memory is time, emotions, and song. History is the things that stay with you.
- Silence can be either protest or consent, but most times it’s fear.
- When you have the right title for something you’re writing and you get lost – you can always go back to the title and go, “Yeah, that’s what this is about.”
- I can’t say that I love writing, but I do love the satisfaction that it gives me.
- I was talking to a friend and she said, Your audience is just a bunch of weirdos. But she meant it in a very positive way. There’s a special kind of weirdo who’s going to appreciate it.
- Sometimes just making yourself at home is revolutionary.
- I’m always going back. I’ll start by writing however many pages feel right, say five pages. And then I go back to the top of those five pages and write my way back down. I don’t go forward until I’m really satisfied with that block. It takes a long time. And even after that, I go back and redo the whole block again just to make sure it’s tighter and tighter.
Paul Beatty is an American author. He won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sellout. It was the first time a writer from the United States won the Man Booker.
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