July 25, 2014
"

In the Bay Area a building is earthquake proof when it has built-in fissures and intentional crevices. Normed solidity or, rather, rigidity is a sure killer, because if you’re too rigid you will be cut down, toppled. Like the World Trade Center — too massive, too strong architecturally speaking..

When weakness is part of the concept of the building’s stance, it can sway and shift around as part of its very own survival mechanism.  This “architecture of pain,” as psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan says in another context altogether, was my model for a long while, a model that I am trying to reconstruct today, with ample allowance for punctuated lacerations and weak points meant to bolster part of my psychic suppleness.

"

Stormy Weather: Blues in Winter - NYTimes.com

July 25, 2014
"In America, we are often encouraged to “let go,” “move on,” “get over it,” even to “get a life,” locutions that indicate a national intolerance for prolonged states of mourning. Yet the quickened pace of letting go may well mean that we have not let go, that we are haunted and hounded by unmetabolized aspects of loss."

Stormy Weather: Blues in Winter - NYTimes.com

July 25, 2014
"Very often, when the chips are down, philosophers can be a welcoming crew—well, not all of them. One has to sift and sort, find the byways, pass the arrogant know-it-all types, overtake the misogynists and leave in the dust those who claim to have a firm hold on truth. Not many are left standing, but they are the worthy ones. They stay close to poetry and music and let themselves be instructed by literature’s astonishing comfortableness off the cognitive grid. There are things that we simply cannot know or understand. Literature lives with that sublime stall, and fires off extravagant hypotheses, basking in transgression and feats of rhetorical frontier-crossing. When philosophy becomes accomplice to such stretches of imagination and frees itself up from a certain number of constraints, it can turn in exhilarating and life-affirming performances.  It can deliver even when you are seriously in the dumps, ready to call it a wrap."

Stormy Weather: Blues in Winter - NYTimes.com

July 24, 2014
"But if the movie canters, the play feels like it’s skipping along in slow motion, and the sight of grown-ups skipping should never be lingered upon."

‘Shakespeare in Love: The Play,’ in London - NYTimes.com

July 23, 2014
"

I believe (I could be wrong) that there is a higher dimension and that it permeates every cell of our lives the way radio waves and wi-fi frequencies inhabit the room I’m in and the space you’re in.

I’m not sure what that higher dimension’s agenda is. I hope it’s ‘good.’ It feels ‘good’ to me. It feels ‘good’ because it’s so hard to hear, so hard to tune into, and so hard to follow.

I’m a servant of that dimension. That’s how I see my life. I’m a student. I’m an acolyte.

The form my matriculation takes is writing.

"

Writing Wednesdays: Why, #3

July 23, 2014
"The pair is the primary creative unit — not just because pairs produce such a staggering amount of work but also because they help us to grasp the concept of dialectical exchange. At its heart, the creative process itself is about a push and pull between two entities, two cultures or traditions, or two people, or even a single person and the voice inside her head. Indeed, thinking itself is a kind of download of dialogue between ourselves and others. And when we listen to creative people describe breakthrough moments that occur when they are alone, they often mention the sensation of having a conversation in their own minds."

The End of ‘Genius’ - NYTimes.com

July 22, 2014
"

When we land in the place beyond fear which is, if you’ll excuse me, a fuck-it-all place where courage is beside the point, this is the final step that hurls us at the page.

A dear friend, a wonderful writer whose father is also an eminent writer – a national treasure – told me that when she was a child, her father used to drive her to school during the years in which he was wrestling with what later became his magnum opus. On some mornings, he’d pull the car over to the side of the road and she’d watch as he’d bash his head against the steering wheel.

I asked her if it felt scary, and she told me it didn’t. It was just her dad, trying to get to work.

"

Dani Shapiro | Archive for Moments of Being

July 22, 2014
"

Yes, you read that right. I can only speak from my own experience, but I’ve had quite a lot of it at this point, and what I can identify in my own process, when I am between books, it that I have to reach a total nadir, a writhing-on-the-floor, no holds barred, messy, deeply uncomfortable, godawful, pressured, horrible state before I can begin. No, I’ll take that further. It is precisely the depths themselves that act as a launching point. When I find myself – finally, inexorably – trapped in that impossible place, I am finally liberated. Liberated from my perfectionism, my resistance, my inner censor. Liberated from my fear, my self-consciousness, my ambition, my desire. All that’s left, in my despair, is an empty husk. And from that empty husk issues forth this question:

What do you have to lose?

"

Dani Shapiro | Archive for Moments of Being

July 22, 2014
"

And to clarify: it’s my intention not so much to expose myself (though I have, though I do, though I will) as to bust myself in that act and, in that way, to get closer and closer not only to what I think and what I know, but to the possibility of bumping up against the truth of what I didn’t believe I would ever understand. Me, too, Mr. Roth—I am who I don’t pretend to be.

Which is not to confess to a failure of imagination, oh no. Although possibly to a failure of nerve. To my desire to control, as best I can, your impression of me. Except I do so nakedly—I’m not convinced I could fool you otherwise. I don’t want to fool you, that isn’t my aim, not at all. I only want to sing for you, in the key of my choosing and as well as I know how.

"

Not-Quite-Naked | TriQuarterly

July 22, 2014
"Because I know why we read the stuff, but why do we write it? Do we mean to get naked? As if I could speak for everyone. That I can’t is among the most important reasons for each of us to get it right on the page. And this is why, when asked to confront “the Naked I” from every angle, I’m obliged to consider: Am I willing to strip down? All the way? To show everything? Or am I not only too encumbered, too fleshy, too flawed, but also too vain? Too devoted to “voice”?"

Not-Quite-Naked | TriQuarterly

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