Mar 11
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I’m asking writers, artists, musicians, farmers, philosophers, financial planners, architects, doctors, politicians, bankers, engineers, etc. if there’s one quote in particular that has shaped the way they think about something. It can be from any source, on any topic. Today’s quote comes from Richard Goodman, author of French Dirt and The Soul of Creative Writing. He will be reading from his new volume, A New York Memoir (beautiful book, which I’ve quoted here), at the KGB bar in New York City tomorrow night. More info about the reading here.


The quote I have most turned to and that probably best represents what I’ve tried to do with my own writing is from William Blake: “Exuberance is beauty.” It’s from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. I lean toward the openhearted. I lean toward artists who believe in the human heart, not in the human mind, which I distrust. I believe exuberance is beauty, and I think that you can see it in all those emotions artists who do rely on their brains are afraid of: wonder, awe, compassion, pity, empathy, marvel.

It’s in Emily Dickinson, here from 1058:

To be a Flower, is profound
Responsibility —


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