“I’ve seen time and time again the way that the process of trying to say something dignifies and improves a person.”more info
source: “George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read This Year,” by Joel Lovell, New York Times Magazine, January 3, 2013.
medium: Magazine profile
“I have never sent an email in my life. I never received an email. I have two buttons I can touch—the weather and the Huffington Post.”more info
source: “Older, Mellower, But Still Woody,” interview by Rachel Dodes, Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2012.
“Digital media is an amplifier. It tends to make extroverts more extroverted and introverts more introverted.”more info
source: “Seeing Social Media More as Portal Than as Pitfall,” New York Times, by Perri Klass, January 9, 2012.
medium: Newspaper article
“All this talking, this rather liquid confessing, was something I didn’t think I could ever bring myself to do. It seemed foolhardy to me, like an uncooked egg deciding to to come out of its shell: there would be a risk of spreading out too far, turning into a formless puddle.”more info
source: The Edible Woman (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1999), 112.
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“I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually. You don’t have to do it with bombast.”more info
source: response to the shootings in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011 and our country’s tense political climate, in “Exclusive: Roger Ailes & Russell Simmons: Both Sides Are Wrong,” Global Grind, January 10, 2011.
“Words shouted into a fierce gale which is anyway blowing in the wrong direction.”more info
source: letter to James Wood, dated September 9, 1996, in Saul Bellow: Letters (New York: Viking, 2010), 525–26.
As ever (whatever that is),more info
source: the closing of the letter to John Hunt, dated September 13, 1995, in Saul Bellow: Letters (New York: Viking, 2010), 509.
“I quote others only in order the better to express myself.”more info
source: “Of the Education of Children,” in The Works of Michael de Montaigne (Philadelphia, PA: J. W. Moore, 1849), 86.
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“I just tweet; that’s just the way I roll.”more info
source: “The Palin Network,” by Robert Draper, The New York Times, November 17, 2010.
medium: newspaper profile
“Society is held together by communication and information.”more info
source: The Life of Samuel Johnson, vol 3 (London: George Bell and Sons, 1884), 11.
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notes: Submitted by Neil Steinberg (thanks, Neil), with this note: The sentiment is prosaic, but what makes this quote interesting, to me, is that it appears in a late-18th century book (1791, or so, I believe). We think of our society as being so modern and such a departure from the past, yet when we look closely at the past, it becomes less different from today than we first thought. Johnson's big challenges—getting paid for writing, having his work copied and ripped off—would certainly resonate with any blogger. The copy of "Life of Johnson" I read had marginal notes by Mrs. Thrale, Johnson's contemporary, and so read almost like a comments section on-line.
“I started to distrust telephones the instant they stopped working. I can’t pinpoint when that was—the first time I ‘dropped’ a call, or someone said, ‘I’m losing you’—and I don’t know why the telephone, the analog landline telephone, was never formally mourned.”more info
source: “Funeral for a Friend,” The New York Times Magazine, October 29, 2010.
medium: newspaper article
“I don’t think I like writing letters in type. It is slow, and then it seems so terribly public. I am shocked at what I put down, as though it had appeared in the newspapers. Also, it looks too permanent, too definite and irrefutable. It embarrasses me, too, like talking over the long-distance telephone.”more info
source: Locked Rooms and Open Doors: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh 1933–1935 (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974), 127.
notes: letter to her sister, Elisabeth, from 1934
“When I was a teenager in Boston, a man on the subway handed me a card printed with tiny pictures of hands spelling out the alphabet in sign language. I AM DEAF, said the card. You were supposed to give the man some money in exchange.
I have thought of that card ever since, during difficult times, mine or someone else’s: surely when tragedy has struck you dumb, you should be given a stack of cards that explain it for you.”
source: An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2008), 73.
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“The one thing that’s a bit of a drag is the hyper-dominance of Facebook and Twitter, [which] feels really monolithic and dull to me. I don’t like the way they look, I don’t like the way they feel. I feel like they’re huge Soviet apartment blocks that we’ve all been forced to live in. And if you want to really reach a lot of people, you bloody well better get yourself an apartment there. But it’s going to look like everyone else’s apartment, and you’re going to have to communicate through their Soviet centralised communication system. I don’t even think the metaphor is a bad one; because everyone is watching. Certainly the advertisers are watching. That’s why these entities are so valuable.”more info
source: “The Q&A: Jennifer Egan, Novelist,” by Alexander Benaim, More Intelligent Life .
medium: interviewvia: The Bronze Medal
“The most powerful tool of all is the word no.”more info