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“A writer, or any man, must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument; everything has been given for an end. This is even stronger in the case of the artist. Everything that happens, including humiliations, embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like material for one’s art. One must accept it. For this reason I speak in a poem of the ancient food of heroes: humiliation, unhappiness, discord. Those things are given to us to transform, so that we may make from the miserable circumstances of our lives things that are eternal, or aspire to be so.”

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source: “Blindness,” in Seven Nights (New York: New Directions, 2009), rev. ed., 120–21.

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medium: Lecture

“Falling leaves return to their roots.”

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source: Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter (London: M. Joseph, 1997), 271.

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medium: memoir

via: Louise Buckley

“The worm fattens on the apple, the young goose fattens on the wormy fruit, the man fattens on the young goose, the worm awaits the man.”

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source: “Cold Weather,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 345.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in January 1943.

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