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“De Kooning can do ‘messy’ by making a charcoal stroke over paint and then smudging same with his talented thumb—in prose the same gesture tends to look like simple ineptitude. De Kooning has a whole vocabulary of bad behavior which enables him to set up the most fruitful kinds of contradictions. It frees him. I have trouble rendering breaking glass.”

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source: Interview with J. O. O’Hara, in Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews (New York: Random House, 1997), 284.

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medium: Interview

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