“Everyone complains that it has all been done before, but we haven’t even begun. There’s an incredible amount of new tricks up good people’s sleeves.”more info
source: interview by Moira Cullen, Eye magazine, Spring 2006. Link here.
“Next to imagination you have to have perseverance in order to create something of value. I may even say that perseverance is more important than imagination in a certain sense. A modest amount of imagination with a great ability to persevere can produce an important work. Great imagination lacking the perseverance to develop, shape, and carry it out can result in failure.”more info
source: Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design, by Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham (London: Laurence King Publishing, 2011), 386.
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“Please—take care of your health! Being a poet is one of the unhealthier jobs—no regular hours—so many temptations!”more info
source: letter to Robert Lowell, August 26, 1963, in Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010), 495.
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“I don’t believe in this ‘gifted few’ concept, just in people doing things they are really interested in doing. They have a way of getting good at whatever it is.”more info
source: 100 Quotes by Charles Eames, ed. by Carla Hartman and Eames Demetrios (Eames Office, 2007).
“The vast trove of Brontë juvenilia is larger than all their published works put together. Most of the material was recorded in nearly microscopic handwriting, on tiny folded sheets of paper–some only 2 inches by 1½ inches. These were stitched and bundled together, complete with title pages and back covers made from scraps of wrapping paper and bags of sugar.”more info
source: Nom de Plume (New York: HarperCollins, 2011), 5.
“Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone.”more info
source: Gift from the Sea (New York: Pantheon, 2005), 50th anniversary ed., 44.
“I had a brother who was my savior, made my childhood bearable. He was older by five years, Jack Sendak. He wrote a number of books. He was very, very, very gifted. More importantly to my life, he saved my life. He drew me away from the lack of comprehension that existed between me and my parents, and he took his time with me to draw pictures and read stories and live a kind of fantastical life.”more info
source: “The Pig Wants to Party: Maurice Sendak’s Latest,” Fresh Air with Terry Gross, NPR, September 20, 2011. Transcript here.
“It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.”more info
source: Selections from Twelve Days (1928), in Vita Sackville-West: Selected Writings, ed. by Mary Ann Caws (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 125.
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medium: nonfictionvia: this excellent Telegraph article written by Tilda Swinton
“Everyone thinks that Beethoven had his string quartets completely in his head—they somehow formed in his head—and all he had to do was write them down, and they would kind of be manifest to the world. But what I think is so interesting, and what would really be a lesson that everybody should learn, is that things come out of nothing. Things evolve out of nothing. You know, that the tiniest seed in the right situation turns into the most beautiful forest. And then the most promising seed in the wrong situation turns into nothing. And I think this would be important for people to understand, because it gives people confidence in their own lives that that’s how things work.
If you walk around with the idea that there are some people who are so gifted—they have these wonderful things in their head but you’re not one of them, you’re just sort of a normal person, you could never do anything like that—then you live a different kind of life. You could have another kind of life, where you say, well, I know that things come from nothing very much, and start from unpromising beginnings. And I’m an unpromising beginning, and I could start something.”
source: quoted in Brian Eno’s Another Green World by Geeta Dayal (New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2009), 31.
medium: Conversationvia: Kevin Lippert
“Every work of art is one half of a secret handshake, a challenge that seeks the password, a heliograph flashed from a tower window, an act of hopeless optimism in the service of bottomless longing. Every great record or novel or comic book convenes the first meeting of a fan club whose membership stands forever at one but which maintains chapters in every city—in every cranium—in the world. Art, like fandom, asserts the possibility of fellowship in a world built entirely from the materials of solitude. The novelist, the cartoonist, the songwriter, knows that the gesture is doomed from the beginning but makes it anyway, flashes his or her bit of mirror, not on the chance that the signal will be seen or understood but as if such a chance existed.”more info
source: “The Loser’s Club,” in Manhood for Amateurs (New York: HarperCollins, 2009), 5.
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“Other people’s words are the bridge you use to cross from where you were to wherever you’re going.”more info
source: “Other People’s Words, Part One,” in Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays (New York: Penguin, 2009).
“Your complete literary man writes all the time. It wakes him in the morning to write, it exercises him to write, it rests him to write. Writing is to him a visit from a friend, a cup of tea, a game of cards, a walk in the country, a warm bath, an after-dinner nap, a hot Scotch before bed, and the sleep that follows it. Your complete literary chap is a writing animal; and when he dies he leaves a cocoon as large as a haystack, in which every breath he has drawn is recorded in writing.”more info
source: “Greek Genius,” in Greek Genius and Other Essays (New York: Moffat, Yard & Company, 1915), 280.
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“Failure is a big source of innovation in music.”more info
source: Soundcheck, NPR, “Musical Chain Letter: Brian Eno,” November 11, 2011.
“Kids don’t plan to play. They don’t go: ‘Barbie, Ken, you ready to play? It’s gonna be a three-act.’”more info
source: “Lynda Barry Will Make You Believe In Yourself,” by Dan Kois, New York Times Magazine, October 27, 2011.
medium: Magazine profile
“The etymology of fiction is from fingere (participle fictum), meaning ‘to shape, fashion, form, or mold.’ Any verbal account is a fashioning and shaping of events.”more info