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“When mortars are new they are put to so much intensive and vigorous use, but when they are discarded they are left to rot, and I found that that is a point at which to intervene and to do something with their lives. And from mortars I came to metals.”

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source: El Anatsui at the Clark (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011), 9.

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medium: Exhibition catalogue

via: Beverly Bader

“Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing. Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors. Every stroke you put down you have to go with. Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still therein the texture of the thing.”

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source: The Paris Review Interviews, vol. I (New York: Picador, 2006), 476.

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medium: interview

notes: Originally published in Issue 176 of The Paris Review, 2006.

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