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“I’m so used to writing with a pincushion that I don’t know if I can learn other ways or not, but I did go right down and buy a bottle of Carter’s [rubber cement]. The smell stimulates the mind and brings up dreams of efficiency. Long ago when my stories were short (I wish they were back) I used to use ordinary paste and put the story together in one long strip, that could be seen as a whole and at a glance—helpful and realistic. When the stories got too long for the room I took them up on the bed or table & pinned and that’s when my worst stories were like patchwork quilts, you could almost read them in any direction…. The Ponder Heart [novella originally published in the New Yorker in 1953] was in straight pins, hat pins, corsage pins, and needles, and when I got through typing it out I had more pins than I started with. (So it’s economical.)”

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source: letter to William Maxwell, September 10, 1953, in What There Is to Say We Have Said, ed. by Suzanne Mars (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2011), 41–42.

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medium: Letter

“The collage technique, that art of reassembling fragments of preexisting images in such a way as to form a new image, is the most important innovation in the art of this century. Found objects, chance creations, ready-mades (mass-produced items promoted into art objects) abolish the separation between art and life. The commonplace is miraculous if rightly seen, or recognized.”

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source: Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell (New York: The New York Review of Books, 2006), 19.

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medium: Art criticism

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