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“When you allow yourself to be negative, you add to the burdens of the world.”

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source: The Diary of Anaïs Nin (Vol 7, 1966–1974) (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), 148.

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medium: letter

notes: Nin wrote these words in a letter to a reader, summer of 1970. She reprinted the letter in her diary.

“Books are the greatest companions, confessors, confidantes, tutors, a source of pleasure, a cure for loneliness, and to find one, in the middle of an island in Tahiti, in the heart of the Moroccan desert, or at an airport where one is stranded for a night, is to find the friend who reminds us we are not alone.”

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source: The Diary of Anaïs Nin (Vol 7, 1966–1974) (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), 104.

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medium: diary

notes: Fall, 1969 entry in Nin's diary

“She refused to sleep in the same bed with a dead love, the skeleton of a passion.”

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source: The Diary of Anaïs Nin (Vol 7, 1966–1974) (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), 82.

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medium: diary

notes: from a spring 1969 entry in Nin's diary

“…in New York at the end of the day I play ostrich. I take a glass of beer or wine or a pill and go to sleep to have energy for the next day.”

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source: The Diary of Anaïs Nin (Vol 7, 1966–1974) (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), p53.

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medium: diary

notes: from a winter 1967–1968 entry in Nin's diary

“The abstract beauty of Japanese art issues from the abstract beauty of their lives. They do not like clutter. They like to look at one flower at a time, one painting, one pot. They have a storage house for the objects of art which are not being displayed.”

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source: The Diary of Anaïs Nin (Vol 7, 1966–1974) (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), 22.

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medium: diary

notes: from a summer 1966 entry in Nin's diary (observations of her trip to Japan)

“Only the Japanese would think of serving red watermelon in a green plate.”

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source: The Diary of Anaïs Nin (Vol 7, 1966–1974) (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), 20.

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medium: diary

notes: from a summer 1966 entry in Nin's diary (observations of her trip to Japan)

“The gardens [in Japan] are works of art in design, planting and miniaturization. The Japanese favor green gardens, not flowers which die, but evergreens, carpets of moss. Always, the accompaniment of water from a stream directed to fall drop by drop from a bamboo pipe. Each time it stops to allow the water to accumulate, it makes a sound like one dry slap on a drum.”

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source: The Diary of Anaïs Nin (Vol 7, 1966–1974) (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), 15.

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medium: diary

notes: from a summer 1966 entry in Nin's diary

“On what planet do you spend most of your time?…Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it.”

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source: town hall meeting, Dartmouth, NH, August 18, 2009

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medium: political event

notes: A constituent in the audience asked Barney Frank: “Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy?” Frank responds: “On what planet do you spend most of your time?” He calls her approach “vile, contemptible nonsense.” Frank closes with: “Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it.”

“Who owns the words? Who owns the music and the rest of our culture? We do—all of us—though not all of us know it yet. Reality cannot be copyrighted.”

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source: Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010), 209.

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medium: nonfiction

notes: This is a rephrasing of remarks written by the cyberpunk author William Gibson in “God's Little Toys: Confessions of a Cut and Paste Artist,” Wired, Issue 13.07, July 2005. Gibson's words: “‘Who owns the words?’ asked a disembodied but very persistent voice throughout much of Burroughs’ work. Who does own them now? Who owns the music and the rest of our culture? We do. All of us. Though not all of us know it - yet.”

“As a work gets more autobiographical, more intimate, more confessional, more embarrassing, it breaks into fragments. Our lives aren’t prepackaged along narrative lines and, therefore, by its very nature, reality-based art—underprocessed, underproduced—splinters and explodes.”

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source: David Shields, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010), 27.

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medium: nonfiction

“I’m interested in the ways in which stories of suffering might be used to mask other, less marketable stories of suffering.”

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source: David Shields, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010), 42.

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medium: nonfiction

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

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source: “Worstward Ho,” in Nohow on: Three Novels (New York: Grove Press, 1980), 89.

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medium: fiction

“When was the first time you realized the next time would be the last time?”

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source: “Thou Without (Partner),” Days in the Wake (Drag City, 1994).

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medium: lyric

notes: Rich Bryan co-wrote this song

“…if Emily Dickinson owned a restaurant it would be Chez Panisse.”

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source: Eating: A Memoir (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009), 132.

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medium: memoir

“Life is a ball of yarn that someone got all tangled. It would make sense if it were rolled up tight, or if it were unrolled and completely stretched out. But such as it is, life is a problem without shape, a confusion of yarn leading nowhere.”

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source: The Book of Disquiet (New York: Penguin Books, 2003), 287.

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medium: Autobiography

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