Category Archives: Quotation

Novelist Lev Grossman on Narrative

Lev Grossman: My depression helped inspire the Magicians trilogy – Salon.com.

I think literary critics — of whom you’re one and I’m another — are much better at describing beauty on the sentence level than we are at talking about the grace of a narrative twist or wonderful pacing or the thrilling tension that a well-put-together narrative gives you. I feel like we’re not very good at praising that. We don’t have a good critical language for it. I think that’s why books with that kind of narrative flare lag behind the more non- or anti-narrative novels in critical reputation.

–Novelist Lev Grossman to interviewer Laura Miller

Quotation of the Day

“writing and reading can allow people to live other lives and to try things out symbolically so that we can make better decisions about what we value and do. There is no guarantee, of course, that reading and writing make people act more wisely. But, writing and reading, by expanding our experience and repertoire of strategies, can provide additional possibilities from which we may choose in order to live and act effectively in specific contexts.”

—Tilly Warnock

Quotation: The Writing Life

“I’m conscious of writing as a living, breathing practice, not as something in a textbook or something you do for a grade in a 10-week course. It’s living a life. And particularly for women, it’s living a struggle to claim artistic practice as a viable and socially relevant activity. So as a writer I teach how to live it, how writing and literature change your life.”

—Lidia Yuknavitch

Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham, OR, USA

Read more here.

A Slight Shift in Perspective

The “reframing” power of literature comes from the story’s not being exactly the same as the reader’s story. In fitting the two together, the reader has to shift his point of view and so moves out of what seemed like an immovable and rigid framework. In this way, reading breeds tolerance and sympathy for people and attitudes not seen like this before. Readers revise their view of their own problem by reading of those worse off than themselves. Readers learn to understand the other gender, other sexual orientations, the elderly and the poor. Only a slight shift in perspective is required to make a lot of things seem different” (p. 350).

Joseph Gold: Read for Your Life: Literature as a Life Support System

Quotation of the Day

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life; they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our byoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again.”

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p. 237