Spark

Inner Love
Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson via Compfight

“For thousands of years people used to wear woolen clothes and when they took them off at night they saw sparks. I wonder what these people thought thousands of years ago of these sparks they saw when they took off their woolen clothes? I am sure that they ignored them and the children asked them, ‘Mother what are these sparks?’ And I am sure the mother said, ‘You imagine them!’ People must have been afraid to talk about the sparks . . . [but] we know now that they were real, and that what was behind these sparks was what drives our industry today. And I say that we too in each generation see such sparks which we ignore just because they don’t fit into our picture of science or knowledge. And I think that it is the writer’s duty, and also pleasure and function, to bring out these sparks.”

Over Your Head

“A writer should always feel like he’s in over his head. That’s part of what makes good writing compelling–the sense that as readers we’re in the company of a writer of vast ambitions, who is always trying to do more than he or she is technically capable of.

“And there, really, resides the pleasure that comes from writing … It’s like what runners feel running the 500-yard dash, making good time and feeling pushed slightly beyond their limits, which is great, and feeling at the same time that although they’re able to do something remarkable–they can run faster than almost anyone alive–they should nevertheless have done a little better, gone a little faster. They’ll try that much harder tomorrow. There may be, in the end, no happiness quite so potent as the anticipation of greater happiness still to come.”

A Heart That Can Break


“She was touched by his delicacy. Maybe this is what an artist is, she thought. It reminded her of something she’d once read, about how an artist doesn’t really need a great deal of experience. One heartbreak can produce many novels. But you have to have a heart that can break.”