Stories pass the experienced world back and forth between them as a metaphor, until it is worn out. Only then do we realize that meaning is an act. We must repossess it, instant to instant in our lives.
I think it’s undignified to read for the purposes of escape. After you grow up, you should start reading for other purposes
Identity is not negotiable. An identity you have achieved by agreement is always a prison.
What is literature, and why do I try to write about it? I don’t know. Likewise, I don’t know why I go on living, most of the time. But this not knowing is precisely what I want to preserve. As readers, the closest way we can engage with a literary work is to protect its indeterminacy; to return ourselves and it to a place that precludes complete recognition. Really, when I’m reading, all I want is to stand amazed in front of an unknown object at odds with the world.
After all why should our goal be the reinstatement of an illusory ‘exact’ relationship between events and words? If you probe in the ashes you will never learn anything about the fire: by the time the ashes can be handled the meaning has passed on. Every adventure is a cup so empty it can be drunk from again and again and again. Every adventure is so perfect it verges on silence.
Writings like gambling. Unpredictable and sporadic successes make you more addicted, not less.
Egnaro is a secret known to everyone but yourself. It is a country or a city to which you have never been; it is an unknown language. At the same time it is like being cuckolded, or plotted against. It is part of the universe of events which will never wholly reveal itself to you: a conspiracy the barest outline of which, once visible, will gall you forever.
Everyone loves a mysterious country.
Dreamworlds can maintain themselves only as glimpses. Once the writer transports the reader across the threshold, nothing that was promised can be delivered. What was ominous becomes ordinary; what was bizarre, quotidian. Unless you simply keep upping the ante, piling on the bullshit, the only way to revive things is to switch perspectives as quickly as you can.
At Birkin Grif’s left, his seat insecure on a scruffy packhorse, Theomeris Glyn, his only armour a steel-stressed leather cap, grumbled at the cold and the earliness of the hour, and cursed the flint hearts of city girls.
Budapest is a prime site for dreams: the East’s exuberant vision of the West, the West’s uneasy hallucination of the East. It is a dreamed-up city; a city almost completely faked; a city invented out of other cities, out of Paris by way of Vienna — the imitation, as Claudio Magris has it, of an imitation.
Manufacture dooms in your head and you will go mad. Reality is incontravertible. Also, it will not be anticipated.
Happiness and beauty are the worst things you can have in a life, because you never forget them. They go on and on ambushing you, presumably until you die.
SF is an opportunity to have an intense relationship with your own imagination. It’s a kind of drive-by poetry, trashy and addictive; it’s fun. After that, for me, it’s an opportunity to explore that kind of imaginative artifact from inside, and use a little camped-up contemporary science as a way of generating new metaphors around my typical obsessions.
Perception of a state is not the state.