“The novel loves things. It loves money. It loves disappointment.”
“I didn’t pay much attention to what was being put in the archives… there are letters that, if I had been paying attention, wouldn’t be there.”
“You fall short and then you wonder, 'what could I do differently next time that gets us a little bit closer?' I love that process.”
“The first thing he said is, ‘Don't call me Mr. Baldwin. My name is Jimmy.’ I thought, this is ridiculous, at the very least he's James.”
“One way to think about the act of annotating is that you are that meddlesome party gossip, telling the reader how to draw connections between the different parts of the text.”
In May 1381, rebels burned documents at Cambridge, then scattered the ashes to the wind. But why were universities targeted by the rebels?
“We don't have a party. That doesn't mean we need one big organization. We may need a few big organizations. But we need organizations!”
“There is nothing supreme about being white.”
“I am supposed to be writing this essay, ostensibly on technology, but not for the first time, I believe I am unable to write; and not writing, doubt that I will I ever write again.”
“I have been building some shanties of houses …,” wrote Melville to Hawthorne, “and likewise some shanties of chapters and essays.”
Louise Fitzhugh, author of Harriet the Spy, and the poet James Merrill were joined by friendship, craft, and graphomania: the compulsion to write.
Despite welcome diversification, literary culture is also becoming more tied to elite educational institutions, and more difficult to enter.
Why read MFA-trained writers writing about writers training in MFA programs?
Students must choose to do the work that will facilitate learning, so teachers must give them reasons to make that choice, again and again.
“There are two ways of reading Black invisibility and one of them is futuristic.”
We don’t judge books by their covers, but we do sort people based on which academic presses match their personality types.
What should climate-change writing be? What is its ambition as it moves forward?
“When I write, I try to begin from a place of authority and then I try to lose it over time. I want to transfer it to the reader.”
“I strongly lay claim to imagination, because to us Black women for a long time the possibility of imagination had been negated.”
How should readers and scholars look on the tangible traces writers leave behind?