A book unwritten is a delightful universe of infinite possibilities. Set down one word, however, and immediately it becomes earthbound. Set down one sentence and it's halfway to being just like every other bloody book that's sver been written. But the best must never be allowed to drive out the good. In the absence of genius there is always craftmanship. One can at least try to write something that will encourage them, after reading the first paragraph, to take a look at the second, and then the third.
A book unwritten is a delightful universe of infinite possibilities. Set down one word, however, and it immediately becomes earthbound. Set down one sentence and its halfway to being just like every other bloody book thats ever been written.
A crock of shit, Rick had called it. But actually this was worse. Shit, to quote Gore Vidal, has its own integrity. This was a crock of nothing.
at that instant i knew there was no horror the world could offer - no war, no genocide, no famine, no childhood cancer - to which Sidney Kroll would not see the funny side
Everybody tends to heighten his own reality. We start with a private fantasy about our lives and perhaps one day, for fun, we turn it into an anecdote. No harm is done. Over the years, the anecdote is repeated so regularly it becomes accepted as a fact. Quite soon, to contradict this fact would be embarrassing. In time, we probably come to believe it was true all along. And by these slow accretions of myth, like a coral reef, the historical record takes shape.
I mean, take for instance all this civil liberties crap. You know what Id do if I were in power again? Id say, okay then, well have two queues at the airports. On the left, well have queues to flights on which weve done no background checks on the passengers, no profiling, no biometric data, nothing that infringed anyones precious civil liberties, used no intelligence obtained under torturenothing. On the right, well have queues to the flights where weve done everything possible to make them safe for passengers. Then people can make their own minds up which plane they want to catch. Wouldnt that be great? To sit back and watch which queue the Rycarts of this world would really choose to put their kids on, if the chips were down?
In the absence of genius there is always craftsmanship.
I read a lot of bad books- books so bad that they aren't even published,which is quite a feat, when you consider what is published."
- The Ghost, Robert Harris.
- The Ghost, Robert Harris.
like interviewing a new cleaner. Do you want someone who can give you the history of cleaning and the theory of cleaning, or do you want someone wholl just get down and clean your fucking house? They chose you because they think youll clean their fucking house.
Of all human activities, writing is the one for which it is easiest to find excuses not to begin the desks too big, the desks too small, theres too much noise, theres too much quiet, its too hot, too cold, too early, too late. I had learned over the years to ignore them all, and simply to start.
On the Richter scale of bad ideas, this had to be a ten.
So, said Ruth, how bad is it? You havent read it? Not all of it. Well, I said, politely, it needs some work. How much? The words Hiroshima and nineteen forty-five floated briefly into my mind. Its fixable, I said, which I suppose it was: even Hiroshima was fixed eventually.
Suicide leaves everyone feeling guilty.
The line between accident and suicide isn't always clearly defined. You could kill yourself without really making up your mind.
This is the trouble with internet research, in my experience. The proportion of whats useful to whats dross dwindles very quickly, and suddenly its like searching for something dropped down the back of a sofa and coming up with handfuls of old coins, buttons, fluff, and sucked sweets. Whats important is to ask the right question, and
Travel is sold as freedom, but we were about as free as lab rats. This is how theyll manage the next holocaust, I thought, as I shuffled forward in my stockinged feet: theyll simply issue us with air tickets and well do whatever were told.
Travel is sold as freedom, but we were about as free as lab rats. This is how they'll manage the next Holocaust, I thought, as I shuffled forward in my stockinged feet: they'll simply issue us with air tickets and we'll do whatever we're told
What fascinates people isn't policy- who cares about policy? What fascinates people is always people- the detail of another person's life.