“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”—Kurt Vonnegut
my till was down by £1 for some reason, which was so annoying because it wasn’t even a busy night BUT THEN clearing up the main room I found a pound coin to make up the difference. And then about two minutes later I found a £20 note. Sometimes things are just really great, y’know.
“We were in a profound state of shock and disbelief, like everyone else we encountered that day. Thomas Hoepker did not ask permission to photograph us nor did he make any attempt to ascertain our state of mind before concluding five years later that, “It’s possible they lost people and cared, but they were not stirred by it.” Had Hoepker walked fifty feet over to introduce himself he would have discovered a bunch of New Yorkers in the middle of an animated discussion about what had just happened. He instead chose to publish the photograph that allowed him to draw the conclusions he wished to draw, conclusions that also led Frank Rich to write, “The young people in Mr. Hoepker’s photo aren’t necessarily callous. They’re just American. A more honest conclusion might start by acknowledging just how easily a photograph can be manipulated, especially in the advancement of one’s own biases or in the service of one’s own career. Still, it was nice being described as a young person. I was forty at the time the photograph was taken.”—Colin Pantall’s blog: You don’t look like a victim (via photographsonthebrain)
“I learned it at just twenty-one or twenty-two… at an age when most guys are starting only to suspect the basics of adulthood - that life owes you nothing; that suffering takes many forms; that no one will ever care for you as your mother did; that the human heart is a chump.”—David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
“I guess a big part of serious fiction’s purpose is to give the reader, who like all of us is sort of marooned in her own skull, to give her imaginative access to other selves. Since an ineluctable part of being a human self is suffering, part of what we humans come to art for is an experience of suffering, necessarily a vicarious experience, more like a sort of “generalization” of suffering. Does this make sense? We all suffer alone in the real world; true empathy’s impossible. But if a piece of fiction can allow us imaginatively to identify with a character’s pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with our own. This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside.”—David Foster Wallace