“That book is so fucked up; that story’s the worst. I mean, at the end the tree is a stump and the old guy just sitting on him; he’s just used him to death, and you’re supposed to want to be the tree? Fuck you. You be the tree. I don’t want to be the tree.”—Ryan Gosling on The Giving Tree
Did you hear that the Barnes & Noble in this film, the one on 66th Street, is closing? I did! I had this fantasy about a scene in a romantic comedy where I would go there, realize it was closed, and run into a guy who had the same idea. And then we’d walk to the next Barnes & Noble together and fall in love! It was an incredibly specific and also plagiaristic You’ve Got Mail meeting-a-guy fantasy. But that’s how I spend 90 percent of my time — having romantic-comedy fantasies in which I’m wearing little pencil skirts and hurrying down to the subway.
“When I made the decision to move overseas, I also made the decision to get rid of my entire library — 1,500 books. Most were sold to a used bookstore, some donated to charity, others handed off to friends. Down to several hundred near the moving date, the gentleman who came over to pick up the shelves I was selling asked what I was doing with the giant stacks now lined up around my bare walls. ‘Do you want them’, I asked. He immediately picked up a stack and started loading up his car. My friend Charles and I sat gloomily as the man made trip after trip up and down my stairs. I skipped refilling my glass with vodka and just started drinking out of the bottle. ‘It’s the stories they contain, not the books themselves, right’, I asked. ‘Sure, kid. Can you top me off.’
I don’t miss the stories in Isak Dinesen’s Seven Gothic Tales. I can hop over to East of Eden bookstore and probably find a copy of the same book. But it wouldn’t have the same smell, it wouldn’t be a perfect 1960s Modern Library hardback edition, and it wouldn’t have my 2007 Dublin bus schedule jammed between the pages as a bookmark. I don’t miss the book, I miss *the book*. I hope it’s being read and loved right now, and my bus schedule replaced with a subway pass or a receipt for coffee and an almond croissant.”—Jessa Crispin in The Smart Set (via thebronzemedal) (via thoughtsdetained)
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”—Roald Dahl’s The Twits
“The nine-to-five is one of the greatest atrocities sprung upon mankind. You give your life away to a function that doesn’t interest you. This situation so repelled me that I was driven to drink, starvation, and mad females, simply as an alternative.”—Charles Bukowski (via booksarebetterthanboys) (via emilyposts)
“We came to writing at an earlier age, from an urge to release a scream that had stuck in our throats. Then we worked on our screams until we thought they were something someone might want to hear.”—stephen elliot. (via meaghano) (via tightgrip)
Here are the rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. They don't have to be the greatest books you've ever read, just the ones that stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
And yet, we writers tell our friends and children, there is nothing more sacrosanct, more vital to our intellectual and emotional well-being, than writing time. But we writers have a secret. We don’t spend much time writing.
To allow our loved ones to know that we are working when we are supposed to be engaged in the responsibilities of ordinary life would mark us as the narcissists and social misfits we are. And so we have invented “writing time” as a normalizing concept, to shield ourselves from the critical scrutiny we deserve. Indeed, even writers who don’t write fiction are engaged in the larger fiction of imitating normal humans whose professional activities are organized into discrete blocks of time.
“I wanted to get out and walk eastward toward the park through the soft twilight, but each time I tried to go I became entangled in some wild, strident argument which pulled me back, as if with ropes, into my chair. Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”—
Though the poet neglects to enumerate them, providing instead a mere list, a simple inventory establishes that—if we omit the purely hypothetical posthumous final one—Elizabeth Barrett loved Robert Browning in precisely seven ways.
English contains more words than any other language on the planet and added its millionth word early Wednesday, according to the Global Language Monitor, a Web site that uses a math formula to estimate how often words are created.
The Global Language Monitor says the millionth word was added to English on Wednesday.
The site estimates the millionth English word, “Web 2.0” was added to the language Wednesday at 5:22 a.m. ET. The term refers to the second, more social generation of the Internet.
“The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last— the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise (via thoughtsdetained)
Reclusive author J.D. Salinger has emerged, at least in the pages of court documents, to try to stop a novel that presents Holden Caulfield, the disaffected teen hero of his classic “The Catcher in the Rye,” as an old man.
Lawyers for Salinger filed suit in federal court this week to stop the publication, sale and advertisement of “60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye,” a novel written by an author calling himself J.D. California and published by a Swedish company that advertises joke books and a “sexual dictionary” on its Web site.