I wished that my own bones were unbound, I wished they were mingling, picked clean by fish, with the bones of another body, a body my bones and heart and soul had loved with unfathomable certainty for decades, and both of us down deep now, lost to everything but the fact of bare bones on a dark seabed.
That’s what winter is: an exercise in remembering how to still yourself then how to come pliantly back to life again.
Outside the leaves on the trees constricted slightly; they were the deep done green of the beginning of autumn. It was a Sunday in September. There would only be four. The clouds were high and the swallows would be here for another month or so before they left for the south before they returned again next summer.
It is important to know the stories and histories of things, even if all we know is that we don't know.
It's the word 'artful'; it's such a great word, with its dark and its light side, its art and its cunning, the craft and the crafty of it - I've been preoccupied with the word 'artful' and the twin notions of 'cornucopia' and 'pickpocket' it suggests for quite some time.
I see the difficulty of kids in going to university, the difficulty of kids in schools getting arts education, so that the arts and drama and the creative arts are extracurricular. They aren't: they are at the centre, and they are the equipment we so desperately need in the world.
Short stories consume you faster. They're connected to brevity. With the short story, you are up against mortality. I know how tough they are as a form, but they're also a total joy.
As for Aliki - if you were to stand in the middle of Rome and say the name Sophia Loren, or Paris and say the name Catherine Deneuve or Brigitte Bardot, or L.A. and the name Marilyn Monroe, it's like standing in Athens, or anywhere in wide-flung Greece, and saying Aliki Vougiouklaki. A huge star - and so little known elsewhere in the world.
Words are like untying a corset - you can move into this great space with them.
I really like jackets and tend to buy them to the detriment of my need of all the other items.
I met an internationally esteemed writer at a literary party being given in her honor. She was wearing a beautiful pink, flouncy, frilly dress. I complimented her on it. She said, 'Ach, it's my nightgown. I couldn't decide what else to wear.'
I grew up completely alone but with all the comforts of knowing I had a cushioning family structure around me - and yet I could free myself from it.
I'm quite good on the harmonica and can get a tune out of most musical instruments, so long as the tune is 'Oh Susannah.'
I wouldn't call my work Modernist. I would rust if I try to think about labels. I'd feel like the Tin Man in 'The Wizard of Oz.'
We'd never expect to understand a piece of music on one listen, but we tend to believe we've read a book after reading it just once.
I had a job, I got ill, I left the job to get better, and while I was getting better, I wrote some stories. I sent them to some publishers and the fifth one who replied said they'd take them. Then they went bankrupt. Then that bankrupt publisher got bought by a bigger firm. Story: in the end is the beginning, and in the beginning is the end.
When we meet a work of art, there's something about that encounter that isn't fixed in time, but rather, it unfixes time: the shaft opens. The past and present exist in the same moment, and we know, as beings, that we are connected. All the people who lived before us, all who will come after us, are connected in this moment.
A game one of my sisters will play with me in my first year of being alive is called Good Baby, Bad Baby. This consists of being told I am a good baby until I smile and laugh, then being told I am a bad baby until I burst into tears. This training will stand me in good stead all through my life.
Nothing is harmful to literature except censorship, and that almost never stops literature going where it wants to go either, because literature has a way of surpassing everything that blocks it and growing stronger for the exercise.
The rhythmical unit of the syllable is at the back of all of it - the word, the phrase, the sentence, the syntax, the paragraph, and the way the heart moves when you read it.