But then, other people’s relationships are always mysterious. A relationship is a closed world, and it’s impossible to see clearly into the interior from the outside. St. Bernard of Clairvaux: Only the singer hears it and the one to whom he sings. Only the external details are clearly visible: once there was a young and passionate poet who fell in love with a married man, and the affair inspired a magnificent work.
Usually, with a novel, you start with no idea what to do because your job is to create convincing characters and then they just run around getting crazy. The problem with writing a memoir, obviously, is you can’t do that because you sort of know what’s going to happen. Because you’re the character.
“By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept is a staggering accomplishment, an exquisite and often ecstatic rendition of a tumultuous affair: ‘Jupiter has been with Leda, I thought, and now nothing can avert the Trojan wars. All legend will be broken, but who will escape alive?’” — Emily St. John Mandel
"I submit that the kind of place Parker holds within jazz tradition is a little like what you would get if you mixed Beethoven with Jimi Hendrix. He was a game changer."
Winning a prestigious prize in the literary world seems to go hand-in-hand with a particularly sharp reduction in ratings of perceived quality
When I dislike a novel, it’s usually because I recognize something familiar in it: a character, a premise, most often a writing style. Familiar is boring.