Happy Birthday, Renata Adler, born 19 October 1937
- That ‘writers write’ is meant to be self-evident. People like to say it. I find it is hardly ever true. Writers drink. Writers rant. Writers phone. Writers sleep. I have met very few writers who write at all.
- There are times when every act, no matter how private and unconscious, becomes political.
- Idle people are often bored and bored people, unless they sleep a lot, are cruel. It is not accident that boredom and cruelty are great preoccupations in our time.
- It is always self-defeating to pretend to the style of a generation younger than your own; it simply erases your own experience in history.
- Hardly anyone about whom I deeply care at all resembles anyone else I have ever met, or heard of, or read about in literature.
- Writing about writing is a bit like talking about a conversation you are having; it tends to obscure desperation about where the next word is coming from.
- The whole magic of a plot requires that somebody be impeded from getting something over with.
- The writer has a grudge against society, which he documents with accounts of unsatisfying sex, unrealised ambition, unmitigated loneliness, and a sense of local and global distress.
- Nothing defines the quality of life in a community more clearly than people who regard themselves, or whom the consensus chooses to regard, as mentally unwell.
- Every love story,every commercial trade, every secret, every matter in which trust is involved, is a gentle transaction of hostages. Everything is, to a degree, in the custody of every other thing. Blackmail, kidnapping, then, are among the extreme violations of the deal.
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