Happy Birthday, John Dufresne, born 30 January 1948
- A lack of narrative structure, as you know, will cause anxiety.
- Reading honest literature makes you love the world. Knowledge and understanding are love. Reading educates our feelings and enhances our sympathy. When you read for understanding, you are fundamentally changed. You are a different person at the end of the story or the novel than you were when it began.
- Life was one thing after another, a brief insanity, a series of inexplicable transitions that seemed at the time sensible, but at second sight ridiculous, a succession of unconnected incidents, accidental relationships.
- You lose a wallet or keys or something and you notice in a second, but your life can go missing and you don’t even know it.
- Memory is a rascal.
- We read novels because we need stories; we crave them; we can’t live without telling them and hearing them. Stories are how we make sense of our lives and of the world. When we’re distressed and go to therapy, our therapist’s job is to help us tell our story. Life doesn’t come with plots; it’s messy and chaotic; life is one damn, inexplicable thing after another. And we can’t have that. We insist on meaning. And so we tell stories so that our lives make sense.
- The purpose of the first draft is not to get it right, but to get it written.
John Dufresne is an American author of French Canadian descent. He is a professor in the Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing program of the English Department at Florida International University. He won a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for his work in 2012. His works include the novel, Love Warps the Mind a Little and the non-fiction book, The Lie That Tells a Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction.
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