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In a sparse and beautiful page-long prologue, we encounter a violent act against Kayden Kelliher, a 17-year-old Geshig High School basketball star. His death, brought on by gang violence and communal depression, haunts the town in this story of violence, redemption, and self-determination.

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The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy

We are lucky to live in the world of Deborah Levy.

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We don’t always know what intimate life consists of until novels tell us.

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Maybe stories, fiction or not, give solace, context, possibility, as much with their stable, recurring forms as with their infinitely various contents, and thereby produce examples of lives shaped, framed so they are recognizably distinguishable from emptiness, from darkness that seems always to surround and render lives unseeable.

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Now that that organism has, for good or ill, its own self-sufficient equilibrium, why should I entrust myself to the media? Why continue to mix its breath with mine? I have a well-founded fear that the media, which, because of its current nature, that is, lacking a true vocation for “public interest,” would be inclined, carelessly, to restore a private quality to an object that originated precisely to give a less circumscribed meaning to individual experience.

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the universal needs the singular, and the singular must contain the universal. If you can put yourself in it, the labels fall away and it becomes art. 

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Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth

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We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric,

but out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.

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Style is not merely decorative or ornamental, any more than are feathers on a bird. Style performs work. Whatever its loveliness or ostentation, it is what allows the creature to fly, to attract mates, to hide from predators, to be what it is. Those feathers, moreover, are only as good as the wings they fit to, and the beak and claws to which they are indirectly joined, and all the rest. The parts have to connect; they have to work as a whole. Getting them together is what makes good writing.

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For me, writing is a way of struggling through the intricacies of an anti-empirical sensibility. And there must be words other than fiction and nonfiction. I see fiction not as the construction of an alternate world but as what your imagination gives you from the real world.

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