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The writer’s obligation in the age of X is to play with words and to keep playing with them—not to deracinate or deplete them, but to use them as vehicles for discovering history, recovering wounds, reciting damage, and awakening conscience.

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The Cosmopolitans by Sarah Schulman

I ordered The Cosmopolitans after hearing Sarah Schulman at an AWP panel with the gloriously strong and trenchant Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. I was proud of myself for finally getting around to the work that launched Schulman’s career as a novelist and public intellectual in 1990. But about 100 pages into The Cosmopolitans, the sort of insight and anxiety around race, marketing, […]

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To be an artist — to be constantly imagining and reimagining this reality we move through — is not a hobby, or a half-comic loveable departure from the serious, adult business of ‘producing value’ — it is a form of training ourselves in expanding our ability to love.

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Anybody with a normal IQ can manage that. But saying anybody can be a writer is kind of like saying anybody can compose a sonata. Oh, forget it! In any art, there is an initial gift that had to be there. I don’t know how big it has to be, but it’s got to be there.

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