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Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.

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Poetry should not be regarded as one more means of escape.

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I suspect that any vital creative process somehow involves arranging things so that intuition is given pride of place. The individual writer’s “craft” might be understood, then, as the process of conspiring to work oneself into the necessary state of mystification, such that one is deferring to the innate energy of the story, rather than overriding it.

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I believe in the harm that stories can do, but also in their power. If people can tell stories that cast shadows where there are none, perhaps stories can also shed light where there is darkness, and can promote understanding where there is confusion and fear.

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A writer must be humane to his fingertips

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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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It took me a long time, and many false starts, to find my way to a project where I felt that same synthesis of subject and psychological state again. And when they come together, the writing itself changes: It doesn’t feel like work, it doesn’t feel like sentences in a holding pattern. It’s just necessity.

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Admit. Accept. Allow. Own. The language of confession flows not outward but inward. It is language that reveals confession’s impact on the self rather than on the listener.

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The human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.

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The question of why a writer can make the words on the page come to felt life in one genre but not another–why the gift of expressiveness is extended here while that of appreciation goes there–this question remains unanswerable. For the reader, it is only necessary that gift there be–the one that makes us feel alive to literature and ourselves when subject, writer, and form are brilliantly matched.

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