“I hardly feel alive here, which is why to say I live here feels disingenuous. To live abroad, particularly for work, particularly in isolation, inspires a particular kind of surrealism. I wake up around seven from the church bells clanging across the street; I brush my teeth, walk down the hill to work, spend all day with my colleagues and students. At night I go back to the gîte, smoke a cigarette off my balcony, and fall asleep feeling empty, alone, and strange. It feels rude to say I am sad here: there is nothing to be sad about. I am working a dream job, in a beautiful place. But as it is easy to be lonely in a crowd, so it is easy to be depressed …”

– Larissa Pham, The Last Book I Loved.

“The worst part of writing fiction is the fear of wasting your life behind a keyboard. The idea that, dying, you’ll realize you only lived on paper. Your only adventures were make-believe, and while the world fought and kissed, you sat in some dark room masturbating and making money.”

Chuck Palahniuk, “Stranger Than Fiction.

“A writer – and, I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.”

Jorge Luis Borges.

 

henry_miller

“All phenomena, including man and his thoughts about himself, are nothing more than a moveable, changeable alphabet. There are no solid facts to get hold of. Thus, in writing even if my distortions and deformations be deliberate, they are not necessarily less near to the truth of things. One can be absolutely truthful and sincere even thought admittedly the most outrageous liar. Fiction and invention are of the very fabric of life.”

– Henry Miller, “The Wisdom of the Heart”

The Savage Detectives

“While we search for the antidote or the medicine to cure us, the new that which can only be found in the unknown, we must continue to turn to sex, books and travel, even knowing they will lead us into the abyss, which, as it happens, is the only place we can find the cure.”

– Roberto Bolaño