Posts tagged prose.

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.

Charles Péguy (via wwnorton)

(via proustitute)

A letter doesn’t communicate by words alone. A letter, just like a book, can be read by smelling it, touching it and fondling it. Thereby, intelligent folk will say, ‘Go on then, read what the letter tells you!’ whereas the dull-witted will say, ‘Go on then, read what he’s written!’

Orhan Pamuk, My Name Is Red, trans. Erdag Goknar (via proustitute)

(via proustitute)

We often notice that a writing subject does not have his writing ‘in his own image’: if you love me ‘for myself,’ you do not love me for my writing (and I suffer from it).

Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, trans. Richard Howard (via proustitute)

Oh what a grind it is embodying all these ideas and having perpetually to expose my mind, opened and intensified as it is by the heat of creation, to the blasts of the outer world. If I didn’t feel so much, how easy it would be to go on.

Virginia Woolf, from a diary entry dated 18 March 1935 (via proustitute)

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (via proustitute)

Is even the end of us an account? No, don’t answer, I know that even the memory has weight. Once in the war I saw a dead horse that had been lying long against the ground. Time and the birds and its own last concentration had removed the body a great way from the head. As I looked upon that head, my memory weighed for the lost body; and because of that missing quantity even heavier hung that head along the ground. So love, when it has gone, taking time with it, leaves a memory of its weight.

Djuna Barnes, Nightwood, 1936 (via proustitute)

This security of the eternal casts out all anxiety and makes the love perfect, perfectly secure. For in that love which has only existence, however confident it may be, there is still an anxiety, anxiety over the possibility of change. Such love does not itself understand any more than the poet that this is anxiety, for the anxiety is hidden; the only expression is a burning passion, whereby is merely hinted that anxiety is at the bottom. Otherwise why is it that spontaneous love is so inclined to—yes, so in love with—making a test of the love?

Søren Kierkegaard, Works of Love, 1847, trans. Howard and Edna Hong (via proustitute)

In creating, you create the origin that swallows you.

Edmond Jabès, quoted in Rosmarie Waldrop’s Lavish Absence (via proustitute)

The first obligation of the writer is to be interesting. To be interesting; not to change the world.

John Barth (via The Paris Review)

I cannot sleep beside someone who moves around, snores, breathes heavily, or steals the covers. I can sleep with my arms around someone who doesn’t move. I have attempted suicide once, I’ve been tempted four times to attempt it. The distant sound of a lawn mower in summer brings back happy childhood memories. I am bad at throwing. I have read less of the Bible than of Marcel Proust. … When I make lists of names, I dread the ones I forget. From certain angles, tanned and wearing a black shirt, I can find myself handsome. I find myself ugly more often than handsome. I like my voice after a night out or when I have a cold. I am unacquainted with hunger.

Édouard Levé, from “When I Look at a Strawberry, I Think of a Tongue,” trans. Lorin Stein (via proustitute)