When I was still in prep school - 14, 15 - I started keeping notebooks, journals. I started writing, almost like landscape drawing or life drawing. I never kept a diary, I never wrote about my day and what happened to me, but I described things.
In our hearts... there must abide some pity for those people who have always felt themselves to be separate from even their most familiar surroundings, those people who either are foreigners or who suffer a singular point of view that makes them feel as if they’re foreigners - even in their native lands. In our hearts... there also abides a certain suspicion that such people need to feel set apart from their society. But people who initiate loneliness are no less lonely than those who are suddenly surprised by loneliness, nor are they undeserving of our pity.
Wrestling was my first success, the first thing that confirmed that I could be good at anything. Devoting yourself to wrestling, or tennis, or skiing, or dance, or to a musical instrument is a longing to be disciplined for a purpose.
I don't begin a novel or a screenplay until I know the ending. And I don't mean only that I have to know what happens. I mean that I have to hear the actual sentences. I have to know what atmosphere the words convey.
I try to see the whole woman,' Eddie said to Hannah. 'Of course I recognize that she's old, but there are photographs - or the equivalent of photographs in one's imagination of anyone's life. A whole life, I mean. I can picture her when she was much younger than I am - because there are always gestures and expressions that are ingrained, ageless. An old woman doesn't see herself as an old woman, and neither do I. I try to see her her whole life in her. There's something so moving about someone's whole life.
It's magical thinking to imagine that the reason unspeakable things are being perpetrated by younger and younger people is that they've fallen under the influence of seductive, lascivious, prurient, and violent material in books, films, television. A great deal of this type of censorship has to do with absolving parents of responsibility - parents who just plop their kids in front of the television and leave them there hour upon hour.
If you are careful,' Garp wrote, 'if you use good ingredients, and you don't take any shortcuts, then you can usually cook something very good. Sometimes it is the only worthwhile product you can salvage from a day; what you make to eat. With writing, I find, you can have all the right ingredients, give plenty of time and care, and still get nothing. Also true of love. Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.
I have no respect for the right-to-life position. But when you legislate personal belief, you're in violation of freedom of religion. The Catholic Church may espouse its opinion on abortion to the members of its congregation. But they are in violation of separation of church and state when they try to proselytize their abortion politics on people who are not Catholics.
He had heard her say, so many times, that a society that approved of making abortion illegal was a society that approved of violence against women; that making abortion illegal was simply a sanctimonious, self-righteous form of violence against women- it was just another way of legalizing violence against women, Nurse Caroline would say.
Ever since the Christmas of 1953, I have felt that the yuletide is a special hell for those families who have suffered any loss or who must admit to any imperfection; the so-called spirit of giving can be as greedy as receiving-Christmas is our time to be aware of what we lack, of who's not home.
I have stood aside to see the phantoms of those days go by me. They are gone, and I resume the journey of my story.’ (David Copperfield) “But all that night he lay awake because the phantoms of those days were not gone. Like the tiny, terrible holes in the prophylactics, the phantoms of those days were not easy to detect—and their meaning was unknown—but they were there.
The characters in my novels, from the very first one, are always on some quixotic effort of attempting to control something that is uncontrollable - some element of the world that is essentially random and out of control.
When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.