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Brian Evenson quotes (showing 1-13 of 13)

“There is, in every event, whether lived or told, always a hole or a gap, often more than one. If we allow ourselves to get caught in it, we find it opening onto a void that, once we have slipped into it, we can never escape.”
Brian Evenson, Fugue State
“Anything can happen: anything. Or nothing. Who can say? The world, monstrous, is made that way, and in the end consumes us all. Who am I, administrated or no, to have the audacity to survive it?”
Brian Evenson, Fugue State
“Truth cannot be imparted," said Kline. "It must be inflicted.”
Brian Evenson
“I don't think that writing, real writing, has much to do with affirming belief--if anything it causes rifts and gaps in belief which make belief more complex and more textured, more real. Good writing unsettles, destroys both the author and the reader. From my perspective, there always has to be a tension between the writer and the monolithic elements of the culture, such as religion.”
Brian Evenson
“I am your friend,” Gous said. “I drank with you, didn’t I?”
Kline tried to nod but nothing happened. He could see the wrappings around Gous’ hand staining with blood.
“Besides,” said Gous, “friendship is one thing, God another.”
Brian Evenson, Last Days
tags: friend, god
“Still,” said Ramse. “You’re not much. You’re what you are and we love you for it, but you’re not much.”
Brian Evenson, Last Days
“What was the truth? he wondered. How important was it to know? And once he knew, what then?”
Brian Evenson, Last Days
tags: truth
“His only mistake was not realizing there was a second car. There’s always a second car. Except when there’s not.”
Brian Evenson, Last Days
tags: humor
“That’s Kline,” he said. “We know and love him. He’s like a person to us.”
Brian Evenson, Last Days
tags: love
“As long as you are following God’s will, friend Kline. But even God sometimes becomes impatient. You know the story of Jonah, friend Kline? How many whales do you suppose God will deign send to swallow you? When does God run out of whales?”
Brian Evenson, Last Days
tags: god
“Curiosity is a terrible thing, he was thinking. How is it possible to stop oneself from needing to know?”
Brian Evenson, Last Days
“Of course there’s another choice, he thought. There is always another choice. I’m just not going to take it.”
Brian Evenson, Last Days
tags: choice
“Fiction is a set of observable manifestations, as represented and frozen in language, that triggers a profoundly subjective and individual experience.

Ultimately, this is the kind of productive dilemma that can allow fiction to get to places that other media does not. Fiction is exceptionally good at providing models for consciousness, and at putting readers in a position to take upon themselves the structure of another consciousness for a short while. It is better at this than any other genre or media, and can do it in any number of modes (realistic or metafictional, reliably or unreliably, representationally or metafictionally, etc.). But for it to be able to do this as well as it possibly can, it must clear a space. This is where, for me, doing without becomes most crucial.

The subtractions that we find in innovative fictions (even when those subtractions, as in Joyce's work, are followed by further ornamentations and encrustations) are there to facilitate the simulation of consciousness. What is subtracted is the significance and meaning designed to let us classify an experience without entering into it. Doing without such things opens the door wider for experience, putting the reader in a position where they are experiencing fiction in lieu of understanding it.

By paying more attention to what we leave out than to how readers are going to interpret or work after the fact, we refuse to let fiction be assimilable, digestible, and safe. We keep it from being mere fodder for criticism and instead accept it as valid, vital experience.”
Brian Evenson


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