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Jonathan Lethem

“This was the time when all we could talk about was sentences, sentences—nothing else stirred us. Whatever happened in those days, whatever befell our regard, Clea and I couldn’t rest until it had been converted into what we told ourselves were astonishingly unprecedented and charming sentences:
“Esther’s cleavage is something to be noticed” or “You can’t have a contemporary prison without contemporary furniture” or “I envision an art which will make criticism itself seem like a cognitive symptom, one which its sufferers define to themselves as taste but is in fact nothing of the sort” or “I said I want my eggs scrambled not destroyed.”
At the explosion of such a sequence from our green young lips, we’d rashly scribble it on the wall of our apartment with a filthy wax pencil, or type it twenty-five times on the same sheet of paper and then photocopy the paper twenty-five times and then slice each page into twenty-five slices on the paper cutter in the photocopy shop and then scatter the resultant six hundred and twenty-five slips of paper throughout the streets of our city, fortunes without cookies.”


Jonathan Lethem
tags: life, writing
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