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Sodom and Gomorrah
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William2 William2 said: " Notes

1. This is the first volume of Proust’s novel I have been able to read with enjoyment. The first two volumes with their prolonged stories of children’s escapades held no interest for me. So I decided to start reading the volumes out of sequence.
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Collected Stories...
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William2 William2 said: " I admire these early stories about Jewish life in the shtetl, translated from the Yiddish. They transport me to an entirely different world. Many are about devotion and family life; some are concerned with the supernatural, like “The Black Wedding,” ...more "

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  (page 250 of 832)
May 18, 2021 01:24PM

 
Wallace Stevens: ...
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progress:  On page 100. Mar 07, 2021 01:11PM

 
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Vasily Grossman
“...neither fate, nor history, nor the anger of the State, nor the glory or infamy of battle has any power to affect those who call themselves human beings. No, whatever life holds in store --- hard-won glory, poverty and despair, or death in a labor camp --- they will live as human beings and die as human beings, the same as those who have already perished; and in this alone lies man's eternal and bitter victory over all the grandiose and inhuman forces that ever have been or will be...”
Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate

Norman Mailer
“I find it’s more fun to write about something that you don’t know completely and that you will discover on route. A dear friend of mine...once said: 'The only time I know anything is when it comes to me at the point of my pen.' So I think that if you start to write about things that you know half well, that you’re fascinated by, that you sense you have an appreciation of that others might not have, but you do have to acquire the knowledge as you go, you discover a great many things at the point of a pen. And it keeps the writing alive in itself in a way.
(in an interview with Martin Amis, 1991, see YouTube)”
Norman Mailer

Jonathan Swift
“Whatever reader desires to have a thorough comprehension of an author's thoughts cannot take a better method than by putting himself into the circumstances and postures of life that the author was in upon every important passage as it flowed from his pen; for this will introduce a parity and strict correspondence of ideas between the reader and the author. Now, to assist the diligent reader in so delicate an affair, as far as brevity will permit, I have recollected that the shrewdest pieces of this treatise were conceived in bed in a garret; at other times (for a reason best known to myself) I thought fit to sharpen my invention with hunger; and in general, the whole work was begun, continued, and ended under a long course of physic and great want of money.”
Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub

Barbara W. Tuchman
“In individuals as in nations, contentment is silent, which tends to unbalance the historical record.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

Martin Amis
“A writer’s life is half ambition and half anxiety, and there has to be both. It is no good writing a novel and feeling fine, and it is no good writing a whole novel feeling miserable. It has to be both, that mixture of anxiety and ambition, and you get that with every novel, but more so when you write about these epics of human suffering. I felt that just as much when I wrote about the Gulag. Every writer knows what that is. The process goes… you have to think: ‘This novel I am writing is no good.’ Then you have to think: ‘All my novels are no good.’ And then, when you reach that point, you can begin.”
Martin Amis

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