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All Quotes by author - Alexandra Kleeman
" A lot of the surreal writing that I love is really dreamlike. Like Murakami. He uses the real world, and it's pretty recognizable, but its populated by these strange visitors, or it has these underground spaces. I was always really compelled by that. "
" As a culture, we really like our food passive. "
" A woman's body never really belongs to herself. As an infant, my body was my mother's, a detachable extension of her own, a digestive passage clamped and unclamped from her body. My parents would watch over it, watch over what went into and out of it, and as I grew up, I would be expected to carry on their watching by myself. "
" Both my parents are professors, and I never really saw people do any other jobs, so I didn't really know how to want a different kind of job. "
" I don't really buy the death-drive thing too literally; it feels overly neat and convenient. But I am suspicious of fighting back being the dominant model for cinematic conflict and personal conflict and political conflict. "
" I feel like things are weirder in our food production chain than I can even make up. I wouldn't invent pink slime, but pink slime exists: It's a non-fictional entity. Like, that stuff grosses me out so much, I couldn't make it up. "
" I feel like women bond with other women in this nonverbal way, where they take on each other's gestures. You start dressing more like each other, you eat the same food... It's a way of expressing regard: I want to be like you. Which is flattering, but if you view it another way, terrifying. "
" 'I' is the word everyone uses to refer to themselves. On the one hand, it points to a specific person, but it's also this blank space that you can insert yourself into; it's a chute into empathy. "
" I'm really interested in passivity as a type of action - sort of allowing the situation to change you, choosing to give in being an act of agency rather than an act of submission. "
" I think I may be the most well-adjusted person you'd ever meet who thinks constantly about falling out of her life. And my life is pretty great! It's not like I don't know that. "
" I think of workshopping as a way to read your own work through the eyes of others - a scene that you write gets refracted by those around you, and suddenly you have several different readings of it, each with a different momentum for how it might be retooled or reshaped. "
" I went into academia thinking that there'd be constant reciprocity between my scholarship and my creative work but found that doing one always turned my mind into the sort of tool that was badly suited to doing the other. "
" Makeup is something that a female has to reckon with every single day. Whether you wear it or don't, you're always making decisions about wearing it or not, or how you're wearing it, and what that means. "
" Remembering who I am is a really active task for me. And I often have to tell myself, 'You're a graduate student,' 'You're a daughter,' et cetera, in situations where I'm supposed to behave like one. "
" Sometimes I want to withhold judgement on whether something is good or bad, but I do feel like identifying with TV characters - connecting to them emotionally more than you connect to literal, physical people in your life - causes problems. They just don't have the same existence or boundaries as you do. They resemble us, but they are not us. "
" Sometimes you go for weeks without writing successfully, and you don't feel like a writer anymore. When friends ask me how my week was or how I'm doing, I think back on it, and I've just been by myself. Like, I'm just a sketch. "
" These days, there are times when my academic thinking intervenes in my writing, but it's usually while I'm developing a project and not while I'm writing it. "
" We don't notice that our cells are turning over all the time. You get a completely new composition of cells every seven years, and on the surface, or subjectively, it looks as though you're the same for seven years. It's like a ground - it looks stable, but beneath it, everything is shifting all the time. It's exciting and dangerous. "
" We're living at this funny time, where we're all urged to express ourselves as unique individuals, but on the other hand, we share a limited set of tools for doing that. It's easy to feel like nothing more than the sum of your consumer choices. "
" We talk about characters in literature as though they were built on the model of the real person, but then I often think that the way we present ourselves as real people is based heavily on the way literary psychologies are stylized, and I wonder how the two forms of realistic personhood feed on or fulfill each other. "
" When I started binge-watching TV, when that became a thing due to Netflix a few years ago, the first thing I watched was 'Lost.' It was summer break from grad school, and I watched it all in a row, like as many hours a day as I could, as though I were clocking in at a job. "
" When you seek out - or seek to avoid - your own reflection, the modern city becomes a hall of mirrors: car windows, reflective walls, and plate glass are everywhere, transmitting a cacophony of different versions of you - this one too short, that one too wide, another one with a sickly color you've never seen before. "
" You can feel how much money goes into commercials by how swiftly they act on your mind. And they've got, like, a hypnotic quality to the way they present their products. "
" You have to find some way of engaging with the world around you, however it's constituted. The engagement is necessarily going to be flawed. But if you do it on your own terms, you'll be able to extract some pleasure from the world. It might even make you really happy sometimes. "
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