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All Quotes by author - David Means
" A few days after 9/11, I put the old cassette of 'Born in the U.S.A.,' twisted and worn, on the car deck as I drove past West Point, across the Bear Mountain Bridge, along the Hudson River. It was the perfect moment to hear it. "
" A good folk song tells you something you already know, in a form you're already familiar with, on terms that were set down long before you were born - when the country was primarily windblown dust, open wagon trains, and dysfunctional towns like Deadwood. "
" A kiss is often about the future and the past. A lost dream, about the discretion of the idealism. "
" Alice Munro is an atomic writer blasting doors into narrative time. "
" Americans are pragmatic; we want quick, clean, simple solutions to vast problems. The paradox is that we're a deeply confessional culture, but we're not often contemplative. "
" America turns its back on the mentally ill. It likes to think it doesn't, but it does. "
" As a story writer, you have work with sharp but relatively small tools, the picks of metaphor, the shovel blade of images, the trowel of point of view, and then you delicately lift and brush in the revision with love and care knowing that one slip, and you might damage an extremely delicate thing. "
" A short story collection can be as exciting as a novel. It is a real complete experience, like when you listen to a real good recording, a Beatles record, and there are so many good songs. "
" Every interaction with another person involves a dance of expectation, even when you're just passing someone in the street. Inside those moments - however brief they may be - there is a kind of anticipatory silence. "
" Everyone in my family still lives in Kalamazoo. "
" Folk songs, whatever else they might be, are mainly craft. "
" From George Martin's classically inspired production of the Beatles to Peter Gabriel's early solo masterpieces, to Stereolab's beautiful loops and blips, U.K.-based bands have often found a way to squeeze warmth and compassion from the stone-cold - especially now that the tubes are gone - machinery of the recording studio. "
" History is delusional. Not just an illusion, it's a delusion. America is this giant country, so it has these big delusions, and history is where delusions play out. "
" I don't think you could write fiction or create art unless you are sort of a positive person. "
" I don't want to be a commentator of my own work. If you've written the story, you've said what you want to say. "
" I find the middle classes kind of boring. The middle class has kind of been beaten like a dead horse by fictional writers. It's old news, and literature is supposed to bring new news, and for me, I feel I have to go as far out as I can to try and tell the kind of stories I want to tell. "
" Iggy Pop is a pure Michigan product - gritty, smart, but not afraid of looking stupid or foolish. His father was once a high school English teacher. I love Iggy as a physical entity, sinewy, twisty - even in old age - an embodiment of rock and roll history. "
" I knew for years I wanted to write a novel that addressed the personal trauma of my older sister, who suffered - and still suffers - from mental illness. For a long time I imagined - and I know it's absurd - that she was an indirect casualty of the Vietnam War. "
" I like landscape, I guess. It's kind of a game to see how you can describe it. "
" I love novels, and I read them more than anything, but stories cut in sharp and hard and are able to reveal things in a different way: they're highly charged, a slightly newer form, and inherently more contemporary. "
" I love the nooks and crannies of the American landscape; the back roads and back alleys, the places that are still untouched by the corporate gloss, the veneer of sameness that seems to be spreading across the country. "
" I'm a relatively optimistic kind of guy. "
" I'm not at all interested in simply reporting what's here right now, or cranking out an entertainment device that's going to touch the widest number of people. I'm interested in digging and excavating as deep as I can go into those small eternal moments and how they expand out, or close in, on the lives of my characters. "
" I'm not sure if a writer should talk about themes. Themes arrive out of the deeper structure and concerns, but to me, the main thing is getting it down right, writing about specific characters in specific predicaments, and finding a way to be true to the story itself, not only in the first burst of draft but in the revision, too. "
" In 'Kid A' and 'Amnesiac,' Mr. Yorke's lyrics were often unfathomable, moaned and mumbled and forced beneath the surface of the music. In 'Hail to the Thief,' most but not all of the words can be decoded after a few listens. "
" In the days following 9/11, when we were reeling and disoriented, there was a kind of solace to be found in old recordings, and even pseudo-folk singers like James Taylor seemed to be safeguarding something, drawing back bygone days. "
" I studied English at the College of Wooster in Ohio, and I did an M.F.A. in Poetry at Columbia. "
" I think a good story can do as much as a novel; not the exact same thing, of course, but just as much artistically. They're different beasts, but to tackle an expansive country like the United States, you're either going to write a big novel, or go in to various points on the map and write stories or poems. "
" I think all good short stories are about what it means to tell a good story. "
" I think most short story writers, at one time or another, over the course of several books, naturally skirt near the edge of one genre or another. "
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