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" Henry Miller wrote novels, but he calls his protagonist Henry, often Henry Miller, and his books are in this gray area between memoir and novel. "
" I used to be fond of Indian arm wrestling. "
" Faulkner turned out to be a great teacher. When a student asked a question ineptly, he answered the question with what the student had really wanted to know. "
" Hemingway seems to be in a funny position. People nowadays can't identify with him closely as a member of their own generation, and he isn't yet historical. "
" I have, I admit, a low tolerance for detached chronicling and cool analysis. "
" All good criticism should be judged the way art is. You shouldn't read it the way you read history or science. "
" What I really dream of is that somebody would blow everything I've done out of the water in a beautiful way, which would clear the way for something better to come along. "
" I like that people who are not experts can not only understand but get engaged by my work. I like that Joe Paterno can read me. Bill Bradley. "
" I never met anybody in my life who says, I want to be a critic. People want to be a fireman, poet, novelist. "
" I think the pattern of my essays is, A funny thing happened to me on my way through Finnegans Wake. "
" I gave up writing blurbs because you make one friend and 200 enemies. "
" Foucault was the one person I met in France that I could talk to. He was a mensch. You know whether you agree with him or not because you know what he is saying. "
" Faulkner sat in our living room and read from Light in August. That was incredible. "
" I've been writing about James Fenimore Cooper. He was not a writer. Here was a man who was 30 years old and had never put anything more than his signature on paper. "
" Cooper wrote a novel which is absolutely indistinguishable from Austen, completely from a female point of view, completely English, no sense that he was an American. "
" Anybody in the next centuries wanting to know what it was like to be a poet in the middle of the 20th century should read Kaddish. "
" I love it now that a large minority of people who are handicapped prefer to call themselves crippled. This is all part of the game, like queer theory. "
" I admire Ginsberg as a poet, despite the fact that he seems not to know when he is being good and when he is bad. But he will last, or at least those poems will last. "
" I think Henry Miller has had huge influence not because he wrote about sex, but because the memoir or the nonfiction novel has become such a monumental force in American publishing, if not in literature. "
" There are things in American culture that want to wipe the class distinction. Blue jeans. Ready-made clothes. Coca-Cola. "
" Critics? How do they happen? I know how it happened to me. I would send a poem or story to a magazine and they would say this doesn't suit our needs precisely but on the other hand you sound interesting. Would you be interested in doing a review? "
" I've had a tough time with Pynchon. I liked him very much when I first read him. I liked him less with each book. He got denser and more complex in a way that didn't really pay off. "
" Gertrude Stein really thought of Hemingway as frail. He almost married Stein. "
" I liked Camille Paglia. I liked her even better when I heard her talk. "
" I long for the raised voice, the howl of rage or love. "