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" I felt like I was definitely seeing something - the falsely gorgeous images of war, painted, almost invariably, in 'Times' combat photos. "
" The 'Times' is understood to be almost the unofficial biographer of the country, in some strange way to be printing a kind of quasi-neutral truth or even, in some people's minds, slightly center-left version of reality. "
" I like having a paperback original. And until literature catches up with the culture - the violence, language, syntax, compression, concision, complexity and diversity that the Internet offers - books still make sense. "
" My particular demigod is the Sonics point guard Gary Payton, who is one of the most notorious trash-talkers in the National Basketball Association. He's not really bad. He's only pretend bad - I know that - but he allows me to fantasize about being bad. "
" The N.F.L.'s rule on underclassmen should be abolished, and the N.B.A. should be discouraged from adding an age limit. "
" I like some of Annie Proulx, some of those very brief stories of hers. And I love J. M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello. I like Geoff Dyer. I also liked W. G. Sebald, especially his book 'The Emigrants'. "
" The trajectory of nearly all technology follows this downward and widening path: by the time a regular person is able to create his own TV network, it doesn't matter anymore that I have or am on a network. "
" I don't know what's the matter with me, why I'm so adept at distance, why I feel so remote from things, why life feels like a rumor. "
" I really love that idea of the essay as an investigation. That's all anyone's life is. "
" The only rule is never be bored. "
" I am exhausted by traditional memoir. I am exhausted by the architecture of the conventional novel. "
" I'm trying to use myself and my own flawedness as a metaphor for general human experience. I'm trying to 'stand next to' a subject, whether it's Bobby Knight or Vince Carter, and use that subject to meditate on both him and me. "
" Aging followed by death is the price we pay for the immortality of our genes. You find this information soul-killing; I find it thrilling, liberating. "
" Life, in my view, is simple, tragic, and frighteningly beautiful. "
" Basically, I really love work that puts the reader into a kind of vertigo, into a real doubt, and a beautiful way to convey that, a really perfect metaphor for that, is to make the reader also experience doubt. "
" I began as a fiction writer - I had written three novels in my 20s and 30s. But as my work has gravitated towards literary nonfiction, or lyric essay or poetic essay, whatever you want to call it, I'm constantly beating my head against the wall 'cause I'm teaching a genre that's no longer that exciting to me and that I'm no longer practicing. "
" Your basic, well-made novel by Ian McEwan or Jonathan Franzen just bores me silly. "
" Our lives aren't prepackaged along narrative lines and, therefore, by its very nature, reality-based art - underprocessed, underproduced - splinters and explodes. "
" I worry that I am not really a person anymore: I'm more of just a writing machine. I wonder what that has done to either my life and or my art. "
" I am truly bored with 99 per cent of conventional novels. I do think it's a somewhat desiccated form. "
" Considering the relatively brief careers of professional athletes, teenagers who are good enough to play at the highest level should be able to exploit that market. "
" Art, like science, progresses, and to me it's bizarre that a lot of acclaimed and popular and respectable books are not advancing the art form. "
" Straightforward fiction functions only as more Bubble Wrap, nostalgia, retreat. "
" Centenarians tend to be assertive, suspicious, and practical. "
" Stoicism is of no use to me whatsoever. What I'm a big believer in is talking about everything until you're blue in the face. "
" Every quality I despise in George Bush is a quality I despise in myself. He is my worst self realized. "
" Nothing really changes: the individual's ability to project his message or throw his weight around remains minuscule. "
" Denied dancing and musical instruments, slaves expressed a hidden tradition of musicality and poetics by tongue and signal. "
" Sports - especially the NBA - function as a place where American society pretends to discuss and pretends to solve questions and historical agonies that can't possibly be solved within the realm of sports. "
" Good poets borrow; great poets steal. "
" Swimming is by far the best tonic I've found for my back. I'm not a good swimmer - I do the breaststroke or elementary backstroke in the slow lane - but when I took a two-week break from swimming I was surprised how much I missed it. "