Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Ritual That It Takes to Write

Sunday, September 25, 2016

…the ritual that it takes to write. It may look to outsiders like the life of freedom—not on a schedule, in command of yourself, singled out for glory, the choice apparently to write about anything. But once one’s writing, it’s all limits. Bound to a subject. Bound to make a sense of it. Bound to make a book of it. If you want to be reminded of your limitations virtually every moment, there’s no better occupation to choose. Your memory, your diction your intelligence, your sympathies, your observations, your sensations, your understanding—never enough. You can find out more about what’s missing in you than you really want to know. All of you an enclosure to keep trying to break out of. And all the obligations more ferocious for being self-imposed. (Philip Roth, The Anatomy Lesson, 1983)

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