When I was twelve I was obsessed. Everything was sex. Latin was sex. The dictionary fell open at 'meretrix', a harlot. You could feel the mystery coming off the word like musk. 'Meretrix'! This was none of your mensa-a-table, this was a flash from a forbidden planet, and it was everywhere. History was sex, French was sex, art was sex, the Bible, poetry, penfriends, games, music, everything was sex except biology which was obviously sex but not really sex, not the one which was secret and ecstatic and wicked and a sacrament and all the things it was supposed to be but couldn't be at one and the same time - I got that in the boiler room and it turned out to be biology after all.
Q: Where and when do you do your writing? A: Any small room with no natural light will do. As for when, I have no particular schedules... afternoons are best, but I'm too lethargic for any real regime. When I'm in the flow of something I can do a regular 9 to 5; when I don't know where I'm going with an idea, I'm lucky if I do two hours of productive work. There is nothing more off-putting to a would-be novelist to hear about how so-and-so wakes up at four in the a.m, walks the dog, drinks three liters of black coffee and then writes 3,000 words a day, or that some other asshole only works half an hour every two weeks, does fifty press-ups and stands on his head before and after the "creative moment." I remember reading that kind of stuff in profiles like this and becoming convinced everything I was doing was wrong. What's the American phrase? If it ain't broke...
There was a moment of hesitation in which Joe looked into her eyes, and she looked back without flinching. Many a time, he had been at the same game with her, and she had always crumbled, bowing to his will. Now, he must have realized he was looking into the eyes of a stranger. She was someone he could not recognize, a foreigner inhabiting the body of that old Clairey, the girl he had abused, intimidated, and broken. Clairey decided then and there she would no longer cower before him. It was almost as if she were daring him to strike her in their unspoken exchange.
Now I would solicit the particular attention of those numerous people who imagine that money is everything in this world, and that rank and ability are inseparable from wealth: let them observe that Cincinnatus, the one man in whom Rome reposed all her hope of survival, was at that moment working a little three-acre farm (now known as Quinctian meadows) west of the Tiber, just opposite the spot where the shipyards are today. A mission from the city found him at work on his land - digging a ditch, maybe, or ploughing. Greetings were exchanged, and he was asked - with a prayer for God's blessing on himself and his country - to put on his toga and hear the Senate's instructions. This naturally surprised him, and, asking if all were well, he told his wife Racilia to run to their cottage and fetch his toga. The toga was brought, and wiping the grimy sweat from his hands and face he put it on; at once the envoys from the city saluted him, with congratulations, as Dictator, invited him to enter Rome, and informed him of the terrible danger of Minucius's army.
The first question they ask is: "Why was he eternally surprised?"And they were told: "Wen considered the nature of time and understood the universe is, instant by instant, re-created anew. Therefore, he understood, there is, in truth, no Past, only a memory of the Past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, he said, the only appropriate state of mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.
I know I do everything. I've been doing everything for an awfully long time, and I've seen and lived as hard as I could, and it's been unbelievable, I tell you, unbelievable. But now I have the feeling everything is gliding away from me, and I don't remember, and I don't care, and yet now is right when I need it.
Everything science has taught me strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death. I believe in an immortal soul. Science has proved that nothing disintegrates into nothingness. Life and soul, therefore, cannot disintegrate into nothingness, and so are immortal.
How oddly situated a man is apt to find himself at age thirty-eight! His youth belongs to the distant past. Yet the period of memory beginning with the end of youth and extending to the present has left him not a single vivid impression. And therefore he persists in feeling that nothing more than a fragile barrier separates him from his youth. He is forever hearing with the utmost clarity the sounds of this neighboring domain, but there is no way to penetrate the barrier.Honda felt that his youth had ended with the death of Kiyoaki Matsugae. At that moment something real within him, something that had burned with a vibrant brilliance, suddenly ceased to be.Now, late at night, when Honda grew weary of his legal drafts, he would pick up the dream journal that Kiyoaki had left him and turn over its pages.(...)Since then eighteen years had passed. The border between dream and memory had grown indistinct in Honda’s mind. Because the words contained in this journal, his only souvenir of his friend, had been traced there by Kiyoaki’s own hand, it had profound significance for Honda. These dreams, left like a handful of gold dust in a winnowing pan, were charged with wonder.As time went by, the dreams and the reality took on equal worth among Honda’s diverse memories. What had actually occurred was in the process of merging with what could have occurred. As reality rapidly gave way to dreams, the past seemed very much like the future.When he was young, there had been only one reality, and the future had seemed to stretch before him, swelling with immense possibilities. But as he grew older, reality seemed to take many forms, and it was the past that seemed refracted into innumerable possibilities. Since each of these was linked with its own reality, the line distinguishing dream and reality became all the more obscure. His memories were in constant flux, and had taken on the aspect of a dream.