Friday, October 19, 2007

Jeanette Winterson again

"What you fuck is more important than how you write. This may be because reading takes more effort than sex. . . . No one asks Iris Murdoch about her sex life. Every interviewer I meet asks me about mine and what they do not ask they invent. I am a writer who happens to love women. I am not a lesbian who happens to write."

"The spirit has gone out of the world. I fear the dead bodies settling around me, the corpses of humanity, fly-blown and ragged. I fear the executive zombies, the shop zombies, the Church zombies, the writerly zombies, all mouthing platitudes, the language of the dead, all mistaking hobbies for passions, the folly of the dead." — Art & Lies

"Why is the measure of love loss?" — Written on the Body

"Love demands expression. It will not stay still, stay silent, be good, be modest, be seen and not heard, no. It will break out in tongues of praise, the high note that smashes the glass and spills the liquid." — Written on the Body

What am I to do? When I see a second-hand bookshop anywhere in the world, I will change my plans, behave brutally to others just to spend an hour inside it. My nostrils flare, my breath quickens, my heart pounds, my wallet opens. I cannot rest until I am alone in the farthermost edge, wedge, ledge of the shop, great or small, lying along the skirting board, legs propped, reading. It has to be second hand shops, (though alas they no longer sell corsets,) because these are the only places where the books, and therefore the book lover, is free. Here are no market forces or censorious librarians, no sameness or dreariness marks the waiting rows; there are no promotions or special offers. Above all, there are seldom any people. I do not like to do what I do in public, I like to be alone with my books, and I like them a little worn, a little knowing. I don't mind someone else's signature of ownership, though I am always careful to make a note of my own. I enjoy the past, compressed between the pages." — Second hand pleasures

The dynamic of a book is unpredictable, not least because it involves another person. You. The meeting of minds, thought to thought, idea to idea, is a creative process. You are the element the writer cannot foresee. The book changes under your hands. This is why it is so crucial that the book should be under your hands, not flickering or scrolling, but physically held by you, page-turned by you, scribbled in, underlined, even torn up by you. If the text is to become your text, you will have to wrestle with it and pin it down. Literature is a hands-on experience." — Books in the Digital Age

"So if you ask me what art is for, I will tell you. It is the science of the heart, the science of the spirit, the science of the soul and we cannot live without its roots and maps into those places of deep feeling, where we dare not go alone."Books in the Digital Age

"There are tribes who believe that only by worshipping the sun every day can we keep the world alive. I'm of the tribe who believe that only by re-telling the stories every day can we keep ourselves alive. What we remember, what we invent." — Books in the Digital Age