A long time ago—so long ago he had forgotten the author's name—he read some memorable lines in a story about a man who is trying to translate another story, by a much more famous author. In these lines—which, my neighbor said, he still remembers to this day—the translator says that a sentence is born into this world neither good nor bad, and that to establish its character is a question of the subtlest possible adjustments, a process of intuition to which exaggeration and force are fatal. Those lines concerned the art of writing, but looking around himself in early middle-age my neighbor began to see that they applied just as much to the art of living.
(rachel cusk, from "outline: part 1," the paris review winter 2013)
If you exist for a long enough time on the Internet, you’ll lead lots of different lives there. You’ll become known first for one thing, and then, if you’re lucky, another. Creative life on the Internet is long, and made up of a bunch of bright intense bursts. Eyeballs all turn your way at once, and then they turn away. This all may add up to a certain kind of fame, but I think a better way of looking at it is that you just become part of the Internet’s furniture. People sit on you, people lie down on you and cry, people let their dogs put muddy paws all over you, people forget you in favor of another couch, people discover you again.
Don’t ask me to push this furniture metaphor too far or things…will get…insane.
(patricia lockwood, from lauren o'neal's interview at therumpus.net)