moonrise over the bay

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)


lauren said...

there's something unforgivably deep-thoughts-y about illustrating an excerpt with a moonrise, i realize, but guys, that moonrise. well DONE, st. thomas. i was also slightly too chicken to use a picture of mister peaches, even though he illustrates the premise rather majestically from where i'm sitting. probably i should relax into the fact that this is a blog about cats.

esb said...


lauren said...

did i ever mention mister peaches on the non-facebook internet? he's part of the feral cat colony that lives at our resort in the virgin islands; a local charity feeds, shelters, and provides veterinary care for him and his posse. (snack on it, jonathan franzen.) we had a party in our room on the last night everyone was on the island and we had to get rid of the last of the beer we bought for the sailboat trip to jost van dyke, and mister peaches came and hung out. it ruled.

lauren said...

that grammar is weird? we do not own a resort in the virgin islands, though i wouldn't turn one down.

Rachel said...

I totally thought you'd impulse purchased a resort and was feeling sad that I hadn't been issued an invitation.