Archive for the ‘epigraphs’ Category

The Rules by Padgett Powell

Believer: The Rules? I’m intrigued.

Padgett Powell: Rule 1 is The Gosling Rule. The story concerns the first thing the reader sees move. Rule 2 is that the problem, or the apparent and necessarily related problem, must appear soon, in the first paragraph if not the first sentence. Rule 3 is a complex function [wh = f(c1,c2,c3... + e + t)] involving withholding. Rule 4 is the bar test: everything must be said more or less as if you might say it to a stranger in a bar. Rule 5 is the doozie quotient. Rule 7 is the 3 Questions: Did it, could it, should it happen? Before any of these rules apply the writing must place itself unmurkily on the spectrum of credulity.

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Quote from Joe Swanberg, as interviewed by Mark Olsen in the LA Times on October 30, 2011

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Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino


“A more intriguing question is why and how he writes about what hasn’t happened – how he feeds what’s hypothetical or imagined into what’s inspired and controlled by recollection, and how what’s recollected spawns the overall fantasy.”

Phillip Roth from Paris Review Interviews, IV

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“You exist if and only if you are free to do things without a visible objective, with no justification and, above all, outside the dictatorship of someone else’s narrative.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb from The Bed of Procrustes

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