Happy birthday, Leonora Carrington! Here are some quotes from the artist and writer.
“There are things that are not sayable. That’s why we have art.”
“I am sure it would be very pleasant and healthy for human beings to have no authority whatever. They would have to think for themselves, instead of always being told what to do and think by advertisements, cinemas, policemen, and parliaments.”
“If I remember correctly writers usually find some excuse for their books, although why one should excuse oneself for having such a quiet and peaceful occupation I really don’t know. Military people never seem to apologize for killing each other yet novelists feel ashamed for writing some nice inert paper book that is not certain to be read by anybody.”
“Anyway, Art is a magic which makes the hours melt away and even days dissolve into seconds.”
“Houses are really bodies. We connect ourselves with walls, roofs, & objects just as we hang on to our livers, skeletons, flesh & bloodstream. I am no beauty, no mirror is necessary to assure me of this absolute fact. Nevertheless I have a death grip on this haggard frame as if it were the limpid body of Venus herself.”
“How can one accept the totally unknown? We know nothing whatever about it, even if it happens to everyone, to everybody! Animals, vegetables, minerals—everything dies. How can you reconcile with something you know nothing about? Is there anything else? What do you want to know?”
“Do not give up hope entirely in spite of the horror of your situation. I am mobilising all my mental capacities to obtain your unconditional freedom.”
“The long tentacles of vision and understanding have withdrawn and all that is left to me is the ragged black hole of my loss. Loss and the world around. A noisy puzzle whose solution is another puzzle noisier and more stupid. The circle widens toward nothing.”
John Madera is the author of Nervosities (Anti-Oedipus Press, 2024). His other fiction is published in Conjunctions, Salt Hill, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His nonfiction is published in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, New York State Council on the Arts awardee John Madera lives in New York City, Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.