Happy birthday, Margaret Atwood! 80, today! Here are some quotes from the author.
“I walk around in a state of wonder every day. Everything’s exciting.”
“If you’re waiting for the perfect moment, you’ll never write a thing because it will never arrive. I have no routine. I have no foolproof anything. There’s nothing foolproof.”
“Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you’re on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.”
“There is something compelling about the blank page that beckons you in to write something on it—it must be filled.”
“By telling you anything at all I’m at least believing in you, I believe you’re there, I believe you into being. Because I’m telling you this story I will your existence. I tell, therefore you are.”
“Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space.”
“War is what happens when language fails.”
“The fabric of democracy is always fragile everywhere because it depends on the will of citizens to protect it, and when they become scared, when it becomes dangerous for them to defend it, it can go very quickly.”
“I would rather dance as a ballerina, though faultily, than as a flawless clown.”
“Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”
“I’m working on my own life story. I don’t mean I’m putting it together; no, I’m taking it apart.”
John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found 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, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.