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Every single book or painting or piece of music exists and we take from it what we need and love and shape it into another narrative that goes out into the world or stays within us, so it’s this great thing of one narrative piling onto the next. It’s hard to define.

Miriam Toews talks with The Rumpus about her novel All My Puny Sorrows and the distinctions, or lack thereof, between autobiography and fiction. (via millionsmillions)
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Intimacy is one of my most favorite reasons to be alive. And I don’t just mean the physical aspect it leads to. I mean the number of stories and jokes, and the level of honesty and compassion that lead to the point where I can trust you with my entire body. I’ve come to realize that I constantly hunger for spiritual intimacy – the kind where when I breathe you in, it sets my lungs on fire. The kind where you can look me in the eye and make me feel completely bare.

Connotativewords | jl | Depth  (via agentlemenscoup)
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There’s no method. There’s no formula. If you really proceed a sentence at a time, if you pay attention to the sentence you just wrote and look to it for the clue for what to do to the next sentence, you can inch your way along to what may be a story. This wouldn’t have occurred to me starting out, for example, when I thought you wrote one sentence, then just looked out to the world trying to snag the next one. That’s not how it works. You look back at what you gave yourself to work with. Sharon Olds said something beautiful about sometimes thinking of her poems as instructions for how to put the world back together if it were destroyed.

Amy Hempel, “The Art of Fiction No. 176,” in the Paris Review. (via literarymiscellany)