July 6, 2012 3:08am

You were able to redeem from pedagogy a man, to make a man out of a candidate for genius. May you make men, men of flesh and bone; with the companion of your life may you make them, in love, in love, in love and not in pedagogy! Miguel de Unamuno, translated from Amor y Pedagogía. (This quote is the epigraph to my newest, forthcoming book, Liturgy as Mystagogy.) … [Read more...]

June 23, 2012 3:29am

I wasn’t, and am not, primarily concerned with injustice, but with art. Ralph Ellison, from an interview in the Paris Review. And this is just the tip of the iceburg; you absolutely must read this brilliant interview. … [Read more...]

June 22, 2012 10:23pm

Legends are lessons, they ring with Truth. Brave … [Read more...]

June 21, 2012 10:22pm

I do think I have an ability to record sensual and emotional facts and factoids, to construct a convincing surface of what life feels like, both physical life and emotional life. But I also wanted to do something that I call understanding what life feels like, and I don’t believe I did. I also don’t know what it would be to do that, but if I read Virginia Woolf or George Eliot describing emotional facts of people, it seems there’s a fragrance of understanding you come away with—this smell in your … [Read more...]

June 20, 2012 7:22pm

a new way of looking at things is necessary… Edmund Husserl, from the Introduction to Ideas. … [Read more...]

June 11, 2012 8:26pm

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important. Bertrand Russell … [Read more...]

June 9, 2012 10:25pm

I think that words are an around-the-world, oxcart way of doing things, awkward instruments, and they will be laid aside eventually, probably sooner than we think. William S. Burroughs, from an interview in the Paris Review. … [Read more...]

May 31, 2012 11:08pm

Writing is considered a profession, and I don’t think it is a profession. I think that everyone who does not need to be a writer, who thinks he can do something else, ought to do something else. Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness. I don’t think an artist can ever be happy. Georges Simenon, in the Paris Review. … [Read more...]

May 30, 2012 2:11am

If a writer disbelieves what he is writing, then he can hardly expect his readers to believe it. In this country, though, there is a tendency to regard any kind of writing—especially the writing of poetry—as a game of style. I have known many poets here who have written well—very fine stuff—with delicate moods and so on—but if you talk with them, the only thing they tell you is smutty stories or they speak of politics in the way that everybody does, so that really their writing turns out to be ki … [Read more...]

May 26, 2012 7:20pm

A proof is any completely convincing argument. … In mathematics, we are not simply after the result. Our ultimate goal is understanding. So we want to see and learn and understand the proof. Errett Bishop, Methods of Constructive Analysis … [Read more...]