Happy Birthday, Chad Harbach, born 7 December 1975
- So much of one’s life was spent reading; it made sense not to do it alone.
- There were no words for that, no ceremony that would garantee your future. Every day was just that: a day, a blank, a nothing, in which you had to invent yourself and your friendship from scratch. The weight of everything you’d ever donewas nothing. It could all vanish just like that. Just like this.
- There were no whys in a person’s life, and very few hows. In the end, in search of useful wisdom, you could only come back to the most hackneyed concepts, like kindness, forbearance, infinite self patience.
- The novel has always been the form that incorporates other forms. For me, it has always been the ultimate medium.
- I mean, first, almost all writers these days teach because they don’t make enough money publishing to live on, to support themselves - people like Tobias Wolff, Anne Beattie, Amy Hempel, Stuart Dybek; a lot of short story writers, for one thing.
- It was easy enough to write a sentence, but if you were going to create a work of art, the way Melville had, each sentence needed to fit perfectly with the one that preceded it, and the unwritten one that would follow.
- She hated the namelessness of women in stories, as if they lived and died so that men could have metaphysical insights.
- Writing on a computer feels like a recipe for writer’s block. I can type so fast that I run out of thoughts, and then I sit there and look at the words on the screen, and move them around, and never get anywhere. Whereas in a notebook I just keep plodding along, slowly, accumulating sentences, sometimes even surprising myself.
- When a philosopher wants high ceilings, he goes outside. He doesn’t buy an oversize house that requires massive amounts of dwindling resources to heat in the winter.
- Literature could turn you into an asshole; he’d learned that teaching grad-school seminars. It could teach you to treat real people the way you did characters, as instruments of your own intellectual pleasure, cadavers on which to practice your critical faculties.
Harbach is an American writer. He is the author of The Art of Fielding.
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