Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Morning Quote: Nicholson Baker on Not Saving Up

Another tip is: If you have something to say, say it. Don't save it up. Don't think to yourself, I'm going to build up to this truth I really want to say. Don't think, In this poem, I'm going to be sneaky and start with this other truth over here, and then I'm going to scamper around a little bit over here, and then play with some purple Sculpey over here in the corner, and finally I'll reach the truth at the very end. No, slam it in immediately. It won't work if you hold it in reserve. Begin by saying what you actually care about saying and the saying of it will guide you to the next line, and the next, and the next. If you need to arrange things differently later, you can do that.

—Nicholson Baker, The Anthologist

Although I haven't previously used quotes from fiction, I liked this one very much and you can expect to see other words of wisdom from the narrator of Baker's novel in the coming weeks as I try to revive this blog.

Thanks to Cindy for recommending this novel (New York Times review here), which I am reading slowly but enjoying greatly.


Kevin said...

Glad you're back!

Cynthia said...

So glad you're liking Baker's book. I thought about you all the way through it.