The Simile Museum

Tag: Nonfiction

“The operatic tradition had always been divided over the relationship between music and drama, and this debate had reemerged in Lloyd Webber’s day. His contemporary Stephen Sondheim was a studied modernist who brought dramatic heft to musical theater in the 1970s. By contrast, Lloyd Webber had no ear for drama; his characters simply declaimed their emotions directly into the audience, as if by T-shirt cannon.”

-Andrea Long Chu

“Corresponding with him was like playing squash with an opponent who pockets your serve, walks off the court and returns four months later to fire it back.”

-Dwight Garner

“He wears wire-rimmed glasses, and is shy and flushes easily, pink as a peony.”

-Jill Lepore

“Reading about craft is like listening to yourself breathe.”

-Zadie Smith

“Constitutionalism didn’t burst from the head of James Madison, like Athena from Zeus, simply on account of all the books he’d read. Sure, constitutionalism flew from the pages of those books, but it was also shot from the barrel of a gun.”

-Jill Lepore

“Again, we ascended the narrow staircase and deposited our shoes in the mass outside the loft. Then, we made our way to the only clearing on its soft floor. Beside me sat a man whose anxiety radiated from him in waves, like heat corrugating the air.”

-Melissa Febos

“When I write, it’s as if I were butchering eels… I pay little attention to the unpleasantness of the operation.” 

-Elena Ferrante

“At the same time, the natural autonomy of horizontalism, and its deep reliance on independent, small affinity groups of activists, encourages a constant drive to innovate. This self-overcoming is the engine of our velocity. It grants us the power to wobble, to swerve like a flock of birds and act in ways that confound our enemy, as events spiral toward the people’s vision.”

-Micah White

“At twenty-one, the writer in me was like a fly in the room–alive but insignificant, aimless, something that unsettled me whenever I grew aware of it, and which, for the most part, left me alone.”

-Jhumpa Lahiri

My family was like living with cruel cats. Someone would turn as you entered a room. Oh it’s you. So I waited for the night when I could be by myself and work.”

-Eileen Myles