The Simile Museum

Tag: Paris Review

“You want to write a sentence as clean as a bone.”

-James Baldwin

monkeys-3.jpg“There is something feckless about a writer’s journals. They are a specialist’s document, and those who parse their pages are like grooming baboons, searching for fleas.”

-Dustin Illingworth

“You learn how little you know. It becomes much more difficult because the hardest thing in the world is simplicity. And the most fearful thing, too. It becomes more difficult because you have to strip yourself of all your disguises, some of which you didn’t know you had. You want to write a sentence as clean as a bone.”

-James Baldwin

“A cloud of intense literary ambition hung over the house like a stormy little micro-climate. “

-Claire Dederer

“I remember that sentence driving at me in the dark like a glacier.”

-Anne Carson

“Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing. Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors. Every stroke you put down you have to go with. Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.”

-Joan Didion

“He told me I was the sign he’d been waiting for and,
like looking into a crystal ball, he’d just read a private message from God
in the silvery vortex of my left pupil.”

-Ottessa Moshfegh