I gladly accepted the commission but was uncertain about what the end result would be. On the one hand, Cuban music was conquering the world; being heard everywhere, and our small island was already producing one of the popular musical genres of the 20th century.
To be 64 is appalling, so..
To be 64 is appalling, so what does it matter being 65?
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My life, in some ways, has been a half-measure. I didn't commit myself all the way to my marriage and family, because I would have given up more. And I didn't go all the way with just being completely selfish. I always wonder where my career would be if I was more selfish.
You compose because you want to somehow summarize in some permanent form your most basic feelings about being alive, to set down... some sort of permanent statement about the way it feels to live now, today.
There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds.
When a movie is being rolled out, the studio publicists and all our individual publicists get together and come up with bullet points and talking points - 'Make sure you stay away from this,' and 'Don't say that quite that way, because that quote can be taken out of context,' and that kind of thing.
Not all paintings are abstract; they're not all Jackson Pollock. There's value in a photograph of a man alone on a boat at sea, and there is value in painting of a man alone on a boat at sea. In the painting, the painting has more freedom to express an idea, more latitude in being able to elicit certain emotion.
There are some screw-ups headed your way. I wish I could tell you that there was a trick to avoiding the screw-ups... but they're coming for ya. It's a combination of life being unpredictable, and you being super dumb.
Sometimes, particularly in summers in New York, I have tried to write in shorts or with no shirt on and found myself unable to do so, the reason being, I take it, that writing, even of the most impersonal sort, is for me a divestment, a striptease, even, so that if I start off undressed, I have nowhere to go.
When we were doing 'The West Wing,' the hardest thing about doing 'The West Wing' was being compared to yourself. You go out there and want every episode to be as good as your best episode. I wrote 88 episodes of 'The West Wing,' and when you do that, one of them is going to be your 88th best, so your 88th best better be pretty good.
I always like to break out and address the audience. In 'The History Boys', for instance, without any ado, the boys will suddenly turn and talk to the audience and then go back into the action. I find it more adventurous doing it in prose than on the stage, but I like being able to make the reader suddenly sit up.
We hunger to understand, so we invent myths about how we imagine the world is constructed - and they're, of course, based upon what we know, which is ourselves and other animals. So we make up stories about how the world was hatched from a cosmic egg or created after the mating of cosmic deities or by some fiat of a powerful being.
Modernity is the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, which make up one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immutable. This transitory fugitive element, which is constantly changing, must not be despised or neglected.
The indestructible is one: it is each individual human being and, at the same time, it is common to all, hence the incomparably indivisible union that exists between human beings.