For a long time, it was hard for me to get my work done in Chicago. Silk Road gave me opportunities to do shows like 'Golden Child' - shows that nobody else seemed interested in. And they bring an artistic integrity to the work that matches anything you'll find at a bigger theatre.
If I do a play, it's my vision, and everybody else is working on the production to support that. If I do an opera, I feel like part of my job is to support that composer, to try and create something that allows the composer to do his or her best work. In movies, it's usually the director.
In the due exercise of your official power, in strictest accordance with law and the Constitution, you can deprive the enemy of that which, above all else, has given, and still gives him, aid and comfort.
Suddenly the whole imagination of writing and editorial and newspaper and all these presumptions about who am I reading this, and who else other people may be, and all that, it's so grimly brutal!
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Also, I need deadlines, just like everybody else, especially coming from magazines, newspapers, and stuff like that. I need daily or weekly deadlines to get stuff done, or I continue to do things and not go off on a year of unproductivity.
Theft annoys me more than anything else. The purloining of effects from another magician. Some people think it's massive to steal the secrets of nuclear reactors, but to steal a card move is trivial. They're wrong.
There are stereotypes that have been out there for a long time that tell girls that their main asset, the main thing that they are valued for, is their appearance and also that it's to the exclusion of anything else.
I want to help middle-school girls stay interested in math and be good at it, and see it as friendly and accessible and not this scary thing. Everyone else in society tells them it's not for them. It's for nerdy white guys with pocket protectors.
Novelists go about the strenuous business of marrying and burying their people, or else they send them to sea, or to Africa, or at the least, out of town. Essayists in their stillness ponder love and death.
I think about fanaticism - oblivion awaits, especially for minor writers, so you have to be a fanatic; you have to be a crank to keep going, but on the other hand, what else would you do with the rest of your life? You gotta do something.
Sometimes, I am also identified as a civil rights leader or a human rights activist. I would also like to be thought of as a complex, three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood human being with a rich storehouse of experiences, much like everyone else, yet unique in my own way, much like everyone else.
In The Touch, the love scenes are the same as they were in The Thorn Birds or anything else I've ever written. I find a way of saying that either it was heaven or hell but in a way that still leaves room for the reader to use their own imagination.
We all agree now - by 'we' I mean intelligent people under sixty - that a work of art is like a rose. A rose is not beautiful because it is like something else. Neither is a work of art. Roses and works of art are beautiful in themselves.
I'm not a very fancy person. I've been a writer a long time, and right now 'The Hunger Games' is getting a lot of focus. It'll pass. The focus will be on something else. It'll shift. It always does. And that seems just fine.
For those who live neither with religious consolations about death nor with a sense of death (or of anything else) as natural, death is the obscene mystery, the ultimate affront, the thing that cannot be controlled. It can only be denied.
Superheroes fill a gap in the pop culture psyche, similar to the role of Greek mythology. There isn't really anything else that does the job in modern terms. For me, Batman is the one that can most clearly be taken seriously.
Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.
There's no lack of writers writing novels in America, about America. Therefore, it seems to me it would be wasteful for me to add to that huge number of people writing here when there are so few people writing about somewhere else.
There are writers who pour out words, concepts that sound really important but that basically say nothing. I always tried to be as concise as possible, all to try and reach everyone, but especially the simple people, those who needed to be reached more than anyone else.
Like anything else that happens on its own, the act of writing is beyond currency. Money is great stuff to have, but when it comes to the act of creation, the best thing is not to think of money too much. It constipates the whole process.
If we are suffering illness, poverty, or misfortune, we think we shall be satisfied on the day it ceases. But there too, we know it is false; so soon as one has got used to not suffering one wants something else.
I am astonished, when I pause to think about it, to discover myself to be an author of humorous novels for children. Or an author at all. I had a childhood much like everyone else's. What went wrong?
I'm crazy about Grant: his character, his nature, his science in fighting and everything else. But I don't like the idea that he never accepted the blame for anything, always found someone else to blame for any mistake that was ever made, including blaming Prentiss for Shiloh.
The decision for me was whether to have 'The Father' be a book that told a story - from the point of view of this speaker, the daughter - without, as in the earlier books, then having a section on something else and a section on something else.
Bush can talk about 100,000 people wanting to go work in the police or in the army. It's because there's nothing else for them to do. They're willing to stand in line to get bombed because they want to take care of their family.
The amount of sensory material stored up or stored down in the brain's and the body's systems is inestimable. It's like a culture at the bottom of a jar, although it doesn't grow, I think, or help anything else to grow unless you find a way to reach it and touch it.
I don't know if a novelist ever fully detaches him- or herself from what they wrote and the way they wrote it. I can watch 'Presumed Innocent' again and again, and I will always be bothered by the same things that will never bother anybody else.
I never really felt free to talk a lot about my family life because I don't want to sacrifice anybody else's privacy. If you look through the archives, you will see, for example, no pictures of my children. That is not because I don't love them. I think I've been a really good dad; at least, I try to be.
I've always felt a great affinity with music. I've felt myself to be more of a musician than anything else, though I'm not proficient in any one instrument. But I think I have a musical sense of things... and writing seems to me to be a musical experience - rhythmically and in many other ways.
Writing for the theatre is so different to writing for anything else. Because what you write is eventually going to be spoken. That's why I think so many really powerful novelists can't write a play - because they don't understand that it's spoken - that it hits the air. They don't get that.
Democracy's a very fragile thing. You have to take care of democracy. As soon as you stop being responsible to it and allow it to turn into scare tactics, it's no longer democracy, is it? It's something else. It may be an inch away from totalitarianism.
My father probably thought the capital of the world was wherever he was at the time. It couldn't possibly be anyplace else. Where he and his wife were in their own home, that, for them, was the capital of the world.
The thing that always attracted me to New York was the sense of being in a place where a lot of people had a lot of stories not unlike mine. Everybody comes from somewhere else. Everyone's got a Polish grandmother, some kind of metamorphosis in their family circumstances. That's a very big thing - the experience of not living where you started.
I'm not interested in doing 'Star Wars.' It's an amazing movie, but that's not my gift. I tell the stories that I tell that relate to the people who love what I do. That is the place and the path that I know I am supposed to be on. The minute I try and go do something else, it will be amazing to watch how quickly that don't work.
Every philosophical problem, when it is subjected to the necessary analysis and justification, is found either to be not really philosophical at all, or else to be, in the sense in which we are using the word, logical.
There is a serious defect in the thinking of someone who wants - more than anything else - to become rich. As long as they don't have the money, it'll seem like a worthwhile goal. Once they do, they'll understand how important other things are - and have always been.
No machines will ever truly fully figure the brain out, because the brain's performance is constantly altered or else constrained by this inanimate, rogue artifact you can't control, namely, speech.
You see, I was told stories, we were all told stories as kids in Nigeria. We had to tell stories that would keep one another interested, and you weren't allowed to tell stories that everybody else knew. You had to dream up new ones.
One senses that all the Bolsheviks, even those who ended up as cold-blooded autocrats, had been on a journey from idealism to something else, and didn't notice - to mix periods - when the Rubicon was crossed.
Since anti-racist individuals did not control mass media, the media became the primary tool that would be used and is still used to convince black viewers, and everyone else, of black inferiority.
It's a funny thing: people often ask how I discipline myself to write. I can't begin to understand the question. For me, the discipline is turning off the computer and leaving my desk to do something else.
The important thing isn't the house. It's the ability to make it. You carry that in your brains and in your hands, wherever you go... It's one thing to carry your life wherever you go. Another thing to always go looking for it somewhere else.
Being president, you may have more power than anyone else in the country, but you quickly discover that you have much, much less than you thought you'd have going in. You're hamstrung in ways you never dreamed of.
I once wrote a short story called 'The Best Blues Singer in the World,' and it went like this: 'The streets that Balboa walked were his own private ocean, and Balboa was drowning.' End of story. That says it all. Nothing else to say. I've been rewriting that same story over and over again. All my plays are rewriting that same story.
There's always someone asking you to underline one piece of yourself - whether it's Black, woman, mother, dyke, teacher, etc. - because that's the piece that they need to key in to. They want to dismiss everything else.
All of my life had been spent in the shadow of apartheid. And when South Africa went through its extraordinary change in 1994, it was like having spent a lifetime in a boxing ring with an opponent and suddenly finding yourself in that boxing ring with nobody else and realising you've to take the gloves off and get out, and reinvent yourself.
In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for 'finding himself.' If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.
One of the illusions that we live by is that we can really know anybody else, and we're often surprised by traits in people that we thought we knew very well. The struggle to overcome loneliness, which is sort of our universal burden, leads us to leap to conclusions about who other people are.
One of the reasons I'm reluctant to start a novel is it's such an obsessive activity. You get in there, you don't know anything else while you're in there. And that's quite a sacrifice to make, especially for us old guys where time is kind of short. You don't want to disappear for a year; you want to be outdoors.
But, in fact, there is nothing that can bring you closer to fearlessness about everything else in the world than being a parent - because everyday fears - like not being approved of - pale by comparison to the fears you have about your children.
No matter how corrupt and unjust a convict may be, he loves fairness more than anything else. If the people placed over him are unfair, from year to year he lapses into an embittered state characterized by an extreme lack of faith.
I would advise any beginning writer to write the first drafts as if no one else will ever read them - without a thought about publication - and only in the last draft to consider how the work will look from the outside.
When I grew up, you needed to have straight hair. It's symbolic of needing to be like everyone else, needing to look like everyone else. And what that meant was looking like the dominant ruling class in America.
Do not write if there is no tremendous urge to do so. At the heart, there must be an inspiration or muse or one of those old-fashioned things. Else, why bore yourself, destroy other people's interest and kill trees?
While also, importantly, not wanting to dumb it down or pretend the days of 'difficult' poetry are over, because we live in a pluralist culture and there's room for 'difficult' poetry alongside rap and everything else. And poetry won't be for everyone, but everyone should have the choice.
I've always thought that the balance between the side of my mind that knows what it is doing and the side that really hasn't got a clue has to be carefully maintained because if you write too knowingly then you get chilly, and if you write too unknowingly you write bollocks that nobody else can understand.
Those who say we should dismantle the role of Poet Laureate altogether, the trick they miss is that being called this thing, with the weight of tradition behind it, and with the association of the Royal family, does allow you to have conversations and to open doors, and wallets, for the good of poetry in a way that nothing else would allow.
One has a responsibility to clean up one's space and make it livable as far as one's own resources go. That includes not only material resources, but psychological resources: the commitment of time and a portion of your mind to something when you'd rather be doing something else.
When this boy was brought to Dr. Young, his name being William, the same as mine, my mother was ordered to change mine to something else. This, at the time, I thought to be one of the most cruel acts that could be committed upon my rights.
I like the idea of people who've had some success in one form secretly wanting to be something else; I have some of that myself. I look for it in other people who've established themselves in some particular art form, and then you find out that they really would like to design running shoes, or edit literary magazines or something.
I've become convinced that nostalgia is a fundamentally unhealthy modality. When you see it, it's usually attached to something else that's really, seriously bad. I don't traffic in nostalgia. We're becoming a global culture.
According to its doctors, my one intransigent desire is to have been a Confederate general, and because I could not or would not become anything else, I set up for poet and beg an to invent fictions about the personal ambitions that my society has no use for.
The trouble with our people is as soon as they got out of slavery they didn't want to give the white man nothing else. But the fact is, you got to give em something. Either your money, your land, your woman or your ass.
One is lucky to be born in a place where no one is doing it, because then you can say, 'Well, obviously I can write better than everyone else in high school.' You have no idea of the competition.