Remembered words from admired authors are important. They reveal the possibility that one's own storytelling can and should seek uniqueness--a perfection if you will, with one's own vision and imagination as it is put to the page. What after all is the task we seek to complete but to write...perfectly?
"The Glass Harp" - Truman Capote
"...a field of high Indian grass that changes color with the seasons: go to see it in the fall, late September, when it has gone red as sunset, when scarlet shadows like firelight breeze over it and the autumn winds strum on its dry leaves sighing human music, a harp of voices."
"She was one of those people who can disguise themselves as an object in the room, a shadow in the corner, whose presence is a delicate happening. ...Pulled and guided by the gravity of Verena's planet, we rotated separately in the outer spaces of the house."
"...the kitchen was warm as a cow's tongue."
"...Alaska--well, it was fun for an old man sitting alone listening to the noise of a clock."
"...like two children lost in a witch-ruled forest..."
"...Big Eddie Stover was legally born a bastard; the other two made the grade on their own."
"...he was a fat cigar of a man..."
"Where Rivers Change Direction" - Mark Spragg
"I was a boy, and I believed deeply in the sightedness of horses. I believed that there was nothing that they did not witness. I believed that to have a horse between my legs, to extend my pulse and blood and energy to theirs, enhanced my vision. Made of me a seer. I believed them to be the dappled, sorrel, roan, bay, black pupils in the eyes of God."
"The Shipping News" - Annie Proulx
"Hive-spangled, gut roaring with gas and cramp, he survived childhood; at the state university, hand clapped over his chin, he camouflaged torment with smiles and silence. Stumbled through his twenties and into his thirties learning to separate his feelings from his life, counting on nothing. He ate prodigiously, liked a ham knuckle, buttered spuds."
"Bleak House" - Charles Dickens
"He is an honourable, obstinate, truthful, high-spirited, intensely prejudiced, perfectly unreasonable man."
"If she could be translated to heaven tomorrow, she might be expected to ascend without any rapture."
"He is what is called the old school--a phrase generally meaning any school that seems never to have been young."
"Suttree" - Cormac McCarthy
"Under the fanned light of a streetlamp a white china cuphandle curled like a sleeping slug."
"Small specters of fraudulent piety."
"Home Ground: Language for and American Landscape" - Barry Lopez & Debra Gwartney (editors)
"Whatever their styles and emphases, many American poets and novelists have recognized that something emotive abides in the land, and that it can be recognized and evoked even if it cannot be thoroughly plumbed. It is inaccessible to the analytic researcher, invisible to the ironist. To hear the unembodied call of a place, that numinous voice, one had to wait for it to speak through the harmony of its features--the soughing of the wind across it, its upward reach against a clear night sky, its fragrance after a rain. One must wait for the moment when the thing--the hill, the tarn, the lunette, the kiss tank, the caliche flat, the bajada--ceases to be a thing and becomes something the knows we are there."
"Driving on the Rim" - Thomas McGuane
"I believe that Silbie instilled in me a healthy attitude toward sex: she pumped and I squirted. It was completely lacking in a moral or religious dimension."
"Sometimes a Christian will deliberately go down a bad road just to produce eventual suffering. They're crazier than pet coons."
"It might have explained his friendship with Wiley, who often quoted the old-time trail cowboys to the effect that if you waited for Jesus to feed you, you'd starve to death."
"Where I came from, the wind was the big issue, until you figured out that wind was the price for space."
"America" - Allen Ginsberg
"America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel."