Here, reluctantly, begins a series of quotations about writing, and the art and craft and mystery thereof. Reluctant, I say, because half of the impulse (we all love collecting and sharing these quotes) is wrong- headed: we are somehow looking for some essential distillation, some essential clue, to the secret alchemy of great writing. But half of the impulse is good: we know how much a sentence or two can hold.
The playwright Jami Brandli recently brought to my attention a website I’d stumbled on and then forgotten: Garrison Keillor and NPR’s Writer’s Almanac, a daily post with poems, prose, literary history, literary birthdays, and much more. Subscribe to a daily newsletter, listen and read online. Today is the birthday of a number of writers, most notably (sorry Nick Hornby) Cynthia Ozick, who contributes a quote we would all do well to live by:
The sentence is my primary element, my tool, goal, bliss. Each new sentence is a heart-in-the mouth experiment.