The longer I live, the more I feel that true repose consists in ‘renouncing’ one’s own self, by which I mean making up one’s mind to admit that there is no importance whatever in being ‘happy’ or ‘unhappy’ in the usual meaning of the words.
To take a few nouns, and a few pronouns, and adverbs and adjectives, and put them together, ball them up, and throw them against the wall to make them bounce. That’s what Norman Mailer did. That’s what James Baldwin did, and Joan Didion did, and that’s what I do – that’s what I mean to do.
Early on, I was so impressed with Charles Dickens. I grew up in the South, in a little village in Arkansas, and the whites in my town were really mean, and rude. Dickens, I could tell, wouldn’t be a man who would curse me out and talk to me rudely.
I don’t mean to be accident prone, but my excuse is if you really want to get somewhere you have to go full gas.
I do fear death. But what I actually fear is not dying. I mean, true, it will be sad. But I know that there is a better place waiting for me.
One of the best predictors of policy around is Thomas Ferguson’s investment theory of politics, as he calls it – very outstanding political economist – which essentially – I mean, to say it in a sentence, he describes elections as occasions in which groups of investors coalesce and invest to control the state.
Girls aren’t mean to guys in high school. They are mean to each other. Girls were never mean to me.
There is something mean in human nature that prefers to think evil, that gives a willing ear and a ready welcome to calumny, a sort of jealousy of goodness and greatness and things of good report.
The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.
What does it mean to be an individual? What does it mean to flourish?