You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.
Art is not boosterism, it's not propaganda, and it's not spin, but that's not something that art does, and nor has it historically ever done it.
If you, like, consciously think about being cool, you're not cool. If you consciously think about being, like, different or original, you ain't different or original.
Students teach all sorts of things but most importantly they make explicit the courage that it takes to be a learner, the courage it takes to open yourself to the transformative power of real learning and that courage I am exposed to almost every day at MIT and that I'm deeply grateful for.
When I write, what I long for is not more realism or fiction but more courage. That's what I always find myself short on and what I have to struggle to achieve in order that the work might live.
The Caribbean is such an apocalyptic place, whether it's the decimation of the indigenous populations by the Europeans, whether it's the importation of slaves and their subsequent being worked to death by the millions in many ways, whether it's the immigrant processes which began for many people, new worlds ending their old ones.
I always had a sense that I would fall in love with Tokyo. In retrospect I guess it's not that surprising. I was of the generation that had grown up in the '80s when Japan was ascendant (born aloft by a bubble whose burst crippled its economy for decades), and I'd fed on a steady diet of anime and samurai films.
We all dream dreams of unity, of purity: we all dream that there's an authoritative voice out there that will explain things, including ourselves.
I was part of that group of kids growing up in the '80s under the Reagan regime, what I used to call 'living in the shadow of Dr. Manhattan,' where we would have dreams all the time that New York City was being destroyed, and that that wall of light and destruction was rolling out and would just devour our neighborhood.
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