Poet Novelists

Nobody asked but …

I recently discovered a list of 10 important poets who also wrote important novels.  I then researched important quotes from each which indicate how they may feel about personal freedom and self-direction:

  • Paul Beatty — One’s self-worth comes from how one chooses to navigate that space.
  • Janet Frame — I have discovered that my freedom is within me, and nothing can destroy it.
  • Gunter Grass — I have found that words that are loaded with pathos and create a seductive euphoria are apt to promote nonsense.
  • Iris Murdoch — Education doesn’t make you happy. Nor does freedom. We don’t become happy just because we’re free – if we are. Or because we’ve been educated – if we have. But because education may be the means by which we realize we are happy. It opens our eyes, our ears, tells us where delights are lurking, convinces us that there is only one freedom of any importance whatsoever, that of the mind, and gives us the assurance – the confidence – to walk the path our mind, our educated mind, offers.
  • Sylvia Plath — I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad.
  • Kei Miller — For here is the truth; each day contains much more than its own hours, or minutes, or seconds.
  • Ben Lerner — I think the anti-intellectualism of a lot of contemporary fiction is a kind of despairing of literature’s ability to be anything more than perfectly bound blog posts or transcribed sitcoms.
  • Deborah Levy — Be sure to enjoy language, experiment with ways of talking, be exuberant even when you don’t feel like it because language can make your world a better place to live.
  • Keri Hulme — Why? is the boy’s motto, why does, why is, why not? Food, weather, time, fires, sea and season, clothes and cars and people; it’s all grist to the mill of why.
  • James Baldwin — I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.

— Kilgore Forelle

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