Ben Lerner Quotes


My concern is how we live fictions how fictions have real effects become facts in that sense and how our experience of the world changes depending on its arrangement into one narrative or another.

The transpersonal is more awe-inspiring more exciting than the thing we confuse it for.

Just in case God isn't dead our astronauts carry sidearms.

I have no interest in artists who are purely affirmative who've made a commercialized fetish of the culture's stupidity.

I was a violent bipolar compulsive liar. I was a real American.

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.

Every relationship can feel saturated by market logic or at best purchased at the price of the immiseration of others.

Shaving is a way to start the workday by ritually not cutting your throat when you've the chance.

The scare quotes burn off like fog.

I've been building a fiction in part around the Marfa poem since my brief residency there which has kept it from receding into the past.

Are there are fireflies on the West Coast? I never saw any when I lived in California.

The chicken is a little dry and/or you've ruined my life.

Henry James claim that if you want to be a novelist you should be somebody on whom nothing is lost.

I'm defending fiction as a human capacity more than as a popular or dying literary genre.

I wasn't aware I'd write the novel when I wrote the New Yorker story either. And the narration of their construction in 10:04 is fiction however flickering.

I'm trying to be somebody on whom the experience is lost by supplanting it with its telling. I definitely do that in medical contexts even in trivial ones.

I came to realize that far more important to me than any plot or conventional sense was the sheer directionality I felt while reading prose the texture of time as it passed life's white machine.

Art has to offer something other than stylized despair.

Experiments with the "as if" of fiction are often more lively in poetry and criticism and other modes of writing than in weak short stories or novels.

I like to think - knowing that it's an enabling fiction - of those moments as fragments from a world to come a world where price isn't the only measure of value.

I guess when I'm frightened or in pain or maybe very bored I've tried to hold myself together by imposing a narrative order on the experience as it happens.

What interests me about fiction is in part its flickering edge between realism and where a tear in the fabric of a story lets in some other sort of light.

You are the first and last indigenous Nintendo.

Iâ??ll work my way from irony to sincerity in the sinking city a would-be Whitman of the vulnerable grid.

Maybe that's the way I'm private - I respect the privacy of "my" characters? Anyway we're getting close to the whole "relatability" and "likability" thing.

When the narrator feels like an octopus when he says his limbs are starting to multiply he means he has inklings of orders of perception beyond his individual body.

The story and the poem are obviously changed by being placed in the novel so in a sense they're no longer the works that preceded the novel.

I didn't want to write another book about fraudulence.