Jesse Ball Quotes

A beginning idea for a book might be: a boy emerges from a hole in the ground. He enters a house. The book will take place in the first ten minutes following his arrival.

Americans are genuinely and profoundly anti-intellectual. They are especially so in their pleasure-seeking which is epically banal.

Different times and different structures make more sense at one point in life than at another.

The books turn out to be about things afterwards. I don't go into them with concepts for the most part.

If Americans are to read something that is difficult they will only do so supposing they will be admired for having done it.

I'm clearer now in what I want to say and I know better how to say just that.

I'm an elephant today. I will need to have lots of room and also a bowl of water on the floor.

I don't think anything needs to happen in a book.

This is what we bear I thought the nearness of other lives.

I'm confused and brilliant books help me to be less so.

I am clearer in my mind and a bit less confused than I used to be.

Sunday was always the best of days for being the self you had intended to be but were not for one reason or another.

Not that believing such things has anything to do with whether they are true. You see that don't you?

That would be the death of anyone - to recognize false hopes with a certainty. One mustn't know that. If it is offered refuse!

A person always has a chance to protest this or that.

Clarity is the most important thing to me - in thinking - and so I try in the books to be as clear as possible.

I don't start with an idea or concept in the sense that I flesh out an idea or concept and set it at the center of something.

It is at the heart of our human enterprise that is to say at the heart of society to allow consensus a power it ought not to have.

I'd say writing is easier for me now than it once was but I do less of it.

I like small books. I like durable books. I like plain books. I like small type and thin pages.

Much of my work has been done in first person.

We are the wreck of what we have been and the place of our own future demise.

A book can just be a description of a stick being snapped in half. If the reader is brought to feel the plight of the stick well you can imagine what that would be like.

We tire differently if we love or love not.

I don't read books for pleasure but in desperation.

As far as ideas about book design: I have plenty. But I also try and let people do their jobs.

I want to say less and it's easier to say less.

The old man began to sing. His voice was very lovely and obviously a part of something that the world had disposed of in its haste evidence of a grander kinder past.

I have a very basic notion of the structure the book might have - that's mostly it. The rest is luck and happenstance.

If he acts if he doesn't it's meaningless. The whole thing goes forward. No one is important. No one at all.

I have a different purpose in writing each novel. Some of them seem more similar than others but the purposes are always different.