Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

4

It was my greatest dream to live out this kind of story, of power gained through either inborn abilities or persistence, and though I couldn't have said this at the time, this dream coming true would have meant all my struggles were worth it.

—p.4 The Curse (1) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago

It was my greatest dream to live out this kind of story, of power gained through either inborn abilities or persistence, and though I couldn't have said this at the time, this dream coming true would have meant all my struggles were worth it.

—p.4 The Curse (1) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago
13

[...] There was something I wanted to feel, and I felt it only when I was writing. I think of this as one of the most important parts of my writer's education---that when left alone with nothing else to read, I began to tell myself the stories I wanted to read.

—p.13 The Curse (1) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago

[...] There was something I wanted to feel, and I felt it only when I was writing. I think of this as one of the most important parts of my writer's education---that when left alone with nothing else to read, I began to tell myself the stories I wanted to read.

—p.13 The Curse (1) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago
32

And this, of course, is why you should never read for yourself. You can't give yourself the impersonal reading you need. [...] to succeed, it requires an ability to be coldly impersonal about yourself and your state, so as not to cloud what is there with what you want to see. I think few of us know enough about our lives to know our place in them---we can't see ourselves as we might a character in a novel, with the same level of detachment and appraisal. [...]

on Tarot cards but really just relevant to life in general

—p.32 The Querent (17) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago

And this, of course, is why you should never read for yourself. You can't give yourself the impersonal reading you need. [...] to succeed, it requires an ability to be coldly impersonal about yourself and your state, so as not to cloud what is there with what you want to see. I think few of us know enough about our lives to know our place in them---we can't see ourselves as we might a character in a novel, with the same level of detachment and appraisal. [...]

on Tarot cards but really just relevant to life in general

—p.32 The Querent (17) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago
51

Narrative writing sets down details in an order that evokes the writer's experience for the reader, she announced. This seemed obvious but also radical - no one had ever said it so plainly to us. She spoke often of "the job." If you're doing your job, the reader feels what you felt. You don't have to tell the reader how to feel. No one likes to be told how to feel about something. [...]

We were to avoid emotional language. The line goes gray when you do that, she said. Don't tell the reader that someone was happy or sad. When you do that, the reader has nothing to see. She isn't angry, Annie said. She throws his clothes out the window. Be specific.

—p.51 The Writing Life (41) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago

Narrative writing sets down details in an order that evokes the writer's experience for the reader, she announced. This seemed obvious but also radical - no one had ever said it so plainly to us. She spoke often of "the job." If you're doing your job, the reader feels what you felt. You don't have to tell the reader how to feel. No one likes to be told how to feel about something. [...]

We were to avoid emotional language. The line goes gray when you do that, she said. Don't tell the reader that someone was happy or sad. When you do that, the reader has nothing to see. She isn't angry, Annie said. She throws his clothes out the window. Be specific.

—p.51 The Writing Life (41) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago
79

Why am I telling this story? I am, as I've said, a minor character, out of place in this narrative, but the major characters of all these stories from the first ten years of the epidemic have left. The men I wanted to follow into the future are dead. Finding them had made me want to live, and I did. I do. I feel I owe them my survival. The world is not fixed, and the healing is still just past my imagining, though perhaps it is closer than it was. For now, the minor characters are left to introduce themselves, and take the story forward.

—p.79 After Peter (74) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago

Why am I telling this story? I am, as I've said, a minor character, out of place in this narrative, but the major characters of all these stories from the first ten years of the epidemic have left. The men I wanted to follow into the future are dead. Finding them had made me want to live, and I did. I do. I feel I owe them my survival. The world is not fixed, and the healing is still just past my imagining, though perhaps it is closer than it was. For now, the minor characters are left to introduce themselves, and take the story forward.

—p.79 After Peter (74) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago
90

When an artist dies young there is always talk of the paintings unpainted, the books unwritten, which points to some imaginary storehouse of undone things and not to the imagination itself, the far richer treasure, lost. All of those works are the trail left behind, a path across time, left like the sun leaves gold on the sea: you can see it but you can't ever pick it up. What we lose with each death, though, is more like stars falling out of the sky and into the sea and gone. The something undone, the something that won't ever be done, always remains unendurable to consider. A permanent loss of possibility, so that what is left is only ever better than nothing, but the loss is limitless.

—p.90 After Peter (74) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago

When an artist dies young there is always talk of the paintings unpainted, the books unwritten, which points to some imaginary storehouse of undone things and not to the imagination itself, the far richer treasure, lost. All of those works are the trail left behind, a path across time, left like the sun leaves gold on the sea: you can see it but you can't ever pick it up. What we lose with each death, though, is more like stars falling out of the sky and into the sea and gone. The something undone, the something that won't ever be done, always remains unendurable to consider. A permanent loss of possibility, so that what is left is only ever better than nothing, but the loss is limitless.

—p.90 After Peter (74) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago
113

I will never forget the classmate who said to me in workshop, about one of my stories, "Why should I care about the lives of these bitchy queens?" It angered me, but I asked myself whether or not I had failed my characters if my story hadn't made them matter to someone disinclined to like or listen to them - someone like him. A vow formed in my mind that day as I listened to him, which has lasted my whole career: I will make you care.

—p.113 My Parade (97) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago

I will never forget the classmate who said to me in workshop, about one of my stories, "Why should I care about the lives of these bitchy queens?" It angered me, but I asked myself whether or not I had failed my characters if my story hadn't made them matter to someone disinclined to like or listen to them - someone like him. A vow formed in my mind that day as I listened to him, which has lasted my whole career: I will make you care.

—p.113 My Parade (97) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago
165

When I return from Maine, home again, I open the door to my apartment, afraid my roses will be withered, fainting dead. No rain for four days. I rush to the back, where I find them giddy, hurling color up from the ground like children with streamers at a parade.

—p.165 The Rosary (146) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago

When I return from Maine, home again, I open the door to my apartment, afraid my roses will be withered, fainting dead. No rain for four days. I rush to the back, where I find them giddy, hurling color up from the ground like children with streamers at a parade.

—p.165 The Rosary (146) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago
192

I think writers are often terrifying to normal people - that is, to nonwriters in a capitalist system - for this reason: there is almost nothing they will not sell in order to have the time to write. Time is our mink, our Lexus, our mansion. In a room full of writers of various kinds, time is probably the only thing that can provoke widespread envy, more than acclaim. Acclaim, which of course means access to money, which then becomes time.

—p.192 Impostor (190) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago

I think writers are often terrifying to normal people - that is, to nonwriters in a capitalist system - for this reason: there is almost nothing they will not sell in order to have the time to write. Time is our mink, our Lexus, our mansion. In a room full of writers of various kinds, time is probably the only thing that can provoke widespread envy, more than acclaim. Acclaim, which of course means access to money, which then becomes time.

—p.192 Impostor (190) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago
202

I have a theory of the first novel now, that it is something that makes the writer, even as the writer makes the novel. That it must be something you care about enough to see through to the end. I tell my students all the time: writing fiction is an exercise in giving a shit - an excuse in finding out what you really care about. Many student writers become obsessed with aesthetics, but I find that is usually a way to avoid whatever it is they have to say. [...]

—p.202 The Autobiography of My Novel (197) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago

I have a theory of the first novel now, that it is something that makes the writer, even as the writer makes the novel. That it must be something you care about enough to see through to the end. I tell my students all the time: writing fiction is an exercise in giving a shit - an excuse in finding out what you really care about. Many student writers become obsessed with aesthetics, but I find that is usually a way to avoid whatever it is they have to say. [...]

—p.202 The Autobiography of My Novel (197) by Alexander Chee 4 months, 1 week ago