Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

251

On Becoming an American Writer

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terms
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notes
Needs summary

Chee, A. (2018). On Becoming an American Writer. In Chee, A. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays. Mariner Books, pp. 251-287

260

[...] He had called the station from inside the first tower to describe what was happening. The host quickly thanked him for calling in and then said, in a bit of a panic, Why are you on the phone with me? Why aren't you on your way down?

You don't understand, the man said. The whole center of the building is gone. I can't go down. That's why I'm calling.

I don't know how to describe the feeling I had in the silence that followed, except that it was approximately the length it would take you to read this sentence aloud.

—p.260 by Alexander Chee 2 weeks ago

[...] He had called the station from inside the first tower to describe what was happening. The host quickly thanked him for calling in and then said, in a bit of a panic, Why are you on the phone with me? Why aren't you on your way down?

You don't understand, the man said. The whole center of the building is gone. I can't go down. That's why I'm calling.

I don't know how to describe the feeling I had in the silence that followed, except that it was approximately the length it would take you to read this sentence aloud.

—p.260 by Alexander Chee 2 weeks ago

the clandestine copying and distribution of literature banned by the state, especially formerly in the communist countries of eastern Europe

273

The point of writing in the face of the problem was the point of samizdat, readers and writers meeting secretly all across the Soviet Union to share forbidden books

—p.273 by Alexander Chee
notable
2 weeks ago

The point of writing in the face of the problem was the point of samizdat, readers and writers meeting secretly all across the Soviet Union to share forbidden books

—p.273 by Alexander Chee
notable
2 weeks ago
274

[...] The point of it is in the possibility of being read by someone who could read it. Who could be changed, out past your imagination's limits. Hannah Arendt has a definition of freedom as being the freedom to imagine that which you cannot yet imagine. The freedom to imagine that as yet unimaginable work in front of others, moving them to still more action you can't imagine, that is the point of writing, to me. You may think it is humility to imagine your work doesn't matter. It isn't. Much the way you don't know what a writer will go on to write, you don't know what a reader, having read you, will do.

—p.274 by Alexander Chee 2 weeks ago

[...] The point of it is in the possibility of being read by someone who could read it. Who could be changed, out past your imagination's limits. Hannah Arendt has a definition of freedom as being the freedom to imagine that which you cannot yet imagine. The freedom to imagine that as yet unimaginable work in front of others, moving them to still more action you can't imagine, that is the point of writing, to me. You may think it is humility to imagine your work doesn't matter. It isn't. Much the way you don't know what a writer will go on to write, you don't know what a reader, having read you, will do.

—p.274 by Alexander Chee 2 weeks ago
276

I wanted to lead my students to another world, one where people value writing and art more than war, and yet I knew then and I know now that the only thing that matters is to make that world here. There is no other world. This is the only world we are in. This revisable country, so difficult to change, so easily changed.

—p.276 by Alexander Chee 2 weeks ago

I wanted to lead my students to another world, one where people value writing and art more than war, and yet I knew then and I know now that the only thing that matters is to make that world here. There is no other world. This is the only world we are in. This revisable country, so difficult to change, so easily changed.

—p.276 by Alexander Chee 2 weeks ago