cathy. 23. living and working in nyc.
i have been reading sylvia plath’s journals in little bits and pieces for about three years and they have had quite an effect on me. it’s taken me so long because i tend to only pick it up when i’m feeling uncreative or lost. then i read 20 pages or so and feel better. i feel connected to her approach to and struggles with the creative process and wanted to note a few quotes that have resonated with me.
"Remember about the shadow of past knowledge. Write about your own experience. By that experience someone else may be a bit richer some day. Read widely of others experiences in thought and action - stretch to others even though it hurts and strains and would be more comfortable to snuggle back in the comforting cotton-wool of blissful ignorance! Hurl yourself at goals above your head and bear the lacerations that come when you slip and make a fool of yourself. Try always, as long as you have breath in your body, to take the hard way, the Spartan way - and work, work, work to build yourself into a rich, continually evolving entity!" (p. 47)
on Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves”:
"…but then the hair-raising fineness of the last 50 pages: Bernard’s summary, an essay on life, on the problem: the deadness of a being to whom nothing can happen, who no longer creates, creates, against the casting down. That moment of illumination, fusion, creation: We made this: against the whole falling apart, away, and the coming again to make and make in the face of the flux: making of the moment something of permanence. That is the life work. I underlined & underlined: reread that."
"Writing breaks open the vaults of the dead and the skies behind which the prophesying angels hide. The mind makes and makes, spinning its web."
"Every day, writing. No matter how bad. Something will come. the steady, quiet determined center I have even now at the end of one of my greatest droughts: It Will Come. If I Work." (p. 286)
Rules: 10 books in no particular order that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t try to list the “right” or “great” works.
1. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
2. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
4. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
5. Franny & Zooey by JD Salinger
6. The Giver by Lois Lowry
7. Matilda by Roald Dahl
8. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
9. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
If I were really really ridiculously wealthy, I wouldn’t buy a mansion, just tiny apartments in every city I love.
— Mara Wilson