Thought for the day…

On making art:

“If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

Larkin about…

Just read this and it rekindled my fondness for Larkin: Dread of literary parties led Philip Larkin to shun Oxford poetry professorship.

“My idea of hell on earth (physical pain excepted, and I am not sure that it is excepted even in this case) is a literary party, and I have an uneasy feeling that the post carries with it a lot of sherry-drill with important people.”

The lack of confidence and the discomfort of merely being himself is obvious here. But, I still can’t help but admire his barely veiled contempt for the establishment at whose threshold he found himself.