A brilliant and exhilarating sequence of aphorisms from one of our greatest essayists
There will come a time when people decide youu2019ve had enough of your grief, and theyu2019ll try to take it away from you.
Bad art is from no one to no one.
Am I happy? Damned if I know, but give me a few minutes and Iu2019ll tell you whether you are.
Thank heaven I donu2019t have my friendsu2019 problems. But sometimes I notice an expression on one of their faces that I recognize as secret gratitude.
I read sad stories to inoculate myself against grief. I watch action movies to identify with the quick-witted heroes. Both the same fantasy: Iu2019ll escape the worst of it.
u2015from 300 Arguments
A u201CProustian minimalist on the order of Lydia Davisu201D (Kirkus Reviews), Sarah Manguso is one of the finest literary artists at work today. To read her work is to witness acrobatic acts of compression in the service of extraordinary psychological and spiritual insight.
300 Arguments, a foray into the frontier of contemporary nonfiction writing, is at first glance a group of unrelated aphorisms. But, as in the work of David Markson, the pieces reveal themselves as a masterful arrangement that steadily gathers power. Mangusou2019s arguments about desire, ambition, relationships, and failure are pithy, unsentimental, and defiant, and they add up to an unexpected and renegade wisdom literature.
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