Saturday, September 23, 2017

quote unquote

I would like to please the reader, and I think that surprise has to be an element of this, and that may necessitate a certain amount of teasing.  To shock the reader is something else again.  That has to be handled with great care if you're not going to alienate and hurt him, and I'm firmly against that, just as I disapprove of people who dress with that in mind -- dye their hair blue and stick safety pins through their noses and so on.  The message here seems to be merely aggression -- 'hey, you can't be part of my strangeness' sort of thing.  At the same time I try to dress in a way that is just slightly off, so the spectator, if he notices, will feel slightly bemused but not excluded, remembering his own imperfect mode of dress.

--john ashbery [writers at work: the paris review interviews ed. by george plimpton; penguin books, 1988]


At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, plimpton.

the founder of PR.

me uncle jim knew him
from the nyc magazine



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