Chris J. Rice

The world is full of stories, and from time to time they permit themselves to be told.
Old Cherokee Saying

…all artists have some inclination, to greater or lesser degrees, to play it safe. I occasionally fight this feeling in myself, and I will be the first to admit that it’s cowardice, pure and simple. You think, well, if I don’t entirely commit, I can’t entirely fail. If I hold something back, I am protecting myself (if/when other people don’t like it). This is literally the opposite of the truth. When you hold things back, when you don’t commit completely to your ideas and trust completely in your own instincts, you are guaranteeing your own failure—even if you end up having commercial success. You have got to trust yourself and only yourself, and while of course you have to trust your intellect, you have got to trust your instincts even more, which are always more artistically pure than your conscious thoughts. Of course, the vast majority of artists do not do this at all. They say the same shit everyone else does, they write what’s fashionable, they write what they know will be approved of (even if it looks "experimental" on the surface). In short, they let themselves be lead by their critics and by their contemporaries. What a pointless fucking existence. Succeeding at this, or at any art, is about the hardest thing a human can do. But taking the coward’s way out not only leads to bad art; it’s habit forming. It becomes the way you approach life.

Phillip Meyer in conversation with Smith Henderson

Barnes & Noble interviews

June 4, 2014


As time goes on, you’ll understand. What lasts, lasts; what doesn’t, doesn’t. Time solves most things. And what time can’t solve, you have to solve yourself.

—― Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the
end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

—Happy birthday, Walt Whitman. SOUTH JERSEY FOREVER (via notnadia)

(via inothernews)

The point is that the outside world will trivialize you for almost anything if it wants to. You may as well be who you are.

—Grace Paley

Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar. Walker, there is no path. You make the path as you walk.

—Antonio Machado

You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but when God made man the devil was at his elbow.

—– Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian

…in a time lacking in truth and certainty and filled with anguish and despair, no woman should be shamefaced in attempting to give back to the world, through her work, a portion of its lost heart.

—Louise Bogan, A Poet’s Alphabet, McGraw Hill 1970, pg. 429

Nicer is not what I’m after.

—Eimear McBride, in the Guardian, Friday, May 16, 21014

The art of storytelling is not limited to mere journalism. In fact, it revels in the improbable and the unexpected, even as its focus remains on the real.

Robert Coover discusses his story in this week’s issue: (via newyorker)

(Source:, via newyorker)