I Wanted the Before

“I didn’t want the after, or even the during: I wanted the before.”
Claire-Louise Bennett, “I Am Love,” Gorse 2 (2014)


A Departure From Oneself

“[O]ne travels to the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, the Taj Mahal in order to be transported, in order to experience an intensity of being there that is a kind of transport, a departure from oneself.”
Steven Connor, Dream Machines, 2017

Everyone Has a Book Inside Them…

“Everyone has a book inside them, which is exactly where I think it should in most cases remain.”
Christopher Hitchens, 1997


Tearing Out His Own Tongue

“Poor Andrew [Brownlow] spoke from the very thing he hated. On the day of the revolution his first job would be to tear out his own tongue.”
Hanif Kureishi, The Black Album



“Most serious thought in our time struggles with the feeling of homelessness.”
Susan Sontag, “The Anthropologist As Hero,” Against Interpretation and Other Essays


La Samaritaine

“An incautious step will put the male visitor in a landscape which looks as though it is panties as far as the eye can see. The same situation could occur, doubtless, in Selfridges or Barker’s, but it wouldn’t feel the same.”
Ian Nairn, Nairn’s Paris


Writing Happens in Space

“Writing happens in space — it happens to a body, which is in touch with time and things, and which tries to enclose itself and connect itself to real and fantastical outsides, to make itself at home and fling itself abroad in a mobile analogue of home.”
Brian Dillon, I Am Sitting in a Room, 2011