Inspirational Quotes by Rachel Kushner

By | December 29, 2018

I know a little bit about motorcycles and motorcycle riding.

Rachel Kushner

A historical event represents the best and the worst of that moment.

Rachel Kushner

I have crashed on a motorcycle that was going at 140mph, so I know what it feels like.

Rachel Kushner

When one is the type of writer who cares about the meaning of the historically specific setting, the history itself is not something that I would call backdrop. It’s not window dressing for a timeless relationship about love and betrayal. For me, the setting and the specific history are active co-agents with me in trying to form the novel.

Rachel Kushner

Italy in the Seventies seems like a fascinating place.

Rachel Kushner

Writing does produce a very unique satisfaction. There are times when I’m writing that it’s frustrating or appalling or difficult, but when it goes well, it goes really well, and there is a feeling of rightness, like I’m doing the thing I was meant to do, almost in a mystical way, like I’m at an appropriate angle to the world.

Rachel Kushner

I get the feeling that people from outside the world of contemporary art see it as deserving of mockery, in an emperor’s-new-clothes sort of way. I think that’s not right and that it’s just because they don’t understand the discourse.

Rachel Kushner

I’m a very interior person. I love silence. I revel in it. I’m happy that way.

Rachel Kushner

Flamethrowers have been used by many armies in many wars, including by American Marines in Korea and Vietnam. They cause horrific deaths and are thus a serious public-relations liability. The U.S. military apparently phased them out in 1978.

Rachel Kushner

Art is about play and about transcendent meanings, not reducible to politics.

Rachel Kushner

Art is about play and about transcendent meanings, not reducible to politics.

Rachel Kushner

I am occasionally enraptured by Western landscape. But I don’t identify that state of mind as having to do with my own origins, having grown up in the West, although I certainly crisscrossed Nevada countless times growing up, and then as a young adult, in cars and on motorcycles.

Rachel Kushner

The 1970s seemed particularly playful. People were trying to make work that couldn’t be sold.

Rachel Kushner

I spent a huge amount of time by myself. I daydreamed and learned how to be alone and not be lonely.

Rachel Kushner

From ‘Midnight Cowboy’ to ‘Taxi Driver’ is a brief era whose grit, beauty, and violence has been quite mythologized.

Rachel Kushner

I try to show ugliness, but with compassion for the people who commit ugly acts.

Rachel Kushner

I spent ten years riding motorcycles.

Rachel Kushner

It’s through engagement with the world, and not separation from it, that something with meaning gets produced.

Rachel Kushner

Danzon is my favorite Cuban music, played by a traditional string orchestra with flute and piano. It’s very formally structured but romantic music, which derives from the French-Haitian contradance.

Rachel Kushner

Art is something special because it can come up with a way of approaching the truth that is a little to the side.

Rachel Kushner

At home, I dedicate occasional whole days to reading as if I’m a convalescent. The ideal place for this is the bath, where the body floats free. Books go a little wavy, but they’re mine, so who cares.

Rachel Kushner

I begin a book with imagery, more than I do with an idea or a character. Some kind of poetic image.

Rachel Kushner

When I see things in the world that leap out at me, I want to make use of them in fiction. Maybe every writer does that. It just depends on what you claim or appropriate as yours.

Rachel Kushner

One of the strategies for doing first-person is to make the narrator very knowing, so that the reader is with somebody who has a take on everything they observe.

Rachel Kushner

I guess I’m not really fond of just chit-chatting. I want to learn something and have an experience.

Rachel Kushner

I shy away from plot structure that depends on the characters behaving in ways that are going to eventually be explained by their childhood, or by some recent trauma or event. People are incredibly complicated. Who knows why they are the way they are?

Rachel Kushner

I have spent a lot of time in the art world, and I guess I do listen to how people speak. I’m interested in what they say and how they say it.

Rachel Kushner

A lot of politics in art is just institutional critique, which, in my opinion, is not all that political.

Rachel Kushner

I was very precocious when I was young. I went to college at 16, and I graduated at 20. I wanted to be a writer, but I was more interested in experience than in applying myself intellectually.

Rachel Kushner

I didn’t do a masters in creative writing until I was 26, which is quite old, and then I found myself in New York and I needed money, so I started working full time as an editor.

Rachel Kushner

Eventually, I decided that if I was going to really write a novel, I couldn’t do it in New York City while holding down a job. You need a constant money source to live in New York City unless you’re independently wealthy, which I’m not.

Rachel Kushner

L.A. is a great place to write because you have a lot of space. I have a big office at home, I can leave the doors open. Flowers bloom all year. But it’s unglamorous in all the right ways.

Rachel Kushner

I am not a sun person at all. I think it’s a cancerous poison and I don’t want it touching me.

Rachel Kushner

It’s really a misconception to identify the writer with the main character, given that the author creates all the characters in the book. In certain ways, I’m every character.

Rachel Kushner

My mother told me many stories about her childhood in Cuba. Living there had a profound impact on her and how she regards herself.

Rachel Kushner

Writing a first novel was an arduous crash course. I learned so much in the six years it took me to write it, mostly technical things pertaining to craft.

Rachel Kushner

Story and plot, not historical facts, are the engine of a novel, but I was committed to working through the grain of actual history and coming to something, an overall effect, which approximated truth.

Rachel Kushner

Like most writers, I’ve read a lot of Hemingway, and I admire him greatly.

Rachel Kushner

Citizenship and ethnicity can become, in certain contexts, restrictive, and perhaps that’s one reason I was interested in people who feel compelled to mask their origins and thereby circumvent the restrictions.

Rachel Kushner

It’s no secret that Cuba is a typical Latin American culture in that it has a fair amount of homophobia. Homosexuals have been notoriously persecuted under Fidel’s government.

Rachel Kushner

I know there are writers who like to say that every novel is hard, and it doesn’t get easier. That may be the case, and I’ve only written two. But the first, to me, was characterized by an enduring oscillation between perseverance and a profound doubt.

Rachel Kushner

Prayer is so complicated.

Rachel Kushner

One is sometimes meant to reassure the reader that she’s qualified to write about a certain topic.

Rachel Kushner

Painting was a problem – you produce a thing, and then you sell it and get money, and that was quickly considered totally uncool.

Rachel Kushner

I have never liked the ‘Been there done that’ thing… You hear that all the time from people, and I think it’s just based on pure insecurity… Each person is going to have their own unique take on something.

Rachel Kushner

The Seventies seemed like this really open time. There were a lot of strong women characters deciding what kind of artists they wanted to be.

Rachel Kushner

I knew that I wanted to write about a very young woman because I wanted to see the eyes of the art world in a fresh or even slightly naive way. Because there’s something very honest about entering a room and not having a read on everyone there.

Rachel Kushner

These women were taking over these former manufacturing warehouses in SoHo and figuring out a way to be fashionable and viable without money. It’s hard to imagine a life like that in Manhattan now – there’s something romantic about it.

Rachel Kushner

For me, everything about the telling is guided by tone. It’s a bit mysterious; it’s either there, or it isn’t.

Rachel Kushner

Tone is somewhat totalising in that, once I locate it, it tells me what kind of syntax to use, what word choices to make, how much white space to leave on the page, what sentence length, what the rhythmic patterning will be. If I can’t find the tone, I sometimes try narrating through the point of view of someone else.

Rachel Kushner

The interaction between the two matters, but to me, each doesn’t really exist independently of the other, so I’m not ever faced with a situation where the tone is wrong for the story, or the story wrong for the tone. They are two parts of one thing.

Rachel Kushner

I know what it’s like to go very fast on motorcycles. Those moments, they stay with you.

Rachel Kushner

Telluride has an incredible history and reputation, and I’ve long known of it as a unique entity that makes a place for writers – one more aspect of this exceptional film festival in the Colorado Alps.

Rachel Kushner

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