Gendered criticism has a silencing effect, not just on the women criticized, but on all women who come into contact with it. I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, ‘I’m so glad I’m not published, that my writing is a hobby, so I don’t have to deal with this’,” she says “Every time something like this happens, some women’s ambitions get curtailed and quashed and discouraged, by both the thing itself and the culture’s reaction to it. And that’s the thing that keeps me up at night, not that one crazy man thinks I shouldn’t be writing.
[A]ll seem to be trying to demonstrate some sort of weird ambient sameness in different kinds of human relationships, some nameless but inescapable “price” that all human beings are faced with having to pay at some point if they ever truly want “to be with” another person instead of just using that person somehow (like for example using the person just as an audience, or as an instrument of their own selfish ends, or as some piece of moral gymnastics equipment on which they can demonstrate their virtuous character (as in people who are generous to other people only because they want to be seen as generous, and so actually secretly like it when people around them go broke or get into trouble, because it means they can rush generously in and act all helpful - everybody’s seen people like this), or as a narcissistically cathected projection of themselves, etc.), a weird and nameless but apparently unavoidable “price” that actually sometimes equals death itself, or at least usually equals your giving up something (either a thing or a person or a precious long-held “feeling” or some certain idea of yourself and your own virtue/worth/identity) whose loss will feel, in a true and urgent way, like a kind of death, and to say that the fact that there could be (you feel) such an overwhelming and elemental sameness to such totally different situations and mise en scenes and conundra….—seems to you urgent, truly urgent, something almost worth shimmying up chimneys and shouting from roofs about

David Foster Wallace, Octet

I’ve never actually read Octet but Zadie Smith includes this quote in her piece “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: The Difficult Gifts of David Foster Wallace” and it just perfectly nails this question, asked across characters and landscapes and genres in all his books and essays, of how to truly recognize and see another person and actually do the hard work of of connecting every day instead of avoiding everyone and everything in sneaky and subtle ways and ahhh

(via casualsnail)

went to a reading at a bar last night and stuttered awkwardly in a poets face about how much i liked their work. woke up this morning with a headache and a craving for any kind of bagels. didn’t eat any kind of bagels. ate about a sleeve of oreos drank half a bottle of water