Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Quote of the Day (Cynthia Ozick, on the ‘Power of Language’)

“One must avoid ambition in order to write. Otherwise something else is the goal: some kind of power beyond the power of language. And the power of language, it seems to me, is the only kind of power a writer is entitled to.”—Cynthia Ozick, Interviewed by Tom Teicholz, “The Art of Fiction No. 95,” The Paris Review, Spring 1987

Cynthia Ozick, whose fiction and literary criticism has graced, among other publications, The New Yorker, turns 85 today. Reporters who know her solely from her often astringent literary nonfiction are surprised by her playful intelligence. “Writers are very dangerous people,” she told Emma Brockes in an interview with The Guardian two years ago. “You shouldn't know them.”

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