— E. M. Cioran, The Temptation to Exist, trans. Richard Howard
"A poem should be equal to:
For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea—
A poem should not mean
— Archibald MacLeish, from "Ars Poetica"
"There is too much self in my writing. Do you know the term Lukács uses to describe aesthetic structure? Eine fensterlose Monade. I do not want to be a windowless monad—my training and trainers opposed subjectivity strongly, I have struggled since the beginning to drive my thought out into the landscape of science and fact where other people converse logically and exchange judgments—but I go blind out there. So writing involves some dashing back and forth between that darkening landscape where facticity is strewn and a windowless room cleared of everything I do not know. It is the clearing that takes time. It is the clearing that is a mystery."
— Anne Carson, Economy of the Unlost