Mandy Brown: The Cut

“What montage cinema has taught me is that it’s not just the cut that makes an edit work, it’s also the join. The join is kind of the response to the cut. It’s the other side of it. You don’t just cut something when you edit it, you also have to join it with something else and the join is actually where the meaning emerges in that exchange. It’s not the pulling away or the leaving out, it’s the bringing together that actually marks an edit.”

The Cut Mandy Brown on editing

Jerry Seinfeld on Craft

On working on a joke, rewriting until each syllable is just right:

Seinfeld will nurse a single joke for years, amending, abridging and reworking it incrementally, to get the thing just so. “It’s similar to calligraphy or samurai,” he says. “I want to make cricket cages. You know those Japanese cricket cages? Tiny, with the doors? That’s it for me: solitude and precision, refining a tiny thing for the sake of it.”

On craftsmanship:

“People ask me, Why Porsches? A lot of it is the size, same as with bits. The smaller something is, the harder it is to make, because there’s less room for error.” In high school he took shop classes, even after a counselor told him that collegebound kids didn’t need to, because he wanted to know how machines fit together. “I have this old ’57 Porsche Speedster, and the way the door closes, I’ll just sit there and listen to the sound of the latch going, cluh-CLICK-click,” Seinfeld said. “That door! I live for that door. Whatever the opposite of planned obsolescence is, that’s what I’m into.”

Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up by Johnah Weiner

Advice to my 22-year old self

Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet.

Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naïve pomposity.

–Cheryl Strayed: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Prestige: conjuror’s tricks

You might, for example, be interested to know that the word “prestigious” is derived from the Latin praestigiae, which means “conjuror’s tricks.” Isn’t that interesting? This word that we use to mean honorable and esteemed has its beginnings in a word that has everything to do with illusion, deception, and trickery.</

–Cheryl Strayed: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

The future has an ancient heart

There’s a line by the Italian writer Carlo Levi that I think is apt here: “The future has an ancient heart.” I love it because it expresses with such grace and economy what is certainly true—that who we become is born of who we most primitively are; that we both know and cannot possibly know what it is we’ve yet to make manifest in our lives.

–Cheryl Strayed: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Step off the path

Step off the path, and maybe you’d get back and maybe you wouldn’t, but you would be changed. Which sounds like strange and awful until you realise that that’s actually pretty much how it’s always been, and if you think any different, it’s because you’ve never left that little stretch of comfort and gone someplace where what you know gets a bit thin on the ground.

–Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World

The Kissi are everywhere

The Kissi wander the streets ghosting the holiday merrymakers. Giddy families window-shop, trying to fill some of their desperate hours together with anything that gets them out of having to talk to each other. In some of those families, Mom or Dad is a Kissi. Or possessed by one. A little Kissi girl follows her parents, holding her big brother’s hand, literally draining the life from him as the family stops to admire a blinking LED wreath outside a Burmese restaurant.

–Richard Kadrey, Sandman Slim: A Novel