Epigraffiti

All books have beginnings before they begin.
"Imagine that / it were given back to me to be / the child who knew departure would be sweet, / the boy who drew square-rigged ships, the girl who knew / truck routes from Ottowa to Mexico, / the me who found a door in Latin verse / and made a map out of hexameters." - Marilyn Hacker, "A Sunday After Easter"
From The Cost of Living by Mavis Gallant (NYRB, 2009)

"Imagine that / it were given back to me to be / the child who knew departure would be sweet, / the boy who drew square-rigged ships, the girl who knew / truck routes from Ottowa to Mexico, / the me who found a door in Latin verse / and made a map out of hexameters." - Marilyn Hacker, "A Sunday After Easter"

From The Cost of Living by Mavis Gallant (NYRB, 2009)

"Biography is the falsest of the arts" - F. Scott Fitzgerald, notes to The Last Tycoon
From Zelda by Nancy Milford (Harper, 1970). 

"Biography is the falsest of the arts" - F. Scott Fitzgerald, notes to The Last Tycoon

From Zelda by Nancy Milford (Harper, 1970). 

"Happiness is not based on oneself, it does not consist of a small home, of taking and getting. Happiness is taking part in the struggle, where there is no borderline between one’s own personal world, and the world in general." —Lee H. Oswald, letter to his brother
From Libra by Don DeLillo (Viking, 1988).

"Happiness is not based on oneself, it does not consist of a small home, of taking and getting. Happiness is taking part in the struggle, where there is no borderline between one’s own personal world, and the world in general." —Lee H. Oswald, letter to his brother

From Libra by Don DeLillo (Viking, 1988).

"Did I request thee, Maker, from my clayTo mould me Man, did I solicit theeFrom darkness to promote me?” — John Milton, Paradise Lost, X, 743-45
From Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley (1818).

"Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me Man, did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?” — John Milton, Paradise Lost, X, 743-45

From Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley (1818).

"Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes." — Plato, Republic, Book II
From The Secret History by Donna Tartt (Knopf, 2002). 

"Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes." — Plato, Republic, Book II

From The Secret History by Donna Tartt (Knopf, 2002). 

"The General, speaking one felt with authority, always insisted that, if you bring off adequate preservation of your personal myth, nothing much else in life matters. It is not what happens to people that is significant, but what they think happens to them." - Anthony Powell, Books do Furnish a Room
From The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud (Knopf, 2006).

"The General, speaking one felt with authority, always insisted that, if you bring off adequate preservation of your personal myth, nothing much else in life matters. It is not what happens to people that is significant, but what they think happens to them." - Anthony Powell, Books do Furnish a Room


From The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud (Knopf, 2006).

All that a man has to say or do that can possible concern mankind is in some shape or other to tell the story of his love, —-to sing; and if he is fortunate and keeps alive, he will be forever in love. This alone is to be alive to the extremities. — Henry David Thoreau
From Alfred Kazin’s America, editor Ted Solotaroff (Harper Collins, 2003).

All that a man has to say or do that can possible concern mankind is in some shape or other to tell the story of his love, —-to sing; and if he is fortunate and keeps alive, he will be forever in love. This alone is to be alive to the extremities. — Henry David Thoreau


From Alfred Kazin’s America, editor Ted Solotaroff (Harper Collins, 2003).