READING NOTES FROM:

Maggie Nelson

2019-12-31

The pleasure of recognizing that one may have to undergo the same realizations, write the same notes in the margin, return to the same themes in one’s work, relearn the same emotional truths, write the same book over and over again—not because one is stupid or obstinate or incapable of change, but because such revisitations constitute a life.

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2019-11-24

Happiness is no protection, and certainly it is not a responsibility. The freedom to be happy restricts human freedom if you are not free to be not happy. But one can make of either freedom a habit, and only you know which you’ve chosen.

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2019-12-14

Puppies and Babies is a terrific antidote to such sneering, with its joy-swirl of sodomitical parenthood, caretaking of all kinds, and interspecies love.

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2019-11-29

But the perversity is not lost on me that the most oft-cited, well-respected, best-selling books about the caretaking of babies—Winnicott, Spock, Sears, Weissbluth— have been and are mostly still by men.

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2019-11-29

I find it irresistibly interesting when people are cathected onto their bad style rather than simply oblivious to it (a description that may apply to us all; I sense the risk increases with age).

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2019-12-14

To be fair, writing well about children is tough. You know why? They’re not that interesting. What is interesting is that despite the mind-numbing boredom that constitutes 95 percent of child rearing, we continue to have them.

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