words loved, recycled

Posted: August 2, 2018 in johanna skibsrud
Tags: , , , ,


“A life thus names a restless activeness, a destructive-creative force-presence that does not coincide fully with any specific body. A life tears the fabric of the actual without ever coming fully ‘out’ in a person, place, or thing. A life points to … ‘matter in variation that enters assemblages and leaves them. A life is a vitality proper not to any individual but to ‘pure immanence,’ or that protean swarm that is not actual though it is real: ‘A life contains only virtuals. It is made of virtualities.”[1]


“Human existence is so fragile a thing and exposed to such dangers that I cannot love without trembling.”[2]


“The steps that a person takes from the date of birth to the date of death draw a design upon time that we cannot imagine. The divine intelligence sees this design all at once, like we see a triangle. The design may very well have a specific function in the economy of the universe”[3]


“I think there is choice possible at any moment to us, as long as we live. But there is no sacrifice. There is a choice, and the rest falls away. A second choice does not exist. Beware of those who talk about sacrifice”[4]


“Around us, everything is writing; that’s what we must finally perceive. Everything is writing. The fly on the wall is writing; there is much that it wrote in the light of the large room, refracted by the pond.”[5]


[1] from Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things.

[2] from Simone WeilGravity and Grace

[3] from Jorge Luis Borges, “The Mirror of the Enigmas.”

[4] from Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry

[5] from Marguerite Duras’s Writing.


Johanna Skibsrud is most recently the author of a collection of short stories, Tiger, Tiger (Hamish Hamilton 2018). She is also the author of two novels, including the Scotiabank prize-winning novel, The Sentimentalists, and three collections of poetry, including–most recently–The Description of the World (Wolsak and Wyn 2016), winner of the 2017 Fred Cogswell Award and the Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry. Johanna teaches literature at the University of Arizona and divides her time between Tucson and Cape Breton.

She can be found online at  http://www.johannaskibsrud.com/





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