IV. There is a certain kind of girl who reads Lolita at fourteen and finds religion. I painted my eyes black and sucked barroom cherries to red my tongue. There was a boy who promised Judas really did love Jesus. I learned early every kiss and betrayal are up for interpretation.
Bohèmienne. Anastasia Ivanova photographed by Domenico Cennamo for Forget Them #1 Autumn—Winter 2011.
In university courses we do exercises. Term papers, quizzes, final examinations are not meant for publication. We move through a course on Dostoevsky or Poe as we move through a mildly good cocktail party, picking up the good bits of food or conversation, bearing with the rest, going home when it comes to seem the reasonable thing to do. Art, at those moments when it feels most like art — when we feel most alive, most alert, most triumphant — is less like a cocktail party than a tank full of sharks.
— John Gardner, The Art of Fiction.