Jim Shepard quotes

  • She thought she'd put up with however many years of stonewalling for a good reason, and she'd just figured out that as far as Castle Hubby went, she hadn't even crossed the moat yet.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Breakup #Years #Castles

  • It turns out that our intuition is a greater genius than we are.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Intuition #Genius #Instinct

  • The longer you go by yourself the weirder you get, and the weirder you get the longer you go by yourself.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Being Weird

  • What makes us threaten the things we want most?
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Want

  • I channel the rote and the new and unseen. My head has always been the busiest of crossroads, a festival of happy and unhappy arrivals. In the hours before daybreak when I was a boy, god sent me words as visitors.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Boys #Unhappy #Unseen

  • Christy has not been given a fair shake. She has not been identified as a competent premier,
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Given #Shakes

  • The protagonist of Fourteen Stories, None of Them Are Yours doesn’t make it easy for us, channeling as he does Barry Hannah and Denis Johnson by way of Rick Bass and Dennis Hopper, and self-presenting as yet another damaged romantic who thinks it’s always time to play the cowboy, skating in and out of sense. He can’t see right, and he’s haunted by nearly everything. He’s trying to open up or shut himself down or at least get a hold of himself. He’s trying to make do with what he’s done, while he reminds us that we’re all, one way or another, in that position.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Cowboy #Thinking #Self

  • I do find stories - or literary fiction - an apt form for analyzing the world. And especially for trying to imagine the other. An agenda, again, that seems more important now than ever.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Important #Trying #Fiction

  • I think fiction is all about the exercise of the empathetic imagination. Part of what I do is let the stuff I read about meld with what I have experienced.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Exercise #Thinking #Imagination

  • I don't beat at the details, but I do always keep in mind that anything that isn't A) moving the story forward or B) enlarging my understanding of the central characters has to be sacrificed. I have huge folders of details - research - with a story like Netherlands. Only a very small part of it gets used. The old iceberg analogy again.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Moving #Character #Understanding

  • Disasters occur organically in my work, in that that's the way my thinking tends, more than that's what I start out by planning. I'm sort of a catastrophist.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Thinking #Way #Planning

  • Empathy is a human trait. But lots of humans exercise some traits more energetically than others. By "the usefulness of empathy" I mean the way in which a progressive might claim that empathy is a crucial aspect of any benign political system, and the way a conservative might argue that not only is it not necessary, but it might not even be all that helpful, in that regard.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Mean #Exercise #Empathy

  • I don't think conservativism is about a deficiency. I think it's about a commitment to an ideology that has to in some ways devalue the usefulness of empathy. I do think empathy can be learned. And enhanced.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Commitment #Thinking #Empathy

  • Does research get in the way of the story? It certainly can. Anything can, given that as writers we're all geniuses at procrastination. But mostly research teaches me about the world. Which often shows me the way, in terms of the story.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Procrastination #Doe #Genius

  • I very much like people. I don't much like writers who don't.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #People

  • Oh, I usually don't know a whole lot about a subject when I begin; the process itself teaches me a lot as I go along. Usually I know enough about one narrow area of the subject to start myself going, and then everything - including a lot more research - follows from that.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Research #Enough #Process

  • I spend most of my time reading non-fiction of all sorts. Then poetry. Then fiction to blurb. Then fiction I want to read.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Reading #Fiction #Want

  • I love the box that such a decision puts you in, and I love the interest the reader has in seeing how you negotiate that box: that seemingly hugely narrowed set of options. I also like the way in which it reminds us that we connect to the real world. That our relationship to the world matters.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Real #Decision #World

  • I think there's a playfulness and a distance to Kavalier and Clay that I don't aspire to in my stuff. Maybe I'm more old-fashioned, and less of a fabulist, in that way.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Distance #Thinking #Clay

  • The etiquette of blurbs means it's not hard to not blurb something (if it's not by a friend, or student): everyone knows how many books you're deluged with. You can just say you never got to it.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Book #Mean #Students

  • I'll find something in what I read that snags my imagination in emotional terms; it resonates with me for reasons more complicated than just that it seems like it would make a good story.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Emotional #Imagination #Stories

  • I'm tempted to do everything. And sometimes I think, "Oh, come on. You can stick that detail somewhere."
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Thinking #Details #Sticks

  • I have written screenplays. Most recently for Errol Morris, who was thinking about doing his first fiction movie, and with a young director who wanted to adopt Project X. Errol was a hoot. I loved talking with him. We were a good match, too, because we both kept joking that we'd found the only other person on earth more ambivalent than we were about the project.
    -- Jim Shepard

    #Thinking #Talking #Directors