Luc Sante quotes

  • Books entered my house under cover of night, from the four winds, smuggled in by woodland creatures, and then they never left. Books collected on every surface; I believe that somehow they managed to breed
    -- Luc Sante

    #Believe #Book #Night

  • I realize that books are not the entire world, even if they sometimes seem to contain it. But I need the stupid things.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Stupid #Book #Needs

  • I wasn't born in New York and I may never live there again, and just thinking about it makes me melancholy, but I was changed forever by it, my imagination is manacled to it, and I wear its mark the way you wear a scar. Whatever happens, whether I like it or not, New York City is fated always to remain my home.
    -- Luc Sante

    #New York #Home #Thinking

  • New York has no truck with the past. It expels its dead.
    -- Luc Sante

    #New York #Past #Truck

  • Redheaded Peckerwood, which unerringly walks the fine line between fiction and nonfiction, is a disturbingly beautiful narrative about unfathomable violence and its place on the land
    -- Luc Sante

    #Beautiful #Land #Fiction

  • New York, which is founded on forward motion and thus loath to acknowledge its dead, merely causes them to walk, endlessly unsatisfied and unburied, to invade the precincts of supposed progress, to lay chill hands on the heedless present, which does not know how to identify the forces that tug at its rationality.
    -- Luc Sante

    #New York #Hands #Progress

  • I always give money to a sidewalk con if the story is a good one, even if I don't believe a word of it. Art deserves to get paid.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Art #Believe #Giving

  • I've always assumed it to be an absolute requirement for being a writer: to find all emotions and the sources of all behaviors somewhere within yourself.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Requirements #Emotion #Behavior

  • Self-reinvention is an essential trope of the American project, closely linked to another such trope: going on the lam. Both are regularly featured in movies and novels and suchlike. Criminals and persons loitering with and without intent hold a crucial place in the culture. For obvious reasons, the culture cannot endorse this behavior, even as it is in thrall to it.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Self #Criminals #Essentials

  • All I know about 1970s New York City is that it's where I grew up, and you always have an umbilical connection to the time and place of your growing up. It was cheap, didn't have too many people in it, you could go to the movies or whatever on the spur of the moment, you could get by without working too much and especially without involving yourself in the corporate world.
    -- Luc Sante

    #New York #Growing Up #Cities

  • Unlike a bow and arrow, a camera by its nature ensures that some kind of target will always be hit, if not necessarily the intended target nor in the intended way.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Arrows #Way #Bows

  • Like a four-sided porch I'm open to all winds.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Wind #Four #Porch

  • Subjectivity is my middle name, a trick memory is my pack mule, and self-contradiction is my trusty old jackknife.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Memories #Self #Names

  • Paris had more sex than most church-laden places, and more church than most sex-laden places. Parisians crowed about Travail-Famille-Patrie while frequenting brothels. They enjoyed visiting drag shows while clamping down on homosexuality. They celebrated romance while treating women like dirt. Many of these contradictions existed elsewhere, but I do think Paris ruled the hypocrisy championships.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Thinking #Hypocrisy #Romance

  • Neoliberalism seems to ramp up every day, making it ever more difficult for anyone but corporations to own and run things and define the flavor of a place. I'd love to be optimistic about the future, but it's not easy.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Running #Optimistic #Easy

  • My method is the magpie's: I look for shiny things. That is, I look for concrete material details of daily life, and I look for vigorous prose, which is the only kind I can read for very long. That effectively bars a great deal of scholarly work, but I didn't feel its loss.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Loss #Long #Kind

  • Many writers and artists portrayed the poor sympathetically, and even fought on their behalf, but they themselves were not of that class. Gay life is perhaps even more subject to ambiguity, since it so often involves crossing classes.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Gay #Artist #Poor

  • I thought of New York as a free city, like one of those prewar nests of intrigue and licentiousness where exiles and lamsters and refugees found shelter in a tangle of improbable juxtapositions. I had never gotten around to changing my nationality from the one assigned me at birth, but I would have declared myself a citizen of New York City had such a stateless state existed, its flag a solid black.
    -- Luc Sante

    #New York #Cities #Black

  • Call yourself "Colonel" and declare that your fortune was left to you by Dutch burghers from the seventeenth century. Now you're a solid citizen, the embodiment of hard work and rugged individualism. You're no criminal. The criminal is the guy who comes up short, who gets caught, who fails to adopt a respectable cover.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Hard Work #Guy #Criminals

  • The con is a kind of jiu-jitsu that turns the sucker's own greed into its principal weapon. The greedier you are the more likely you are to be conned, and for the greater a sum. Since people regularly dispose of their intelligence in their rush to be swindled, and then turn right around and do it again, humans must want to be duped. Institutionalized wishful thinking - the stock market, religion, advertising - is after all a cornerstone of our system.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Thinking #People #Greed

  • My ideal city is more like the city (New York and Paris come to mind, but it sort of applies to all) that existed up to and including the 1930s, when different classes lived all together in the same neighborhoods, and most businesses of any sort were mom-and-pop, and people and things had a local identity.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Mom #New York #Class

  • The US remains an object of fascination for me, and the subject of much study, but while many of my friends etc. are American and I have no plans at present to move elsewhere, I consider myself a permanent outsider.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Moving #Fascination #Outsiders

  • I try to take pictures on their own terms, considering the historical and social context from which they emerge.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Historical #Trying #Social

  • I confess I prefer to engage with pictures which I've chosen myself out of the welter of unidentified pictures, without the intrusion of too much personal context - Ilike to be a detective, and dislike being an impresario.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Too Much #Detectives #Intrusion

  • When I was a child I did engage in an arduous struggle to pass: learning English, getting rid of my accent, becoming conversant with the culture in all its large and small aspects.
    -- Luc Sante

    #Children #Struggle #Culture

  • I realised that although I was fascinated with America, its history and culture, I was not interested in becoming American.
    -- Luc Sante

    #America #Culture #Becoming