Guest editor Natalie Diaz has a gorgeous interview with Blackfeet writer Stephen Graham Jones up over at PEN America. They talk obsessions, linguistics, writing process, and more. But I think this quote is my absolute favorite:
While the notion of the public intellectual has fallen out of fashion, do you believe writers have a collective purpose?
To say the truth, or something in the arena of the true. Something that feels true. To carve down to what’s real, and then fold the reader into that spot for a couple hundred pages. To write for the people of today, not the ones who aren’t born yet, and not the ones from generations ago, who can no longer be impressed with your talent. To—to be one of the ones Plato would have kicked out of his republic, because we won’t shut up, because we won’t stop stirring things up, because we insist on rousing emotions and thoughts in people that are inconvenient for those in power. And to do all this without seeming to be trying to do all this. Mostly, if we have a collective purpose, it’s to dream on the page, such that others might subscribe not so much to that particular dream, but just to dreaming in general. To asking What if? That’s the most dangerous question. The most necessary question.
Last night, I couldn’t sleep because I had a story creeping into my head. Let’s hope we can all hit the page running today.
Image credit: PEN America