Zadie Smith: Fail better

Zadie Smith on “literature’s legacy of honorable failure,” and how writers can fail better:

When writers admit to failures they like to admit to the smallest ones – for example, in each of my novels somebody “rummages in their purse” for something because I was too lazy and thoughtless and unawake to separate “purse” from its old, persistent friend “rummage”. To rummage through a purse is to sleepwalk through a sentence – a small enough betrayal of self, but a betrayal all the same. To speak personally, the very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.

Emphasis mine.

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3 Responses

  1. I read her article. It was like wading though a philosophical treatise. I’m not sure I agree with all of her assertions. But it’s something else to think about.

  2. Some of her points definitely eluded me. Maybe next week’s column will be clearer.

  3. […] Zadie Smith: Fail better […]

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