John D'Agata Quotes

Enjoy the top 42 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by John D'Agata.

John D'Agata Quotes

Youre often looking at writing from writers who, for the most part, are working in forms that traditionally fit into other genres. But sometimes, in the midst of their better-known stuff, theres this wayward thing, and because its wayward it isnt considered representative of their work, so it falls through the cracks.
— John D'Agata —

I'm not a poet, but I was in the poetry program. And I'm also not much of a nonfiction writer, at least not in the standard sense of nonfiction, nor especially in the way we were thinking about nonfiction back then, in the late 90s.

— John D'Agata

I would ask the people who were generous toward my own work. After class one day a poetry professor said to me, "Hey, there's this guy Basho you would find interesting," and so I found Basho. A fiction teacher told me, "You ought to read Clarice Lispector if you're interested in that sort of in-between stuff," and then Lispector appeared. It's not magic. You just keep your eyes open.

— John D'Agata

It's fun to just skim through piles of books in the stacks of a library.

— John D'Agata

As frustrating as my time in grad school felt, it also helped tremendously because it challenged me to figure out what it was I thought I wanted.

— John D'Agata

The essay community should have hundreds of anthologies from hundreds of different perspectives that are constantly introducing us to new writers, new work, and new visions for our genre. The whole spirit of these anthologies is that there should never be a last word in how essays are interpreted or what they can be.

— John D'Agata

Inclusiveness isn't what I want to push back against. The obsession with facts is.

— John D'Agata

Pedagogically, we need definitions and borders. They help us get our heads around what we're talking about.

— John D'Agata

I think that in a lot of readers' minds the essay is a lot more utilitarian than it is art.

— John D'Agata

I felt a little lost as a student. At Iowa, I felt as if I had gotten into this program that was going to save me, and so I moved myself across the country for grad school and yet still didn't have a home. It was upsetting. And I know that's a common feeling.

— John D'Agata

You're often looking at writing from writers who, for the most part, are working in forms that traditionally fit into other genres. But sometimes, in the midst of their better-known stuff, there's this wayward thing, and because it's wayward it isn't considered representative of their work, so it falls through the cracks.

— John D'Agata

I look for the kind of text that doesn't look like the writer I'm considering. Plutarch is a great example.

— John D'Agata

The intimate and meditative form that Plutarch became known for was completely new in his day.

— John D'Agata

Plutarch's peers were writing "rhetorics," which were these dry philosophical treatises that made really broad gestures about life and death and fate. Plutarch stepped out of the stream to create an essayistic form that relied on a digressive structure and down to earth anecdotes.

— John D'Agata

As a student at the time, I kind of felt like my only options as a nonfiction writer were to either jump on the personal essay bus or linger back at the station, hoping that some other heretofore unknown mode of transportation was going to magically show up to take me where I wanted to go.

— John D'Agata

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