… re-examine all you have been told […] dismiss whatever insults your own soul… ― Walt Whitman, from the preface of Leaves of Grass. Originally published: July 4, 1855.
There is pain in who we are, and the pain of love – because love itself is an opening and a wound – is a pain no one escapes except by escaping life itself. —Jeanette Winterson, from the Preface of Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood. (New Directions; unknown edition September 26, 2006) Originally published 1936.
Then the writing became so fluid that I sometimes felt as if I were writing for the sheer pleasure of telling a story, which may be the human condition that most resembles levitation. – Gabriel García Márquez, Introduction to Strange Pilgrims. (Vintage; Reprint edition November 14, 2006) Originally published 1993.
Why does tragedy exist? Because you are full of rage. Why are you full of rage? Because you are full of grief. — Anne Carson, from the Preface, Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides. (NYRB Classics September 16, 2008)