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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The 'capabilities' of words

“Words are capable of making experience more vivid, and also of organizing it. They can scare us, and they can comfort us. – Jonathan Safran Foer

Best known for his novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - also made into an award-winning movie - Foer uses the 9/11 bombings as a backdrop for the story of 9-year-old Oskar Schell, who learns how to deal with the death of his father in the World Trade Center.

A native of Washington, DC, Foer started his writing career in 1995 as a student at Princeton University, where he took an introductory writing course with author Joyce Carol Oates.  Oates took an interest in his work, telling him that he had "that most important of writerly qualities, energy."  
 “She was the first person to ever make me think I should try to write in any sort of serious way,” he said. “And my life really changed after that."

“You write to please yourself, you write to move yourself, to engage yourself in the asking of questions that are important to you,” Foer said of the writing he has done since.  As for both what he writes, what he reads, and what he recommends, he noted, “The best books are the ones that ask the most questions.” 

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