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All posts by James Wood

“Serious Noticing,” by James Wood

Emerson once said that society was a mob, conspiring against the sovereign strength of the self. Now we are an electronic mob, and the forces of distraction are powerfully arrayed against us. It has always been the case that society never wanted a writer to write a book, something you will discover when you leave this place and try to create the space and time to write. Society doesn’t want your book of stories or poems, and you will have to push against society, as if you had your shoulder to the door of a crowded room; you will have to shove your book into existence, birth it violently.