Tim O’Brien: “A good piece of fiction”

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“A good piece of fiction, in my view, does not offer solutions. Good stories deal with our moral struggles, our uncertainties, our dreams, our blunders, our contradictions, our endless quest for understanding. Good stories do not resolve the mysteries of the human spirit but rather describe and expand up on those mysteries.”

– Tim O’Brien

John Keats: “These are what we stay alive for.”

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“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race — and the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

— Robin Williams as John Keats, “Dead Poets Society”

Tim O’Brien: “Stories are for eternity”

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“And sometimes remember it will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except that story.”

— Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried”