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The Accidental Life

Musings on life and Joyce.

I love writers and how their weird brains work: choice of descriptors, obscure references, or observations about the state of the union.

In the latest Lunch with the FT, Joyce Carol Oates does just that. Who else describes a high-end restaurant – serving seared tuna, gazpacho, and leafy salads – as a "local pub"?[1]

How life happens

The interview is a nice light read, but tucked away is a insightful confession of sorts: Oates let slip what all successful people know but never say.

“So much of life is accidental."

Thanks for that reminder, JCO.


Writers love critique other writers. Oates, in all her depth and wisdom, chooses Joyce.

Ulysses has this wonderful buoyancy and ebullience of the street . . . I often look at Ulysses, a chapter here and there, it’s a kind of comfort food, really.

If I could bring just one novel, I’d probably bring Ulysses, because it’s a novel about language and about discovering new ways of expressing things. I should really go away somewhere and just take Ulysses.

He who is and always will be the GOAT.


  1. The person who, by chance or choice, has never spent time in another man's local watering local hole. ↩︎