I didn’t learn until I was in college about all the other cultures, and I should have learned that in the first grade. A first grader should understand that his or her culture isn’t a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society. Cultural relativity is defensible and attractive. It’s also a source of hope. It means we don’t have to continue this way if we don’t like it.
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative, work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know that it’s normal and the important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It’s only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just gotta fight your way through.
"I’m just excited to be a part of it. I’ve never seen a film like Wild where the woman ends up with no man, no money, no family, no opportunity, but she still has a happy ending.”
—Reese Witherspoon on playing an “unsympathetic” female lead in Wild at How Wild Saved a ‘Lost’ Reese Witherspoon — Vulture
The Georgia Review (est. 1947) has opened its annual reading period for literary submissions. The award-winning letter and arts journal is published quarterly by the students and faculty of The University of Georgia. Each issue is packed with 200 pages of nonfiction essays, creative fiction, poetry, book reviews, and artwork. Topics and writing styles blend the social and artistic interests of the humanities, history, theory, folklore, politics, pop culture, and the visual arts.
"I have been thinking more and more that I shall always be a lone wanderer of the wilderness. The beauty of this country is becoming part of me. I feel more detached from life and somehow gentler…no one understands why I am here or what I do. I don’t know of anyone, though, who would have more than a partial understanding; I have gone too far alone.
I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum life that you are forced to lead. I don’t think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax.”
last letter from 20 year-old Everett Ruess, 1934