Authors — B

Quotations by Nicholson Baker

Footnotes are the finer-suckered surfaces that allow testicular paragraphs to hold fast to the wider reality of the library.

Friends, both the imaginary ones you build for yourself out of phrases taken from a living writer, or real ones from college, and relatives, despite all the waste of ceremony and fakery and the fact that out of an hour of conversation you may have only five minutes in which the old entente reappears, are the only real means for foreign ideas to enter your brain.

In my case, adulthood itself was not an advance, although it was a useful waymark.

Most good novelists have been women or homosexuals. The novel is the triumphant evolved creation, one increasingly has to think, of these two groups, who have cooperated more closely in this domain than in any other.

Shoes are the first adult machines we are given to master.

The force of truth that a statement imparts, then, its prominence among the hordes of recorded observations that I may optionally apply to my own life, depends, in addition to the sense that it is argumentatively defensible, on the sense that someone like me, and someone I like, whose voice is audible and who is at least notionally in the same room with me, does or can possibly hold it to be compellingly true.

Until a friend or relative has applied a particular proverb to your own life, or until you’ve watched him apply the proverb to his own life, it has no power to sway you.