kottke.org posts about George Saunders

George Saunders' graduation addressAug 05 2013

George Saunders gave the commencement address at Syracuse University this past spring and it was recently republished in the New York Times. It touches on the nature of success and kindness.

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. [...]

[A]ccomplishment is unreliable. "Succeeding," whatever that might mean to you, is hard, and the need to do so constantly renews itself (success is like a mountain that keeps growing ahead of you as you hike it), and there's the very real danger that "succeeding" will take up your whole life, while the big questions go untended. [...]

Since, according to me, your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up. Speed it along. Start right now. There's a confusion in each of us, a sickness, really: selfishness. But there's also a cure. So be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf - seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life.

Cutting hard and deep with George SaundersJan 04 2013

The Twitter is afire with rave reviews of Joel Lovell's profile of writer George Saunders for the upcoming issue of the NY Times Magazine.

It is true that if there exists a "writer's writer," Saunders is the guy. "There is really no one like him," Lorrie Moore wrote. "He is an original -- but everyone knows that." Tobias Wolff, who taught Saunders when he was in the graduate writing program at Syracuse in the mid-'80s, said, "He's been one of the luminous spots of our literature for the past 20 years," and then added what may be the most elegant compliment I've ever heard paid to another person: "He's such a generous spirit, you'd be embarrassed to behave in a small way around him."

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