Thursday, August 5, 2010
Quote of the day
Prison is essentially a shortage of space made up for by the surplus of time; to an inmate, both are palpable... Prison is indeed a translation of your metaphysics, ethics, sense of history, etc. into the compact terms of your daily deportment. The most effective place for that is of course solitary, with its reduction of the entire human universe to a concrete rectangle permanently lit by the sixty-watt luminary of its bulb under which you revolve in pursuit of your sanity... On the whole, poets fare better in solitary confinement than do fiction writers, because their dependence on professional tools is marginal: one's recurrent back-and-forth movements under that electric luminary by themselves force the lyric's eventual comeback no matter what. Furthermore, a lyric is essentially plotless and, unlike the case against you, evolves according to the immanent logic of linguistic harmony.
-- Joseph Brodsky, quoted in PEN Canada's Annual Report 2009-10: Defending Writers in Prison for 50 Years
Image source here.