Writing Inspiration | 20 | May 19 — May 25

Matt Popovich via Unsplash


In that silence, I instinctively put physical distance between us, and I realized that I viewed his illness as a form of vampirism, ready to overtake and drain my rational self. At the same time, I was repelled by my predatory fascination with his condition, my desire to rub away at the pain blanketing his face so that I could uncover his illness and see what it was like. I found it difficult to distinguish between who he was and what I was supposed to be in his presence.

from Unmasked by Hilton Als, The New Yorker

There was old sex in the room and loneliness, and expectation, of something without a shape or name…We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?

from The handmaid’s tale by Margaret Atwood

“What do you do?” Suzanne asked.
“I specialize in future used goods — goods that used to belong to you. I’m a pickpocket.”

from A Pickpocket’s Tale by Adam Green, The New Yorker


monastic: (adj.) resembling or suggestive of monks or their way of life, especially in being austere, solitary, or celibate

Short of taking monastic vows or trekking into the Kalahari, a freighter passage might just offer what our relentlessly connected age has made difficult, if not impossible: splendid isolation. — Christopher Buckley

argot: (noun) the jargon or slang of a particular group or class

Argot is both a literary and a social phenomenon. — Victor Hugo

juggernaut: (noun) a huge, powerful, and overwhelming force or institution

The human juggernaut is permanently eroding Earth’s ancient biosphere. — E. O. Wilson

If you run across an amazing piece of writing, word, or excerpt, let me know about it here. ❤️