John Green

  • May. 20th, 2012 at 4:54 PM
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Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we're quoting.

John Green

  • Feb. 23rd, 2012 at 2:34 AM
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"I always thought of it like you said, that all the strings inside him broke. But there are a thousand ways to look at it: maybe the strings break, or maybe our ships sink, or maybe we’re grass—our roots so interdependent that no one is dead as long as someone is alive. We don’t suffer from a shortage of metaphors, is what I mean. But you have to be careful which metaphor you choose, because it matters. If you choose the strings, then you’re imagining a world in which you can become irreparably broken. If you choose the grass, you’re saying that we are all infinitely interconnected, that we can use these root systems not only to understand one another but to become one another. The metaphors have implications. Do you know what I mean?"

(Paper Towns) 

John Green

  • Dec. 11th, 2011 at 1:29 AM
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Nostalgia is inevitably a yearning for a past that never existed.

John Green

  • Jan. 27th, 2011 at 11:59 PM
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"We all like the idea that a book is created by a single person for a single reader because it's a narrative that makes sense. But the truth resists that simplicity... the Looking for Alaska that you read is not quite like the Looking for Alaska that anyone else reads."

Source

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John Green

  • Dec. 12th, 2010 at 1:27 PM
beth_shulman: (book: meg powers)
The fundamental thing that all critical reading does is reveal to us that there are not easy definitions that distinguish Us from Them. Reading with an eye toward metaphor allows us to become the person we're reading about while reading about them. That's why there are symbols in books and why your English teacher deserves your attention. Ultimately, it doesn't matter if the author intended a symbol to be there because the job of reading is not to understand the author's intent. The job of reading is to use stories as a way into seeing other people as we see ourselves.



Life is like pizza, Jade, life is like pizza :)

Previously from John Green: "There is no Them. There are only facets of Us." I have discovered that I need an LJ feed of John Green's YouTube channel (anyone have one? Off I go to search).

Also: I am vindicated!

From John Green's Printz Honor Speech

  • Dec. 7th, 2010 at 5:01 PM
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We have a way of saying that a book is good if we liked the characters, or if it kept us turning the pages, or if we enjoyed, albeit guiltily, the exploits of the snotty popular girls. But I think that such good stories are not necessarily good books. All good stories have power - as Colin says in the book, they become what happened. And I do believe, although maybe it is unfashionable to say so, that such power must be utilized thoughtfully. I believe that authors - particularly those of us writing for teenagers - have a responsibility to tell stories that are both good and - for lack of a better word - moral. I heard Tobin Anderson say a few months ago that he is no longer opposed to fiction that teaches lessons, and neither am I. In fact, I believe that fiction must teach lessons—after all, any story that we believe in comes with a lesson, be they YA novels or Geico commercials. A book that is just its lesson cannot be a good story, of course. But we can’t ignore the moral power of good stories, either.

John Green

  • Nov. 28th, 2010 at 10:06 PM
beth_shulman: (book: meg powers)
I was sitting back. I was listening. And I was hearing something about her and about windows and mirrors. Chuck Parson was a person. Like me. Margo Roth Spiegelman was a person, too. And I had never quite thought of her that way, not really; it was a failure of all my previous imaginings... I had been imagining her without listening, without knowing that she made as poor a window as I did. And so I could not imagine her as a person who could feel fear, who could feel isolated in a roomful of people, who could feel shy about her record collection because it was too personal to share. Someone who might read travel books to escape having to live in the town that so many people escape to.  Someone who - because no one thought she was a person - had no one to really talk to.

And all at once I knew how Margo Roth Spiegelman felt when she wasn't being Margo Roth Spiegelman: she felt empty. She felt the unscaleable wall surrounding her. I thought of her asleep on the carpet with only that jagged sliver of sky above her. Maybe Margo felt comfortable there because Margo the person lived like that all the time: in an abandoned room with blocked-out windows, the only light pouring in through holes in the roof. Yes. The fundamental mistake I had always made - and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make - was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.

(Paper Towns)

John Green

  • Oct. 31st, 2010 at 2:59 PM
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"What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?" (An Abundance of Katherines)

John Green

  • Oct. 17th, 2010 at 9:04 PM
beth_shulman: (black and white tree scene)
"If you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all." (Paper Towns)
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
...And one day I mentioned to Ilene [Cooper] that I wanted to write a book. She said the idea sounded promising, although I doubt she figured she’d one day have to excuse herself from a committee over it. Ilene gave me a deadline: April 15, 2001.

When that deadline passed, I’d written ten horrible pages. I’d read you a selection from those pages, except various members of the Printz Committee might rush the stage and take back this award. The central problem was that I couldn’t find a structure to tell the story. And then September 11th happened, and that night I was alone again, this time in my apartment. Everyone on TV kept talking about how we’d see the world in terms of before 9/11 and after it. And I thought about how all time is measured that way—before and after the birth of Christ for Christians; before and after the hijrah for Muslims. Before and after is not the true nature of time, of course, but it's the only way we have of living through time. This, I realized, is how I would tell my story. Before and after. A year later, the manuscript was sent to Dutton...

I am often asked whether I wrote Looking for Alaska for teenagers, or whether I intended it to be a novel for adults and was just steered to a YA publisher. The answer is that I wrote it for teenagers, and my next novel is written for teenagers, and that I intend to write novels for teenagers as long as I am allowed to do so—although, to steal a line from Laurie Halse Anderson, I am really happy that the 12 adults sitting over there liked it, too. Writing for kids is the only kind of writing I know how to do that I feel is halfway noble. In his Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, William Faulkner said, “The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, one of the pillars that help him to endure and prevail.” This is precisely why I write for young adults, and I think it’s why most people in the business do what they do. When you are a teenager, you discover that life is messy. Life is defined by ambiguity and confusion and unfairness and a pervasive randomness. It is in adolescence that you realize you are not safe, not in any sense the word, and that you never will be.

When I was a teenager, I remember reading a book by the sociologist Peter Berger in which he said, “The difference between dogs and people is that dogs know how to be dogs.” This is what we do as teenagers, and forever after: We try to figure out how to be people. I like writing for teenagers because they are still trying to figure out how to be people in unselfconscious, forthright ways—because they are still open to the idea that a single book might change their understanding of how to be a person. It is my fervent hope that, at least for some teenagers, books can play a role in helping them navigate the labyrinth—that books can help show us how to choose the awful pain of love over the strange comfort of destruction, that books can be a pillar to help us endure and prevail.

Source

John Green

  • Jun. 23rd, 2010 at 9:20 PM
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"Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia... You spend your whole life stuck in [a] labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present." (Looking for Alaska)

John Green

  • Jun. 8th, 2010 at 11:35 PM
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"Thomas Edison's last words were 'It's very beautiful over there'. I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful." (Looking for Alaska)

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John Green

  • May. 25th, 2010 at 2:19 AM
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"I'm not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is." (Paper Towns)

John Green

  • May. 24th, 2010 at 2:37 AM
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"What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person." (Paper Towns)

John Green

  • May. 24th, 2010 at 12:08 AM
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"...you don't remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened." (An Abundance of Katherines)

John Green

  • May. 23rd, 2010 at 11:26 PM
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"There is no Them. There are only facets of Us."

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