Quotes by: Walter Kirn

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Walter Kirn
Born (1962-08-03) August 3, 1962 (age 54)
Akron, Ohio, United States
Residence Livingston, Montana, U.S.
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater Princeton University, Oxford University
Occupation Novelist, literary critic, essayist
Notable work Up in the Air
Spouse(s) Penelope Locke (divorced)
Maggie McGuane (divorced)
Amanda Fortini
Children 2

People can be so neglectful of each other and of their own heritage - then death intrudes. Conversations we wish that we'd had earlier are had too late.
Walter Kirn
It's been a concern of mine for years that the mainstream media coverage of culture and politics takes place in two nodes, Washington and New York, and yet all the voting goes on somewhere else.
Walter Kirn
The reason that last-ditch political maneuvering has become business as usual in Washington is that the actors involved are drunk on blame and are convinced that the voting public is, too. They count on outrage, thereby spreading numbness. They cherish the prospect of partisan fury, thereby inspiring nonpartisan disgust.
Walter Kirn
Good short-story collections, like good record albums, are almost always hit-and-miss affairs - successful if they include three or four great tracks, wildly successful if they have five. And that's as it should be.
Walter Kirn
The strange anthropological lesson of social media is that human beings, if given a choice, often prefer to socialize alone.
Walter Kirn
The future of time, of how it's won or lost, endured or enjoyed, expanded or compressed, will depend on how it's valued, not how it's measured.
Walter Kirn
No matter how you cut them, paste them, rotate them, or distort them, lip syncing and air-guitar playing are fundamentally foolish activities, and anyone seen to be engaging in them with anything approaching a straight face is, by definition, taking herself or himself much too seriously.
Walter Kirn
We're on Twitter with one side of our personality, and Facebook with another, and LinkedIn with another side of our personality, and we're toggling between them. That's just a version of what an impostor does: shifting from one side of their personality to another with lightning speed.
Walter Kirn
In fourth grade, I learned that reading was serious business, not just a pleasant way to pass the time, and that like medicine or engineering, it had a definite, valuable purpose: to foster 'comprehension.'
Walter Kirn
I'm a novelist, a critic, an essayist - I tend to see politics as a subset of cultures rather than the other way around. It's a human enterprise, a tool or a technology revealing our collective inner self.
Walter Kirn
You're able to do things in novels: introduce subplots, other characters, thematic layers and so on, in a way that you simply can't in a movie. A movie really has to choose its battles.
Walter Kirn
Guns can turn you into an insider even if you're an outsider by nature, recruiting you into a loose fraternity of people who feel embattled and defensive and are primally eager to win allies.
Walter Kirn
There are two sides to me. One is the writer. That's a savage person who looks at everything as a story and, you know, wants to use real life in his books. The other part is the Midwesterner, who, you know, wants to say nice things about people and be polite.
Walter Kirn
Remember daydreams? No, of course you don't. How could you? Three new text messages have just arrived, and another three, in a moment, will go out.
Walter Kirn
In America, to be ID'd - sorted, tagged, and permanently filed - is to lose a bit of one's soul. To die a little. This sounds like a subtle, poetic notion. It's not. In American legal and cultural tradition, one essential privilege of citizenship is not having to prove it on demand.
Walter Kirn
Every generation looks at literature through the lens of their own experience, but with the Bible, everyone gets apprehensive and thinks it'll be too stuffy.
Walter Kirn
I'd assumed that a deal was a deal when Princeton admitted me, but I was wrong. The price of getting in - to the university itself, and to the great world it promised to open up - was an endless dunning for nebulous services that weren't included in the initial quote.
Walter Kirn
You have plausible deniability, as they say in politics, as an author with movies. Because if the movie is terrible, you simply say they failed to catch the genius of the book.
Walter Kirn
I review books as a day job, and through the years I've come to view the contemporary memoir as, almost always, a saga of victimization, sometimes by others, sometimes by the self, and sometimes by illness or misfortune, leading, like clockwork, to healing and redemption.
Walter Kirn
If the future, as imagined in literature, is really the present taken to extremes, then the past is also the present, but boiled down.
Walter Kirn
Stopping to think is fine for characters, but not for their creators. They have to work.
Walter Kirn
I've been around - having gone to Princeton, and I went to Oxford after that - some pretty fancy characters in my life. And they're just as nutty as the rest of us - sometimes worse.
Walter Kirn
Uncertainty doesn't make life worth living, quite, but it does make striving and gambling worth attempting.
Walter Kirn
The room-service Caesar salads with soggy croutons, the distant relatives who show up at readings pitching weird, far-fetched investment schemes, the fans who have you sign a book to 'Cathy' and then tell you, 'No, it's Kathy with a K' - it gets challenging after a while. It tests your stamina.
Walter Kirn
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