Leap Year

America is where only memory divides the present from the future, and where the unconscious dreams of the people who live here understand that the Declaration of Independence was signed after Hiroshima, not before, and neither has yet happened (33). 

 

People with nuclear imagination not only conceive of the abyss and confront it, but are liberated by it; everything they do is infused with the blood of an armageddon with no god, a judgement day in which the guilty and the innocent are damned with equal cosmic merriment. … In the process they force the crowd to consider matters as they do, confronted with the truth that every moment is potentially irrevocable (42). 

 

… the generation of writers .. growing up with a television culture, the most pernicious influence of which is not its inanity or even its visuality but that visuality’s want of metaphor, the niggling literalness of its archetypes. We’ve insisted on writing as though we expect never really to mean anything to anyone again, as though with an unstated loathing for anyone who would value what we say. Afraid of seeming sentimental, we’ve risked no passion; afraid of seeming pretentious, we’ve risked no scope. We’ve written little books that masquarede as large ones, literature for the blackboards, appaled by its own juices, that doesn’t deserve to capture the imagination of the public because it has none of its own to offer in return (43).

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