Jonathan Safran Foer Profile in NYT Magazine

For those of you who don’t have time to read Deborah Solomon’s fun profile of Jonathan Safran Foer in this Sunday’s New York Times Mgazine, here are my favorite quotes from it:

His letters, much like his fiction, are conceived ”as an end to loneliness,” as he once put it in an e-mail message. And while most of the letters in the world — at least the good ones — are similarly written to allay our loneliness, Foer seems haunted by an aching awareness of the probability of defeat. What, in the end, can we really know of one another?

Plans were made to meet outside the main branch of the New York Public Library one Wednesday at noon. That morning, more e-mail messages arrived, the last of which was sent knowingly to an empty desk: ”Writing this from the Kinko’s across the street from the Public Library,” Foer noted. ”It’s 11:41 and I’ve done it again: arrived for a rendezvous more than 15 minutes early. Anyway, I’m assuming you won’t read this until after we meet, which leaves these words hanging in some nowhere time. . . . See you soon, hours ago.”

“Why do I write? It’s not that I want people to think I am smart, or even that I am a good writer. I write because I want to end my loneliness. Books make people less alone. That, before and after everything else, is what books do. They show us that conversations are possible across distances.”

“I always write out of a need to read something, rather than a need to write something.”

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