"A John Updike is a once-in-a-generation phenomenon, if that generation is lucky: so comfortable in so many genres, the same lively, generous intelligence suffusing all he did."
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."George Saunders on Albert Einstein
"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."George Saunders on Albert Einstein
"Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking."George Saunders on Albert Einstein
"Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them."George Saunders on Albert Einstein
"We should take care not to make the intellect our god it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality."George Saunders on Albert Einstein
"We try, we fail, we posture, we aspire, we pontificate - and then we age, shrink, die, and vanish."
"My habit would have been to veer towards the dark - to prove I was something edgy, or maybe to prove that I was cognisant of the dark side. Now, with age and confidence, I can say, yeah, that's true, but I am cognisant of the fact that people can do things well. And can be more loving than you expect."
"I still believe that capitalism is too harsh and I believe that, even within that, there is a lot of satisfaction and beauty if you happen to be one of the lucky ones, although that doesn't eradicate the reality of the suffering. It's all true at once, kind of humming and sublime."
"I tend to foster drama via bleakness. If I want the reader to feel sympathy for a character, I cleave the character in half, on his birthday. And then it starts raining. And he's made of sugar."
"I'm finding, as I get older, that I'm not much of a believer in redemption. I mean, I believe in redemption in real life - redemption does happen, and it's cool when it does - but I find myself getting leery of my desire for it in stories (especially my own)."