Certainty seldom seems to me an adequate response to the world, to the other humans or to myself. I often feel that there is such pressure to be certain, and to be certain quickly—maybe this is a consequence of living in an age of Twitter and the “hot take,” or maybe it’s just part of the human equipment, a need to avoid the pain of ambivalence or doubt and lay claim to comfort of feeling oneself in the right. It’s difficult—it’s impossible—to take in too much reality. Art draws a frame around a bit of reality; it creates a kind of magic circle in which we can exercise our faculties to the fullest, allowing ourselves to live in bewilderment. Certainty is the attribute of victors. I guess I’m interested in the second-guessing and hesitation of losers. I guess that feels to me like a truer perspective on the world.
- Garth Greenwell, in conversation with Sara Mang over at PRISM international. You can read the whole thing here.