My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bridging our differences. And it was the concern and caring of all those women which gave me strength…

Literary history and the present are dark with silences, some the silences for years by our acknowledged great; some silences hidden; some the ceasing to publish after one work appears; some the never coming to book form at all.

Tillie Olsen, quoted by Rebecca Solnit 

talesofpassingtime:

A classic novel isn’t good because it’s a classic, rather it is a classic because it was important to the development of the art. And that certainly doesn’t mean that any given person, on any given day, will enjoy reading it. It means that, as a writer, I should be aware of what the classic novel changed in the historical progression of novel story telling. Some classics are pretty terrible, even unreadable, but they are still important.