On Giving Up

Writing about quitting by Adam Phillips, Jonathan Coe, Anne Carson, Thomas Jones, David Wheatley, Jenny Turner and Jenny Diski. 

On Giving Up

Adam Phillips, 6 January 2022

Just as people tend not to be mad but to be driven mad, people tend not to give up but to be forced into giving up. It is this that the tragic hero resists, and at great cost. 

Sinking Giggling into the Sea

Jonathan Coe, 18 July 2013

Boris Johnson has become his own satirist, safe in the knowledge that the best way to make sure the satire aimed at you is gentle and unchallenging is to create it yourself.

Poem: ‘On Davey’

Anne Carson, 3 January 2019

An anvil takes nine days to fall from heaven to earth. Most gods bigger than most anvils. Confusing for gods to have bodies at all, a stupidity of the system. Let’s say we give up trying to bind gods to space and time, or even to breathing, which measures space and time, just let their wondrous legs go crashing off over the barrenlands where they do their best work. 

Poem: ‘‘A Pint of Milk’’

David Wheatley, 19 May 2005

this 3 for 2 offer     one’s not enough    three you can’t carry / two they won’t let you       the thing is impossible / leave it      give up            give it up

Diary: Dragged to the Shoe Shop

Jenny Diski, 14 November 2002

My sanity I gave up long ago when I discussed with a friend whether it was preferable to be mad or fat. But I wouldn’t give up writing. At least I don’t think so . . .

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