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    ottessa moshfegh Quotes

    Reality is a projection of consciousness, so if you believe - more than just think - but believe, subliminally, that something is true, it will become true because you will make micro-decisions based on the reality that you have faith in.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: reality  believe  true  faith 
     
    I don't really pity any of my characters. I hold my characters under a harsh fluorescent lamp and ask "Who are you?" I'm not doing their makeup or giving them hairdos. They present themselves to me as they are and then I let them say what they want. Usually they're saying something too honest.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    The way that I see third person is it's actually first person. Writing for me is all voice work. Third person narrative is just as character-driven as first person narrative for me in terms of a voice. I don't write very much in third person.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: people  work  writing  write 
     
    I don't think there's anything wrong with pity. Like if you saw a dog having just been hit by a car, you would pity that dog. But then what do you do? Do you leave it there to get run over by more cars, or do you step into traffic and hold up your hand? "Stop! An animal has been hit!" and carry the thing to safety?
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: animals  wrong  dog 
     
    There are all these levels of pretension in LA. Every time you walk into a café or a bar or a restaurant in LA everybody turns around to see if you're famous. Everybody can seem like a celebrity. You can meet somebody who looks like Joe Schmoe and he turns out to be the head of HBO or something. Or you meet a person who just won an Oscar and he looks like he just won an Oscar. And it's a sprawling city, there's so many different parts to it.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: time  people  celebrity 
     
    Distance is where people get really confused. If you stand really far away from someone you're like, "That's not me. I'm so far away from that person. That person is so different from me." It's easy to forget that people - refugees from Syria, for example - are exactly like us.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: people  example 
     
    I hope that I'm the kind of person who would step in between somebody holding a gun at somebody else. I would like to be that stupid. I'd like to be that in love with life.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: people  hope 
     
    You know that's why people don't like unlikeable characters. It's not that they're not interesting. Everybody knows the most interesting character in a book or a movie or whatever narrative is the villain.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: character  people  movie  book 
     
    I'm asking the reader to suspend reality with me and entertain the idea that the person writing is not me. In order to do that well, I think, one needs to point out the artifice of the narrative. Somehow if the narrator is self-aware then it's almost more humanizing and more relatable.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: people  reality  writing  ideas 
     
    I was feeling like I'd been born in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. I don't believe that anymore, not coincidentally two years after writing Eileen. I think that was the driving curiosity for me, thinking about real and fictional characters who could respond to that problem.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    Sometimes I think I'm a nihilist because it doesn't matter, none of this matters. We're all following the will of some unknowable higher power, probably the stars manipulating our cellular magnets. We think we have all this agency, but do we? Do we really? Can you choose to be brave when you were born a coward? Can we be deprogrammed from the brainwashing that we grew up in? I think we can, but I think we need a lot of help.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: power  star  help 
     
    I don't like talking too much about my personal life, but it all goes into my work.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: work  personal 
     
    I was really interested in piano and sort of discovered that I was a writer when I was about 13 and started writing. And it was my secret thing and my passion.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: secret  writing  passion 
     
    I've dedicated a lot of my life as a writer to understanding how to hear the divine voice, or the music of the spheres, or whatever it is that we do when we're making art, making something out of nothing. Figuring out how to do that is much more important than knowing how to execute a good line. I don't think about that anymore, I just write.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    Think about every time you've seen someone being objectified, abused, enslaved. We see it constantly on the TV, in magazines, on the Internet. We've become numb, so we do nothing. The accumulation of passivity might make reading about that exploitation uncomfortable. And sometimes when I'm writing, I think of it like this: "People seem to like garbage, so here is what garbage smells like..."
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    If you look at the horror genre, that work is all about making people uncomfortable by stimulating our fear of death.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: death  fear  people  work  horror 
     
    I've always really enjoyed sharing my work with others. I find it really hard if I don't think the work will exist outside of my own apartment.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: work  sharing 
     
    I love art because I feel that it's evidence of the great shared universal power. I like art that feels real, that cuts the bullshit.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: power  real 
     
    I was the first person in my family born in the United States. My mom is from Croatia, and my dad is from Iran. They met at music school in Belgium. I grew up as a pianist.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: people  music  school 
     
    What's inspiring me the most [is] injustice. My own growth as a member of the human race, in terms of the veils being lifted, seeing more of the beauty and also the horror. A sense of my own purpose in this life. Love...
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    For me, I enjoy intimidating people and I enjoy being intimidated. It is exciting. It's cool to have an experience with someone where you challenge them, and they are afraid, and then they love you and they've grown. When that happens to me, I feel so blessed if somebody has opened my world up a little bit more.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    Building a relationship with the character. It's just like sitting with someone you know. It's very easy to predict when they're going to shake their head or say whatever, but because I'm the author I have to make characters do what I want them to do.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    I want to say that what is cool about writing self-aware first person narrative is that the awareness is not necessarily the same awareness of the reader. I have a story coming out in the Paris Review and it's about a hipster. He think's he's self-aware, he's very introspective and analytical, but when you're reading it you can totally see through his self-analysis because you have a higher awareness than he does. I like playing with that too.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    I had to brainwash myself, like what I was doing was going to be really, really good, and then just accept whatever happened.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    What you can't teach someone is how to find the door. You can't give someone a door to another universe. You can tell them that the door exists, and if they're stuck in the hallway you can be like, "You're stuck in the hallway," but you can't open the door for them.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: universe 
     
    For me writing isn't a mental exercise, it's barely even a literary exercise, it feels like a spiritual experience.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    People have been asking me, "What advice do you have for young writers?" I tell them: a) get off social media; b) don't ask your friends what they think about your work or your ideas. You need to focus and be insane within yourself to build your sandcastle. The mind is so malleable and you need to have a steel trap around it, at least while you're working on something.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: people  work  friends  advice  young  focus  mind  ideas 
     
    I don't need to feel 100% safe, but I have to feel like there's room for me to go a little bit insane if I'm going to have good ideas. Because a good idea is a new idea and if you start going around like, "I have this new idea!" most people are gonna be like, "I've never heard that before, that sounds fishy."
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: people  ideas 
     
    You can't be a free spirit in a place that feels like it was built on lockdown.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: spirit 
     
    My short stories are so character-based and they're also so private. They're like a private world in each story and I'm getting more and more interested in allowing myself to investigate the big picture about this country, and about human beings, and about the planet, and about the solar system, and about the nature of the material world in general. And I felt like I needed to move into a bigger form.
    — Ottessa Moshfegh
    tags: nature  world  human  stories 
     
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