Tag Archives: The Paris Review

Everyone I have ever admired has passed through this

I re-read this passage from a Marilynne Robinson interview now and again. Because I agree. Because I find comfort that somebody can be so articulate about things I can only intuit or crudely describe.

The ancients are right: the dear old human experience is a singular, difficult, shadowed, brilliant experience that does not resolve into being comfortable in the world. The valley of the shadow is part of that, and you are depriving yourself if you do not experience what humankind has experienced, including doubt and sorrow. We experience pain and difficulty as failure instead of saying, I will pass through this, everyone I have ever admired has passed through this, music has come out of this, literature has come out of it. We should think of our humanity as a privilege.

– Marilynne Robinson (The Paris Review:┬áThe Art of Fiction No. 198)