Pop Culture
Aug 09, 2023, 06:28AM

You Will Come To Regret It

A 2003 Harvard Business Review interview with advice columnist Judith “Miss Manners” Martin vs. a 2019 The White Review interview with novelist Rachel Cusk.

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Rachel Cusk: Once I’ve got an idea for something I’ll usually write a set of notes in that moment because otherwise I’ll forget, but that’s not content, that’s very much form.

Judith Martin: That kind of thinking ended on September 11, 2001.

Cusk: No, not at all. That’s a good dream.

Martin: There’s no evidence for that. Whatever made anyone believe that?

Cusk: In a sense it’s the same quest as trying to uncover why people feel false or unreal.


Martin: For one thing, it’s expensive to have people climb poles or shoot at one another with paint guns.

Cusk: The desire to externalize yourself, and put yourself into space.

Martin: You will come to regret it.

Cusk: That feels like me. It’s a horrible process: most of the time I’m thinking “what am I meant to be doing?”

Martin: Entertaining in Washington is usually very high-level, very interesting.


Cusk: I don’t think anyone can even remember what authenticity is, now.

Martin: No. That’s what civilization is all about.

Cusk: Very often it becomes telling and showing, which is fantasy.

Martin: More fundamentally, it’s false to argue that artificiality is unnatural and bad.

Cusk: It’s about the discovery of peace.


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