Attention Quotes

If an artwork never gets any attention from anybody, then obviously it’s got problems. If it gains attention from a very small elite, then it’s presumably doing something. Finnegans Wake gets a lot of attention from certain people who become passionate about it, who are usually very good readers in general. Although – I often talk about costs and benefits – it seems to me the costs of reading Finnegans Wake are not worth the benefits, however many there may be. And it’s the same with the more arcane among poets, Zukofsky and so on.

Perhaps the most demanding trick in all of art is to know ways that are going to capture the attention of an audience right now, and yet to also hold an audience hundreds or thousands of years into the future in circumstances you just cannot imagine. You’ve got to go very deep into human nature to do that.