Ali Smith

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The novel, he was saying, was a flabby old whore. A

The novel, he was saying, was a flabby old whore. A flabby old whore! the older man said looking delighted. She was serviceable, roomy, warm and familiar, the younger was saying, but really a bit used up, really a bit too slack and loose. Slack and loose! the older said laughing. Whereas the short story, by comparison, was a nimble goddess, a slim nymph. Because so few people had mastered the short story she was still in very good shape. …I idly wondered how many of the books in my house were fuckable and how good they’d be in bed.

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And it was always the stories that needed the

And it was always the stories that needed the telling that gave us the rope we could cross any river with. They balanced us high above any crevasse. They made us be natural acrobats. They made us brave. They met us well. They changed us. It was in their nature to.

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