“Every little thing you give up gives you more time to waste as an artist; everyone needs to waste time, it’s essential to Being, but most people let our culture at large waste their time; as an artist I want to waste my time in my own way, in the kinds of ways that, for me, lead to making something. Everything in our culture is supposed to save time, to give us more time, but nothing does, everything only robs us of time. Oh, Mary Webb, where are your snowdrops now? The flower fairies are not happy about any of this: they need the imagination to survive. Not that long ago, if you were at a dinner party and someone wondered out loud what was the fastest animal on earth, an hour’s worth of lively conversation would ensue. Nowadays someone invariably grabs their phone and looks up the answer and ends the conversation. As if knowing were more interesting than wondering! I would rather wonder than know. By the way, it’s a cockroach.” – Mary Ruefle (interview by Bradley Harrison in Denver Quarterly)

The tyranny of right-thinking

“Technology equals Globalization equals Empire, isn’t that the way the equation goes? Everyone on the same page at the same time is the progressive dream of many, but it is not mine.” – Mary Ruefle (interview by Bradley Harrison in Denver Quarterly)

It has; happened a while back

“I don’t really see any difference between computers and network television, which is to say I feel the same way after looking at both—a physical sensation of wretchedness, the sickening sense that the country I live in has gone mad.” – Mary Ruefle (interview by Bradley Harrison in Denver Quarterly)

Later we sleep

“All of us—unless we are thoroughly enlightened—have days when we are looking for approval; these are the messy, unhappy days; then we have days when we are just looking, purely and simply looking, and these are the days of freedom, inspiration, and joy.” – Mary Ruefle (interview by Bradley Harrison in Denver Quarterly)