The courage of gaucheness

There are fundamentally two kinds of writer, just as there are two kinds of monogamist: the immaculate and the fallible. For the immaculate every sentence must be perfect, every word the inevitable one. For them, getting it right is the point. For the fallible, ‘wrong’ is only the word for people who need to be right. The fallible, that is to say, have the courage of their gaucheness; they are never quite sure what might be a good line; and they have a superstitious confidence that the bad lines somehow sponsor the good ones.

Adam Phillips, Monogamy, quoted in Paris Review – The Art of Nonfiction No. 7, Adam Phillips


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