Joyce Carol Oates delivered the Robert B. Silvers lecture at the New York Public Library entitled “Is the Uninspired Life Worth Living?”, about inspiration and obsession.

“Inspiration is an elusive term. We all want to be inspired if the consequence is something original and worthwhile. We would even consent to be haunted and obsessed if the consequences were significant. For all writers dread what Emily Dickinson calls ‘zero at the bone,’ the deadzone from which inspiration has fled.”

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