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- You can assume that if a writer's work has survived for centuries, there are reasons why this is so, explanations that have nothing to do with a conspiracy of academics plotting to resuscitate a zombie army of dead white males.
- Reading Like a Writer, ch. 2, p. 15 (2006)
- With this recitation of paraphernalia and detritus, O'Brien manages to encapsulate the experience of an army and of a particular war, of a mined and booby-trapped landscape, of cold nights and hot days, of soaking monsoons and rice paddies, and of the possibility of being shot, like Ted Lavender, suddenly and out of nowhere: not only in the middle of a sentence but in the midst of a subordinate clause.