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Amber Paulen


A gambler who looses is an amateur but a professional wins every time, for he always takes this power into account; and if he does not resolve it mathematically he calculates it in the form of twinges, superstitions, good signs, rabbits’ feet, etc….. In being sensitive to these warnings, as it were, examining the face of one’s destiny, and this gives one gravity and portentousness and makes the onlooker or witness believe that the winner was chosen by the gods. —Blaise Cendrars, Moravagine

If Blaise Cendrars was writing about gambling then he was as as much writing about writing, and if not writing then this quote could be applied to just about anything. What is life if not a gamble? And what is writing?

When I was younger I had lots more superstitions. I believed that if I thought about something for too much and for too long it would surely not happen. When I began writing I had lots of rituals that I determinedly adhered to, for in the beginning what else is there? If I sit down in my chair before nine o’clock than the writing will be good, if I do not, the writing will be bad. I must have coffee in my brown mug, in my right hand and my big blue dictionary on my left. I must not be interrupted. If I am interrupted the whole shebang will go quick to pot.

Now, every superstition I have is a secret, for if revealed they would immediately destroy any burgeoning prospects for my novel. I must trust in this because Blaise Cendrars agrees. One can always find proof for any thought.


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