"All literature, highbrow or low, from the Aeneid onward, is fan fiction. […] Through parody and pastiche, allusion and homage, retelling and reimagining the stories that were told before us and that we have come of age loving—amateurs—we proceed, seeking out the blank places in the map that our favorite writers, in their greatness and negligence, have left for us, hoping to pass on to our own readers—should we be lucky enough to find any—some of the pleasure that we ourselves have taken in the stuff that we love: to get in on the game. All novels are sequels; influence is bliss."
“Never again, I thought, never again. Going to the houses of friends who, playing go-between, out of kindness make up occasions for meetings and spy on you to see if things come to a successful conclusion, if he does what he’s supposed to do, if you react the way you’re supposed to. A spectacle for those already coupled, an entertaining subject when the house is empty and only the remains of the mean are left on the table.”
—Elena Ferrante, The Days of Abandonment
Elena Ferrante is spectacular. I need to read more of her.