Nicholson Baker (born January 7, 1957) is a contemporary American novelist, whose writings focus on minute inspection of the narrator's stream of thought. His unconventional novels deal with topics like voyeurism and planned assassination, but generally de-emphasize traditional aspects of plot. Baker's enthusiasts appreciate his ability to candidly explore the human psyche, while critics feel that his writing wastes time on trivia (Stephen King has notoriously compared Baker's work with fingernail clippings)..
"Friends, both the imaginary ones you build for yourself out of phrases taken from a living writer, or real ones from college, and relatives, despite all the waste of ceremony and fakery and the fact that out of an hour of conversation you may have only five minutes in which the old entente reappears, are the only real means for foreign ideas to enter your brain."
"The force of truth that a statement imparts, then, its prominence among the hordes of recorded observations that I may optionally apply to my own life, depends, in addition to the sense that it is argumentatively defensible, on the sense that someone like me, and someone I like, whose voice is audible and who is at least notionally in the same room with me, does or can possibly hold it to be compellingly true."
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