What's Worth Saving


"[The] question of what's worth saving determines what paintings hang in museums, and I think it also determines a great deal of what our own lives look like. It seems like a vast cultural decision, the casting away of one artist and the canonizing of another, but it actually begins as a very personal choice, when we each privately decide what's worth reading, seeing, remembering, and keeping. And it is only those things that we choose to keep that are allowed to extend across generations and survive us. This is true for works of art, but I think it is also true for every element of our private lives — and it is this choice of what's worth saving that connects us to other people, and becomes the only real link between the living and the dead."

- Dara Horn, from an essay about writing her novel, The World to Come. Listen to her discuss the novel with Michael Silverblatt on KCRW's Bookworm (April 20, 2006).