"But honestly, I tend to think of writing as less a temporal-lineal phenomenon and more a data dump. So, for example, the person who wrote my darkest story is still alive in me, as is the person who wrote the most optimistic. Those selves just keep flickering on and off. They existed when you were four and will exist when you’re ninety. There’s some progression over time, I suppose, as your skills improve and you find yourself more capable of getting into the difficult places (which, for me, tend to be the more optimistic or hopeful places) – but I can still get to the guy who wrote the most apocalyptic stories and, even as I was writing those, I think I would have been appreciative of a story like “Tenth of December.” We tend to think of ourselves as being one whole and consistent person but it feels to me now that we are more of a flickering, constantly transitioning phenomenon – no fixity, minimal consistency. So the artist could be seen as a sort of caretaker of all these different selves – trying to respect and love each self and get it to step up to the mic and really go for it."
—George Saunders