Quotations about   author

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



Most artists, ashamed of their need for encouragement, try to carry their work to term like a secret pregnancy. … We bunker in with our projects, beleaguered by our loneliness and the terrible secret that we carry: We need friends to our art. We need them as desperately as friends to our hearts. Our projects, after all, are our brainchildren, and what they crave is a loving extended family, a place where “How’d it go today?” can refer to a turn at the keys or the easel as easily as a turn in the teller’s cage.”

Julia Cameron (b. 1948) American teacher, author, filmmaker, journalist
“Taking Heart,” The Sound of Paper (2005)
    (Source)
Added on 10-Sep-20 | Last updated 10-Sep-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cameron, Julia

I was a model child. It was the teacher’s mistake I am sure. The box was drawn on the blackboard and the names of misbehaving children were written in it. As I adored my teacher, Miss Smith, I was destroyed to see my name appear. This was just the first of the many humiliations of my youth that I’ve tried to revenge through my writing. I have never fully exorcised shames that struck me to the heart as a child except through written violence, shadowy caricature, and dark jokes.

Louise Erdrich (b. 1954) American author, poet
Interview with Lisa Halliday, “The Art of Fiction” #208, The Paris Review (Winter 2010)
    (Source)

On the inspiration behind Dot Adare's 1st Grade teacher putting her into the "naughty box" in The Beet Queen (1986).
Added on 8-Sep-20 | Last updated 8-Sep-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Erdrich, Louise

The wretched Artist himself is alternatively the lowest worm that ever crawled when no fire is in him: or the loftiest God that ever sang when the fire is going.

Caitlin Thomas (1913-1994) British author, wife of Dylan Thomas [née Macnamara]
Not Quite Posthumous Letter to My Daughter (1963)
    (Source)
Added on 27-Aug-20 | Last updated 27-Aug-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Thomas, Caitlin

To be a writer is to accept failure as a profession — which of us is Dante or Shakespeare? — and could they return, wouldn’t they fall at once to revising, knowing they could make the work better? In our own dwarfed way, we are trying for something like perfection, knowing it is unachievable (except of course that trying and failing is a better way of living than not trying).

John Ciardi (1916-1986) American poet, writer, critic
In Vince Clemente, “‘A Man Is What He Does With His Attention’: A Conversation with John Ciardi,” Poesis, Vol. 7 #2 (1986)
    (Source)
Added on 26-Aug-20 | Last updated 26-Aug-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Ciardi, John

I am sure that in nine out of ten cases the original wish to write is the wish to make oneself felt … the non-essential writer never gets past that wish.

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) Irish author
Letter to Graham Greene, quoted in Why Do I Write? (1948)

Ellipses in the original.
Added on 24-Aug-20 | Last updated 24-Aug-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bowen, Elizabeth

The writer, like a swimmer caught by an undertow, is borne in an unexpected direction. He is carried to a subject which has awaited him — a subject sometimes no part of his conscious plan. Reality, the reality of sensation, has accumulated where it was least sought. To write is to be captured — captured by some experience to which one may have given hardly a thought.

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) Irish author
The Last September, Preface (1929)
    (Source)
Added on 17-Aug-20 | Last updated 17-Aug-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bowen, Elizabeth

As a novelist, I cannot occupy myself with “characters,” or at any rate central ones, who lack panache, in one or another sense, who would be incapable of a major action or a major passion, or who have not a touch of the ambiguity, the ultimate unaccountability, the enlarging mistiness of persons “in history.” History, as more austerely I now know it, is not romantic. But I am.

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) Irish author
Pictures and Conversations, ch. 1 (1975)
    (Source)
Added on 10-Aug-20 | Last updated 10-Aug-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bowen, Elizabeth

The writer’s only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is worth any number of old ladies.

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist
“The Art of Fiction,” Interview by Jean Stein, Paris Review #12 (Spring 1956)
    (Source)
Added on 6-Aug-20 | Last updated 6-Aug-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Faulkner, William

The importance to the writer of first writing must be out of all proportion of the actual value of what is written.

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) Irish author
Encounters, Preface to the 1951 Edition (1923)
    (Source)
Added on 27-Jul-20 | Last updated 27-Jul-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Bowen, Elizabeth

To return to the matter of the persona, I repeat that one cannot wholly eliminate oneself for a second, and also sufficient, reason: any fiction (and surely poetry too?) is bound to be transposed autobiography. (True, it may be this at so many removes as to defeat recognition.) I can, and indeed if i would not I still must, relate any and every story I have written to something that happened to me in my own life. But here I am speaking of happenings in a broad sense — to behold and react, is where I am concerned a happening; speculations, unaccountable stirs of interest, longings, attractions, apprehensions without knowable cause — these are happenings, also.

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) Irish author
Stories by Elizabeth Bowen, Preface (1959)
    (Source)
Added on 6-Jul-20 | Last updated 6-Jul-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Bowen, Elizabeth

Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for the love of it, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money.

Ferenc Molnár (1878-1952) Hungarian-American author, stage director, dramatist [a.k.a. Franz Molnar]
Quoted in George Jean Nathan, Intimate Notebooks (1932)
    (Source)

Common form of a quote often misattributed to Molière. It original version actually appears to have originated with Molnar, who, when asked how he regarded his writing, answered, "Like a whore. First, I did it for my own pleasure. Then I did it for the pleasure of my friends. And now -- I do it for money."

More discussion here.
Added on 26-Jun-20 | Last updated 26-Jun-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Molnar, Ferenc

If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) American writer
“Book Reviews,” Esquire (1 Nov 1959)
    (Source)

Review of William Strunk Jr and E. B. White, The Elements of Style, revised edition.
Added on 15-Jun-20 | Last updated 15-Jun-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Parker, Dorothy

An artist cannot speak about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture.

Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) French writer, filmmaker, artist
Quoted in Newsweek (16 May 1955)
Added on 11-Jun-20 | Last updated 11-Jun-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Cocteau, Jean

If the artist does not throw himself into his work as Curtius sprang into the gulf, as a soldier leads a forlorn hope without a moment’s thought, and if when he is in the crater he does not dig as a miner does when the earth has fallen in on him; if he contemplates the difficulties before him instead of conquering them one by one, like the lovers in fairy tales, who to win their princesses overcome ever-new enchantments, the work remains incomplete; it perishes in the studio where creativeness becomes impossible, and the artist looks on the suicide of his own talent.

[Si l’artiste ne se précipite pas dans son oeuvre, comme Curtius dans le gouffre, comme le soldat dans la redoute, sans réfléchir; et si, sans ce cratère, il ne travaille pas comme le mineur enfoui sous un éboulement: s’il contemple enfin les difficultés au lieu de las vaincre une à une, à l’example de ces amoureux des féeries, qui pour obtenir leurs princesses, combattaient des enchantements renaissants, l’oeuvre reste inachevée, elle périt au fond de l’atelier où la production devient impossible, et l’artiste assiste au suicide de son talent.]

Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) French novelist, playwright
Cousin Betty [La Cousine Bette] (1846) [tr. Waring (1899)]
    (Source)

Curtius is the young Roman patrician, Marcus Curtius. In 362 BC, a chasm opened up in Rome's forum, and soothsayers proclaimed it could only be filled by Rome's greatest treasure. Curtius mounted his horse and leapt into the chasm, which then closed over him.

Alt. trans.:
  • "If the artist does not throw himself into his work, like Curtius into the gulf beneath the Forum, like a soldier against a fortress, without hesitation, and if, in that crater, he does not work like a miner under a fall of rock, if, in short, he envisages the difficulties instead of conquering them one-by-one, following the examples of lovers in fairy-tales who, to win their princesses, struggle against recurring enchantments, the work remains unfinished, it expires in the studio, wher production remains impossible and the artist looks on at the suicide of his own talent." [tr. Raphael (1992)]
  • "If the artist does not fling himself, without reflecting, into his work, as Curtius flung himself into the yawning gulf, as the soldier flings himself into the enemy's trenches, and if, once in this crater, he does not work like a miner on whom the walls of his gallery have fallen in; if he contemplates difficulties instead of overcoming them one by one ... he is simply looking on at the suicide of his own talent." [Source]
  • Original French.
Added on 4-Jun-20 | Last updated 4-Jun-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Balzac, Honoré de

A work of art has an author and yet, when it is perfect, it has something which is essentially anonymous about it.

Simone Weil (1909-1943) French philosopher
Gravity and Grace (1947)
    (Source)
Added on 28-May-20 | Last updated 28-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Weil, Simone

PHILINTE: A gentleman may be respected still,
Whether he writes a sonnet well or ill.
That I dislike his verse should not offend him;
In all that touches honor, I commend him;
He’s noble, brave, and virtuous — but I fear
He can’t in truth be called a sonneteer.”

On peut être honnête homme, et faire mal des vers,
Ce n’est point à l’honneur que touchent ces matières,
Je le tiens galant homme en toutes les manières,
Homme de qualité, de mérite et de cœur,
Tout ce qu’il vous plaira, mais fort méchant auteur.

Molière (1622-1673) French playwright, actor [stage name for Jean-Baptiste Poquelin]
Le Misanthrope, Act 4, sc. 1, ll. 1144-48 (1666) [tr. Wilbur (1954)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:
  • "A man can be a gentleman and make bad verses. Such matters do not touch his honor, and I hold him to be a gallant man in every other way; a man of quality, of courage, deserving of anything you please, but -- a bad writer." [tr. Wormeley (1894)]
  • "A man may be / A perfect gentleman, and write poor verse. / These matters do not raise the point of honor. / I hold him a true man in all respects, / Brave, worthy, noble, anything you will, / But still, a wretched writer." [tr. Page (1913)]
  • "Anyone may be an honorable man, and yet write verse badly." [Bartlett]
Added on 15-May-20 | Last updated 15-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Moliere

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

J. D. Salinger (1919-2010) American writer [Jerome David Salinger]
The Catcher in the Rye, ch. 3 (1951)
Added on 29-Apr-20 | Last updated 29-Apr-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Salinger, J. D.

business business business
grind grind grind
what a life for a man
that might have been a poet

Don Marquis (1878-1937) American journalist and humorist
“pete the parrot and shakespeare,” archy and mehtabel (1927)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Apr-20 | Last updated 28-Apr-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Marquis, Don

I always make the first Verse well, but I’m perplex’d about the rest.

[Je fais toujours bien le premier vers: mais j’ai peine à faire les autres.]

Molière (1622-1673) French playwright, actor [stage name for Jean-Baptiste Poquelin]
The Romantick Ladies [Les Précieuses Ridicules], Act 1, sc. 11 (1659)
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "I always make the first verse well, but I have trouble making the others."
Added on 3-Apr-20 | Last updated 3-Apr-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Moliere

I hate writing. I love having written.

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) American writer
(Attributed)
Added on 16-Mar-20 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
Link to this post | 1 comment
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Parker, Dorothy

Home is in every sentence of your writing.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet, memoirist, activist [b. Marguerite Ann Johnson]
“The Art of Fiction,” Paris Review, #116, Interview with George Plimpton (1990)
    (Source)
Added on 12-Mar-20 | Last updated 12-Mar-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Angelou, Maya

I never saw an author in my life — saving perhaps one — that did not purr as audibly as a full-grown domestic cat on having his fur smoothed the right way by a skillful hand.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) American poet, essayist, scholar
The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, ch. 3 (1858)
    (Source)
Added on 11-Mar-20 | Last updated 11-Mar-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Holmes, Sr., Oliver Wendell

It isn’t easy for an author to remain a pleasant human being: both success and failure are usually of a crippling kind.

Graham Greene (1904-1991) English novelist [Henry Graham Greene]
“The Poker-Face,” The Spectator (15 Oct 1943)
    (Source)

Reprinted in The Lost Childhood and Other Essays (1951).
Added on 4-Mar-20 | Last updated 4-Mar-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Greene, Graham

I have found that a story leaves a deeper impression when it is impossible to tell which side the author is on.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) Russian novelist and moral philosopher
Letter

Writing to a friend about Anna Karenina, and how he had rewritten a conversation (Part 4, ch. 1) between Levin and the priest four times, to hide which one he favored.
Added on 3-Mar-20 | Last updated 3-Mar-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Tolstoy, Leo

Booksellers are the most valuable destination for the lonely, given the number of books that were written because authors couldn’t find anyone to talk to.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 4 “Consolation for Inadequacy” (2000)
    (Source)
Added on 13-Feb-20 | Last updated 13-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by De Botton, Alain

An author in his book must be like God in the universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere.

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) French writer, novelist
Letter to Louise Colet (9 Dec 1852)
    (Source)
Added on 13-Feb-20 | Last updated 13-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Flaubert, Gustave

The art object is always passive in relation to its audience. It is alarmingly active, however, in relation to its creator. Far from being like a receptacle in which you, the artist, drop your ideas, and far from being like a lump of clay which you pummel until it fits your notion of an ashtray, the art object is more like an enthusiastic and ill-trained Labrador retriever which yanks you into traffic.

Annie Dillard (b. 1945) American author
Living by Fiction (1983)
    (Source)

Often paraphrased, "Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic."
Added on 6-Feb-20 | Last updated 6-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Dillard, Annie

I think the author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) English politician and author
Speech, Banquet to Lord Rector, University of Glasgow (19 Nov 1870)
    (Source)
Added on 29-Jan-20 | Last updated 29-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Disraeli, Benjamin

The dramatic art is particularly satisfying for any writer with a polemical bent; and I am at heart a propagandist, a tremendous hater, a tiresome nag, complacently positive that there is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.

Gore Vidal (1925-2012) American novelist, dramatist, critic
Visit to a Small Planet and Other Television Plays, Preface (1956)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Jan-20 | Last updated 30-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Vidal, Gore

I’m not interested in writing short stories. Anything that doesn’t take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.

Cormac McCarthy (b. 1933) American novelist, playwright, screenwriter
“Hollywood’s Favorite Cowboy,” interview with John Jurgensen, The Wall Street Journal (20 Nov 2009)
    (Source)
Added on 21-Jan-20 | Last updated 21-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by McCarthy, Cormac

An author is like a horse pulling a coal-cart down an icy hill; he ought to stop, but when he reflects that it would probably kill him to try, he goes right on, neighing and rolling his eyes.

Robertson Davies (1913-1995) Canadian author, editor, publisher
The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies (1990)
Added on 30-Oct-19 | Last updated 30-Oct-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Davies, Robertson

If you only write when inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you’ll never be a novelist.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
(Attributed)
Added on 14-Oct-19 | Last updated 14-Oct-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gaiman, Neil

The author is like the host at a party. It is his party, but he must not enjoy himself so much that he neglects his guests. His enjoyment is not so much his own as it is theirs.

Charles P. Curtis (1891-1959) American attorney, legal scholar, author [Charles Pelham Curtis, Jr.]
A Commonplace Book (1957)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Sep-19 | Last updated 20-Sep-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Curtis, Charles P.

I look at some of the great novelists, and I think the reason they are great is that they’re telling the truth. The fact is they’re using made-up names, made-up people, made-up places, and made-up times, but they’’re telling the truth about the human being — what we are capable of, what makes us lose, laugh, weep, fall down, and gnash our teeth and wring our hands and kill each other and love each other.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet, memoirist, activist [b. Marguerite Ann Johnson]
“The Art of Fiction,” Paris Review, #116, Interview with George Plimpton (1990)
    (Source)
Added on 8-Aug-18 | Last updated 8-Aug-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Angelou, Maya

I’m convinced if I keep going one day I will write something decent. On very bad days I will observe that I must have written good things in the past, which means that I’ve lost it. But normally I just assume that I don’t have it. The gulf between the thing I set out to make in my head and the sad, lumpy thing that emerges into reality is huge and distant and I just wish that I could get them closer.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
“This Much I Know,” The Guardian (5 Aug 2017)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Oct-17 | Last updated 2-Oct-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gaiman, Neil

There’s nothing like studying the bestseller lists of bygone years for teaching an author humility. You’ve heard of the ones that got filmed, normally. Mostly you realize that today’s bestsellers are tomorrow’s forgotten things.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
“This Much I Know,” The Guardian (5 Aug 2017)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Aug-17 | Last updated 28-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gaiman, Neil

My poems are naughty, but my life is pure.

[Lasciva est nobis pagina, vita proba.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 1, poem 4, l. 8
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "Wanton is my page; my life is good." [tr. Ker (1919)]

Alt. trans.: "My page indulges in freedoms, but my life is pure." [tr. Bohn (1859)]
Added on 2-Aug-17 | Last updated 2-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Martial

Back in the nineteen-hundreds it was a wonderful experience for a boy to discover H. G. Wells. There you were, in a world of pedants, clergymen and golfers, with your future employers exhorting you to “get on or get out”, your parents systematically warping your sexual life, and your dull-witted schoolmasters sniggering over their Latin tags; and here was this wonderful man who could tell you about the inhabitants of the planets and the bottom of the sea, and who knew that the future was not going to be what respectable people imagined.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
“Wells, Hitler, and the World State,” Horizon (Aug 1941)
    (Source)
Added on 27-Jul-17 | Last updated 31-Jul-17
Link to this post | 2 comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Orwell, George

Why do I write? I guess that’s been asked of every writer. I don’t know. It isn’t any massive compulsion. I don’t feel, you know, God dictated that I should write. You know, thunder rends the sky and a bony finger comes down from the clouds and says, “You. You write. You’re the anointed.” I never felt that. I suppose it’s part compulsion, part a channel for what your brain is churning up.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
“Rod Serling: The Facts of Life,” Interview with Linda Brevelle (4 Mar 1975)
    (Source)
Added on 3-Jul-17 | Last updated 3-Jul-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Serling, Rod

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) American writer, folklorist, anthropologist
Dust Tracks on a Road, ch. 8 (1942)

Sometimes misattributed to Maya Angelou.
Added on 16-Jun-17 | Last updated 16-Jun-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hurston, Zora Neale

The writer … when he’s rejected, that paper is rejected, in a sense, a sizable fragment of the writer is rejected as well. It’s a piece of himself that’s being turned down. And how often can this happen before suddenly you begin to question your own worth and your own value? And even worse, fundamentally, your own talent?

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
“Rod Serling: The Facts of Life,” Interview with Linda Brevelle (4 Mar 1975)
    (Source)
Added on 15-May-17 | Last updated 15-May-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Serling, Rod

The writer’s role is to menace the public’s conscience. He must have a position, a point of view. He must see the arts as a vehicle of social criticism and he must focus on the issues of his time.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
Speech, Library of Congress (1968)
Added on 1-May-17 | Last updated 1-May-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Serling, Rod

A sacrifice, if we may say so, to the god Brevity, whom all historians, indeed, all who work with the written word, ought to worship.

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
The Phoenix Guards (1991)
Added on 30-Dec-16 | Last updated 30-Dec-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Brust, Steven

If your writing doesn’t keep you up at night, it won’t keep anyone else up either.

cain-writing-keep-you-up-at-night-wist_info-quote

James M. Cain (1892-1977) American author and journalist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Nov-16 | Last updated 1-Nov-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cain, James M.

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.

chesterton-good-novel-truth-bad-novel-truth-wist_info-quote

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics, ch. 15 “On Smart Novelists and the Smart Set” (1905)
    (Source)
Added on 25-Oct-16 | Last updated 25-Oct-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Chesterton, Gilbert Keith

The profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader. The profoundest thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until an equal mind and heart finds and publishes it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Letters and Social Aims, “Quotation and Originality” (1876)
Added on 18-Aug-16 | Last updated 18-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

If you have a good idea, get it out there. For every idea I’ve realized, I have ten I sat on for a decade till someone else did it first. Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.

Whedon - make - wist_info quote

Joss Whedon (b. 1964) American screenwriter, author, producer [Joseph Hill Whedon]
“Dollhouse’s Joss Whedon Answers Your Questions,” Hulu Blog (9 Mar 2009)
    (Source)
Added on 17-Jun-16 | Last updated 17-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Whedon, Joss

Wouldst thou find my ashes? Look
In the pages of my book;
And, as these thy hands doth turn,
Know here is my funeral urn.

Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914) American poet
“The Immortal Residue” (1915)
Added on 26-May-16 | Last updated 26-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Crapsey, Adelaide

Never does a man portray his own character more vividly than in his manner of portraying another’s.

Richter - portray his own character - wist_info quote

Jean-Paul Richter (1763-1825) German novelist, art historian, aesthetician [pseud. Jean-Paul]
Titan, “Twenty-Eighth Jubilee” (1800-03)
Added on 19-May-16 | Last updated 19-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Richter, Jean-Paul

Why are not more gems from our early prose writers scattered over the country by the periodicals? Selections are so far from preventing the study of the entire authors that they promote it. Who could read the extracts which Lamb has given from Fuller, without wishing to read more of the old Prebendary? But great old books of the great old authors are not in every body’s reach; and though it is better to know them thoroughly than to know them only here and there, yet it is a good work to give a little to those who have neither time nor means to get more. Let every bookworm, when, in any fragrant, scarce old tome, he discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it the widest circulation that newspapers and magazines, penny and halfpenny, can afford.

Coleridge - fragrant scarce old tome - wist_info quote

Hartley Coleridge (1796-1849) English poet, biographer, essayist, teacher
Biographia Borealis: or, Lives of Distinguished Northerns, “Roger Ascham” (1833)
    (Source)

Speaking of the practice of including brief extracts -- quotations -- from famous authors in magazines and newspapers to fill up columns or create a break between stories. Ironically, this extracted quotation -- slightly paraphrased -- was widely circulated in the mid-late 19th and early 20th Century misattributed to his father, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, or simply labeled as "Coleridge" without citation, leading to the same confusion.

Usually quoted more succinctly as: "Why are not more gems from our great authors scattered over the country? Great books are not in everybody's reach; and though it is better to know them thoroughly, than to know them only here and there; yet it is a good work to give a little to those who have neither time nor means to get more. Let every bookworm, when in any fragrant, scarce old tome he discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it."
Added on 12-May-16 | Last updated 12-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Coleridge, Hartley

There are three difficulties in authorship: to write anything worth the publishing, to find honest men to publish it, and to get sensible men to read it.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, Preface (1820)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Mar-16 | Last updated 14-Mar-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Colton, Charles Caleb

It is impossible to discourage the real writers — they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.

Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) American novelist, playwright
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Dec-15 | Last updated 1-Dec-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Lewis, Sinclair

Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps twenty players, and Tennessee Williams has about five, and Samuel Beckett one — and maybe a clone of that one. I have ten or so, and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.

Gore Vidal (1925-2012) American novelist, dramatist, critic
Time (17 Apr 1978)
Added on 27-Aug-15 | Last updated 27-Aug-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Vidal, Gore

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) English novelist and playwright [William Somerset Maugham]
(Attributed)

The earliest (uncited) attribution is from 1977. More discussion here.
Added on 29-Jun-15 | Last updated 24-Jun-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: ,
More quotes by Maugham, W. Somerset

Next to doing things that deserve to be written, there is nothing that gets a man more credit, or gives him more pleasure, than to write things that deserve to be read.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (1739)
Added on 19-Jan-15 | Last updated 19-Jan-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Chesterfield (Lord)

  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >