Wrote Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 1026 quotes )
Today I realized that what I wrote yesterday I really wrote today: everything from December 31 I wrote on January 1, i. e. today, and what I wrote on December 30 I wrote on the 31st, i. e. yesterday. What I write today I'm really writing tomorrow, which for me will be today and yesterday, and also, in some sense, tomorrow: an invisible day. But enough of that.
I wrote a huge number of letters that spring: one a week to Naoko, several to Reiko, and several more to Midori. I wrote letters in the classroom, I wrote letters at my desk at home with Seagull in my lap, I wrote letters at empty tables during my breaks at the Italian restaurant. It was as if I were writing letters to hold together the pieces of my crumbling life.
After all, what is it?- this indescribable something which men will persist in terming "genius"? I agree with Buffon- with Hogarth- it is but diligence after all. Look at me!- how I labored- how I toiled- how I wrote! Ye Gods, did I not write? I knew not the word "ease." By day I adhered to my desk, and at night, a pale student, I consumed the midnight oil. You should have seen me- you should. I leaned to the right. I leaned to the left. I sat forward. I sat backward. I sat tete baissee (as they have it in the Kickapoo), bowing my head close to the alabaster page. And, through all, I- wrote. Through joy and through sorrow, I-wrote. Through hunger and through thirst, I-wrote. Through good report and through ill report- I wrote. Through sunshine and through moonshine, I-wrote. What I wrote it is unnecessary to say. The style!- that was the thing. I caught it from Fatquack- whizz!- fizz!- and I am giving you a specimen of it now.
There is a problem with writers. If what a writer wrote was published and sold many, many copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold a medium number of copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold very few copies, the writer thought he was great. If what the writer wrote never was published and he didn't have enough the money to publish it himself, then he thought he was truly great. The truth, however, was there was very little greatness. It was almost nonexistent, invisible. But you could be sure that the worst writers had the most confidence, the least self-doubt. Anyway, writers were to be avoided, and I tried to avoid them, but it was almost impossible. They hoped for some sort of brotherhood, some kind of togetherness. None of it had anything to do with writing, none of it helped at the typewriter.
Not to me," I said. Kafka wrote his first story in one night. Stendhal wrote TheCharterhouse of Parma in forty-nine days. Melville wrote Moby-Dick in sixteen months. Flaubert spent five years on MadameBovary. Musil worked for eighteen years on The Man WithoutQualities and died before he could finish. Do we care about anyof that now?
I had gone to graduate school because I loved literature, but in graduate school you were not supposed to study literature. You were supposed to study criticism. Some professor wrote a book 'proving' that TOM JONES was really a Marxist parable. Some other professor wrote a book 'proving' that TOM JONES was really a Christian parable. Some other professor wrote a book 'proving' that TOM JONES was really a parable of the Industrial Revolution. . . . Nobody seemed to give a shit about your reading TOM JONES as long as you could reel off the names of the various theories and who invented them. . . . My response was to sleep through as much of it as possible.
DiMaggio's grace came to represent more than athletic skill in those years. To the men who wrote about the game, it was a talisman, a touchstone, a symbol of the limitless potential of the human individual. That an Italian immigrant, a fisherman's son, could catch fly balls the way Keats wrote poetry or Beethoven wrote sonatas was more than just a popular marvel. It was proof positive that democracy was real. On the baseball diamond, if nowhere else, America was truly a classless society. DiMaggio's grace embodied the democracy of our dreams.
I became a so-called science fiction writer when someone decreed that I was a science fiction writer. I did not want to be classified as one, so I wondered in what way I'd offended that I would not get credit for being a serious writer. I decided that it was because I wrote about technology, and most fine American writers know nothing about technology. I got classified as a science fiction writer simply because I wrote about Schenectady, New York. My first book, Player Piano, was about Schenectady. There are huge factories in Schenectady and nothing else. I and my associates were engineers, physicists, chemists, and mathematicians. And when I wrote about the General Electric Company and Schenectady, it seemed a fantasy of the future to critics who had never seen the place.
The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the moment – to put things down without deliberation – without worrying about their style – without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote – wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught.
And I suppose the saddest thing for me, thinking about Oranges, is that I wrote a story I could live with. The other one was too painful. I could not survive it...I can say that there is a character in Oranges who...looks after the little Jeanette and acts like a soft wall against the hurt(ling) force of Mother...I wrote her in because I couldn't bear to leave her out. I wrote her in because I really wished it had been that way. When you are a solitary child you find an imaginary friend. There was no Elsie. There was no one like Elsie. Things were much lonelier than that.
You don't get it" she said''Don't get what?"''We are one"''We are one?" Tengo asked with a shock.''We wrote the book together"Tengo felt the pressure of Fuka-Eri's fingers against his palm. ...''That's true. We wrote Air Crysalis together. And when we are eaten by the tiger, we'll be eaten together.
Nothing any man can do will improve that genius; but the genius needs his mind, and he can broaden that mind, fertilize it with knowledge of all kinds, improve its powers of expression; supply the genius, in short, with an orchestra instead of a tin whistle. All our little great men, our one-poem poets, our one-picture painters, have merely failed to perfect themselves as instruments. The Genius who wrote The Ancient Mariner is no less sublime than he who wrote The Tempest; but Coleridge had some incapacity to catch and express the thoughts of his genius - was ever such wooden stuff as his conscious work? - while Shakespeare had the knack of acquiring the knowledge necessary to the expression of every conceivable harmony, and his technique was sufficiently fluent to transcribe with ease.
I wrote to find beauty and purpose, to know that love is possible and lasting and real, to see day lilies and swimming pools, loyalty and devotion, even though my eyes were closed, and all that surrounded me was a darkened room. I wrote because that was who I was at the core, and if I was too damaged to walk around the block, I was lucky all the same. Once I got to my desk, once I started writing, I still believed anything was possible.
He said when he went to sell a man a flue, he asked first about that man's wife's health and how his children were. He said he had a book that he kept thenames of his customers' families and what was wrong with them. A man's wife had cancer, he put her name down in the book and wrote 'cancer' after it and inquired about her every time he went to that man's hardware store until she died; then he scratched out the word 'cancer' and wrote 'dead' there. "And I say thank God when they're dead," the salesman said; "that's one less to remember.
As I sailed into Shadow, a white bird of my desire came and sat upon my right shoulder, and I wrote a note and tied it to its leg and set it on its way. The note said "I am coming," and it was signed by me. A black bird of my desire came and sat upon my left shoulder, and I wrote a note and tied it to its leg and sent it off into the west. It said, "Eric- I'll be back," and it was signed: Corwin, Lord of Amber. A demon wind propelled me east of the sun.
In the ordinary jumble of my literary drawer, I sometimes find texts I wrote ten, fifteen, or even more years ago. And many of the seem to me written by a stranger: I simply do not recognize myself in them. There was a person who wrote them, and it was I. I experienced them, but it was in another life, from which I just woke up, as if from someone else's dream.
Sometimes he would advise me to read poetry, and would send me in his letters quantities of verses and whole poems, which he wrote from memory. 'Read poetry,' he wrote: 'poetry makes men better.' How often, in my later life, I realized the truth of this remark of his! Read poetry: it makes men better.
Isn't language loss a good thing, because fewer languages mean easier communication among the world's people? Perhaps, but it's a bad thing in other respects. Languages differ in structure and vocabulary, in how they express causation and feelings and personal responsibility, hence in how they shape our thoughts. There's no single purpose "best" language; instead, different languages are better suited for different purposes. For instance, it may not have been an accident that Plato and Aristotle wrote in Greek, while Kant wrote in German. The grammatical particles of those two languages, plus their ease in forming compound words, may have helped make them the preeminent languages of western philosophy. Another example, familiar to all of us who studied Latin, is that highly inflected languages (ones in which word endings suffice to indicate sentence structure) can use variations of word order to convey nuances impossible with English. Our English word order is severely constrained by having to serve as the main clue to sentence structure. If English becomes a world language, that won't be because English was necessarily the best language for diplomacy.
Still. Four words. And I didn’t realize it until a couple of days ago, when someone wrote in to my blog: Dear Neil, If you could choose a quote - either by you or another author - to be inscribed on the wall of a public library children’s area, what would it be? Thanks! Lynn I pondered a bit. I’d said a lot about books and kids’ reading over the years, and other people had said things pithier and wiser than I ever could. And then it hit me, and this is what I wrote: I’m not sure I’d put a quote up, if it was me, and I had a library wall to deface. I think I’d just remind people of the power of stories, and why they exist in the first place. I’d put up the four words that anyone telling a story wants to hear. The ones that show that it’s working, and that pages will be turned: “… and then what happened?