Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More on writing (not from my inbox)

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."
- ANTON CHEKHOV (1860-1904)

"But like most Cinderella tales, behind quick fame are years of related hard work, done outside the literary world’s attention."
- P.R. Dyjak

I found [writing] appallingly difficult as a child. I still find it enormously hard to find a voice for each story. I've written 110 books and each is more difficult than the last. Every time, I set myself a task that is above me, as I'm reaching to grow as a writer.
- Michael Morpurgo

"...Acclaimed" [is] what they put on your covers when they can't say "prizewinning" or "bestselling"... Also, when you've been writing for as long as I have, you get "respected". This means "old" but that's fine too.
- Adele Geras

"The point of poetry is to be acutely discomforting, to prod and provoke, to poke us in the eye, to punch us in the nose, to knock us off our feet, to take our breath away."
- Paul Muldoon

"[The] need to make, to create, to invent is, no doubt, a fundamentalhuman impulse. But to what end? What purpose does art, in particularthe art of fiction, serve in what we call the real world....In otherwords, art is useless, at least when compared, say, to the work of aplumber, or a doctor, or a railroad engineer. But is uselessness abad thing? Does a lack of practical purpose mean that books andpaintings and string quartets are simply a waste of our time? Manypeople think so. But I would argue that it is the very uselessness ofart that gives it its value and that the making of art is whatdistinguishes us from all other creatures who inhabit this planet,that it is, essentially, what defines us as human beings..."
- Paul Auster

"...Writers don't need tricks or gimmicks or even necessarily need tobe the smartest fellows on the block. At the risk of appearingfoolish, a writer sometimes needs to be able to just stand and gapeat this or that thing — a sunset or an old shoe — in absolute and simple amazement..."
- Raymond Carver

"Some writers have a bunch of talent; I don't know any writers whoare without it. But a unique and exact way of looking at things, andfinding the right context for expressing that way of looking, that'ssomething else. The World According to Garp is, of course, themarvellous world according to John Irving. There is another worldaccording to Flannery O'Connor, and others according to WilliamFaulkner and Ernest Hemingway..."
- Raymond Carver

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