Pondering on Writing and Reading (by authors and readers):
Ponderings on writing and reading (by authors and writers)
We are merciless to our authors, we either love their work – then constantly pester for more – are ambivalent – making the author struggle to get work out – or hate it and break their hearts in one way or another. We topple our idols by lamenting when their work is perceived as ‘repetitious’ – forgetting we were the ones to request more of the same.
Then there are reviews, which authors need – these can range from blogs who refuse to publish negative reviews – blogs who wish to be impartial and fair – to a few individuals who seem to use negative and rude reviews as a form of cruel sport.
So on this day of respite – here are some ponderings from writers and authors – on writing and reading…
The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours. Alan Bennett – The History Boys
“To write well about the elegant world you have to know it and experience it to the depths of your being… what matters is not whether you love it or hate it, but only to be quite clear about your position regarding it.”
Italo Calvino – Insights from 40+ Years of his Letters
Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”
You have to simply love writing, and you have to remind yourself often that you love it.
And lest we forget to be gentle with our authors –
To err is human, to forgive divine
Alexander Pope from An Essay on Criticism
“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.”
“A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.”
“Writers don’t make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don’t work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck’s book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man’s stupid words. And for this, as I said, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more.”
“Sometimes your light shines so bright that it blinds people from seeing who you really are.”
“There’s an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine — “Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté.”
“. . . All artists’ work is autobiographical. Any writer’s work is a map of their psyche. You can really see what their concerns are, what their obsessions are, and what interests them.”
― Kim Addonizio
“It was one of the dullest speeches I ever heard. The Agee woman told us for three quarters of an hour how she came to write her beastly book, when a simple apology was all that was required.”
― P.G. Wodehouse, The Girl in Blue
“Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
“What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.”
“The standard personality type for a writer is a shy megalomaniac.”
― John Lanchester
Do you have any favourite quotes from or about authors and writing/reading?
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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