On Words & Writing

ON WORDS & WRITING

  • “A  true piece of writing is a dangerous thing. It can change your life.” ~ Tobias Wolff, Old School
  • “To turn life into words is to make life yours to do with as you please, instead of the other way round”  ~ Gore Vidal, 1876
  • “Trying to live without stories can make us crazy. They help us recognize what we believe to be most valuable in the world, and help us identify what we hold demonic.” ~  William Kittredge, Hole in the Sky
  • “I hate tricks. At the first sign of a trick or gimmick in a piece of fiction, a cheap trick or even an elaborate trick, I tend to look for cover. Tricks are ultimately boring, and I get bored easily, which may go along with my not having much of an attention span. But extremely clever chi-chi writing, or just plain tomfoolery writing, puts me to sleep. Writers don’t need tricks or gimmicks or even necessarily need to be the smartest fellows on the block. At the risk of appearing foolish, a writer sometimes needs to be able to just stand and gape at this or that thing- a sunset or an old shoe- in absolute and simple amazement.” ~ Raymond Carver Fires: Essays, Poems, Stories

  • “Words can bruise and break hearts, and minds as well. There are no black and blue marks, no broken bones to put in plaster casts, and therefore no prison bars for the offender.”  ~  Marlene Dietrich

  • “She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.”  ~  Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

  • “These dreams reminded me that, since I wished some day to become a writer, it was high time to decide what sort of books I was going to write. But as soon as I asked myself the question, and tried to discover some subject to which I could impart a philosophical significance of infinite value, my mind would stop like a clock, my consciousness would be faced with a blank, I would feel either that I was wholly devoid of talent or perhaps that some malady of the brain was hindering its development.” ~  Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way
  • “Letters are just pieces of paper,” I said. “Burn them, and what stays in your heart will stay; keep them, and what vanishes will vanish.” ~  Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

  • “I fear those big words, Stephen said, which make us so unhappy.” ~  James Joyce, Ulyssess

     

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