WRITERS, WRITING AND THE STUFF THEY WRITE
There are two kinds of writers: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.
Literature whispers the words that the tongue cannot say; Plays the the birdsong that the ears cannot apprehend; Paints the mountains that the eyes cannot perceive; and summons the winds that a man cannot feel.
A popular writer writes about what people think. A wise writer offers them something to think about.
You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
Either a writer doesn't want to talk about his work, or he talks about it more than you want.
Any book has behind it all the other books that have been written.
When a book, any sort of book, reaches a certain intensity of artistic performance it becomes literature. That intensity may be a matter of style, situation, character, emotional tone, or idea, or half a dozen other things. It may also be a perfection of control over the movement of a story similiar to the control a great pitcher has over a ball.
Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice.
While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
Eugene V. Debs
Writers are always selling somebody out.
The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.
Our high respect for a well-read man is praise enough of literature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I don't know why people would want to have lunch with writers. I've eaten with writers. We have appalling table manners, and rarely say anything other than 'Pass the salt' or 'If you're not going to eat that, can I have it?'
In my experience, writers tend to be really good at the inside of their own heads and imaginary people, and a lot less good at the stuff going on outside, which means that quite often if you flirt with us we will completely fail to notice, leaving everybody involved slightly uncomfortable and more than slightly unlaid. So I would suggest that any attempted seduction of a writer would probably go a great deal easier for all parties if you sent them a cheerful note saying: “You are invited to a seduction. Please come to dinner on Friday Night. Wear the kind of clothes you would like to be seduced in.” And alcohol may help, too. Or kissing. Many writers figure out that they’re being seduced or flirted with if someone is actually kissing them.
...after being asked what is a best way to seduce a writer
Often with good sentiments we produce bad literature.
Only those things are beautiful which are inspired by madness and written by reason.
The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away.
There are three rules for writing. - Unfortunately, no one can agree what they are.
Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard.
Daphne du Maurier
An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.
Charles de Montesquieu
I wonder why murder is considered less immoral than fornication in literature.
Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.
All of a writer that matters is in the book or books. It is idiotic to be curious about the person.
The world would get along very well without literature. It would get along even better without man.
Literature is the immortality of speech.
August Wilhelm von Schlegel
Those who don't read have no advantage over those who can't.
The adjective is the enemy of the noun.
Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire
I hate intellectuals. They are from the top down. I am from the bottom up.
Frank Lloyd Wright
If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.
POWER AND PECULIARITY OF THE WRITTEN WORD
No iron can pierce the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place.
Words have finished flirting. Now they are making love.
Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.
A word is dead
When it is said,
I say it just begins
to live that day.
A human being is always so proud to write his name in something, if nothing else, on the bark of a tree.
Alexandre Dumas jr.
The finest words in the world are only vain sounds, if you cannot comprehend them.
Nothing gives an author so much pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by other learned authors.
A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.
A tired exclamation mark is a question mark.
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
If you do not know his language, you will never understand a foreigner's silence.
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Ink is the great cure for all human ills.
Words are like water - the assumption being that it moves in any direction.
The safest words are always those which bring us most directly to facts.
Charles H. Parkhurst
Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
Words are the coins making up the currency of sentences, and there are always too many small coins.
Words are loaded pistols.
I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.
Words are sacred. If you get the right ones in the right order you can nudge the world a little.
Words are tools which automatically carve concepts out of experience.
Julian Sorrell Huxley
Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.
An essential element for good writing is a good ear. One must listen to the sound of one's own prose.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
A real writer can be recognized by the fact he doesn't find words. Therefore he must search for them and while doing that, he finds better ones.
One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.
In a thousand words I can have the Lord's Prayer, the 23rd Psalm, the Hippocratic Oath, a sonnet by Shakespeare, the Preamble to the Constitution, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and almost all of the Boy Scout Oath. Now exactly what picture were you planning to trade for all that?
Roy H. Williams
BACK TO THE MAIN QUOTES PAGE