Just for the fun of it, here are some quotations relating to literature. It's
a purely arbitrary list. If you know of any good ones that I've missed,
feel free to send them along. I might include them... then again, I might
Sir, the fact that a book is in the public library brings no
comfort. Books are the one element in which I am personally and nakedly
acquisitive. If it weren't for the law I would steal them. If it weren't
for my purse I would buy them.
Confronted by an absolutely infuriating review it is sometimes
helpful for the victim to do a little personal research on the critic.
Is there any truth to the rumor that he had no formal education beyond
the age of eleven? In any event is he able to construct a simple English
sentence? Do his participles dangle? When moved to lyricism does he write
"I had a fun time"? Was he ever arrested for burglary? I don't know
you will prove anything this way, but it is perfectly harmless and quite
Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose-petal
down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.
It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing,
but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
If I read a book that impresses me, I have to take myself
firmly in hand before I mix with other people; otherwise they would think
my mind rather queer.
When people ask me what qualifies me to be a writer for children,
I say I was once a child. But I was not only a child, I was, better still,
a weird little kid, and although I would never choose to give my own children
this particular preparation for life, there are few things, apparently,
more helpful to a writer than having once been a weird little kid.
Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned
by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real
truth about his or her love affairs.
I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems
without signing them, was often a woman.
With sixty staring me in the face, I have developed inflammation
of the sentence structure and a definite hardening of the paragraphs.
You know how it is in the kid's book world: It's just bunny
For I bless God in the libraries of the learned
and for all the booksellers in the world.
Christoper Smart; Jubilate Agno
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
When I am dead, I hope it may be said
His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.
I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.
Peter De Vries
If you're looking for messages, try Western Union.
Writers are always selling somebody out.
Give me a condor's quill! Give me Vesuvius' crater for an inkstand!
...To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
Herman Melville; Moby Dick
I am at heart, a tiresome nag complacently positive that there
is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do
as I advise.
If you are a novelist of a certain type of temperament, then
what you really want to do is re-invent the world. God wasn't too bad a
novelist except he was a Realist.
La lecture de tous les bons livres est comme une converstion
avec les plus honnêtes gens des siècles passés. (The
reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest men of
Rene Descartes; Le Discours de la Méthode
When I want to read a novel, I write one.
The writer's only responsibility is to his art... If a writer
has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'
is worth any number of old ladies.
Ni un solo momento, viejo hermoso Walt Whitman,
he dejado de ver tu barba Ilena de mariposas.
(Not for a moment, beautiful aged Walt Whitman,
have I ceased seeing your beard full of butterflies.)
Federico Garcia Lorca; Oda a Walt Whitman
An artist is his own fault.
John O'Hara; The Portable F. Scott Fitzgerald
Why does my muse only speak when she is unhappy?
She does not, I only listen when I am unhappy.
Stevie Smith; My Muse
I myself am more and more inclined to agree with Omar and Satchel
Paige as I grow older:
Don't try to rewrite what the moving finger has writ, and don't ever
look over your shoulder.
Ogden Nash; If a Boder meet a Boder, Need a Boder Cry? Yes
The blank page, difficult mirror,
gives back only what you were.
George Seferis; Summer Solstice
I have occasionally had the exquisite thrill of putting my
finger on a little capsule of truth, and heard it give the faint squeak
of mortality under my pressure.
Medieval Book Curses
Jon Winokur. The Portable Curmudgeon
Roy L. Stewart. Quotations With an Attitude : A Wickedly Funny Source Book
Steven Gilbar. Readers Quotation Book : A Literary Companion
John Bartlett, Justin Kaplan (Editor). Bartlett's Familiar Quotations : A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature
Helen Exley. Book Lovers Quotations
David A. Spector. Call Me Ishmael: 801 Memorable First and Last Lines in Literature
James Charlton (Editor). Fighting Words : Writers Lambast Other Writers-From Aristotle to Anne Rice
J. Kevin Graffagnino. Only in Books : Writers, Readers & Bibliophiles on Their Passion
Mark Twain Quotations, Newspaper Collections, and Related Resources
Barlett's Familiar Quotations