American Novelist, Short-Story Writer
American Novelist, Short-Story Writer
Certainly friendship has proved a magnet to literature, an everlasting magnet. History, poetry, drama, letters have been drawn to the subject of friendship, not simply to celebrate it but to discover, perceive, learn from it the nature of ourselves, of humankind, the relationships we share in our world.
Did friendship between human beings come about in the first place along with ? or through ? the inspiration of language? It can be safe to say that when we learned to speak to, and listen to, rather than to strike or be struck by, our fellow human beings, we found something worth keeping alive, worth processing, for the rest of time. Might it possibly have been the other way round ? that the promptings of friendship guided us into learning to express ourselves, teaching ourselves, between us, a language to keep it by? Friendship might have been the first, as well as the best, teacher of communication. Which came first, friendship or the spoken word? They could rise from the same prompting: to draw together, not to pull away, not to threaten any longer.
Friendship is inherently a magnet. As with its own drawing power, it locates and draws to the surface, spreads before our eyes poems, stories, essays, letters, in the widest variety.
Friendship and love ? know each other and avail themselves of each other. The solidest friendship is that of friends who love one another.
Friendship has inherited its literary treasury; it lies in the language? And in that treasury?s further stories of pure gold are the works of the imagination, some old as time, some coined only yesterday.
Friendship lives, as do we ourselves, in an ephemeral world. How much its life depends on the written word. The English language itself is friendship?s greatest treasure?. Do we not owefriendship, as we owe Shakespeare, to language?
Don't give anybody up. . . or leave anybody out. . . . There's room for everything, and time for everybody, if you take your day the way it comes along and try not to be much later than you can help.--Spoken by Jack to Gloria
He's such an old bachelor that the way he cleans out his fireplace is to carry the ashes through the house, shovel-load at a time, and dump Â‘em out through the front door.
It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. Yet regardless of where they come from, I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them Â— with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself. Still illiterate, I was ready for them, committed to all the reading I could give them.
People are mostly layers of violence and tenderness wrapped like bulbs, and it is difficult to say what makes them onions or hyacinths.
The reverence I felt for the holiness of life is not ever likely to be entirely at home in organized religion.
Write about what you don't know about what you know.
Each day the storm clouds were opening like great purple flowers and pouring out their dark thunder. Each nightfall, the storm was laid down on their houses like a burden the day had carried.
Human life is fiction's only theme.
It is our inward journey that leads us through time Â– forward or back, seldom in a straight line, most often spiraling. Each of us is moving, changing, with respect to others. As we discover, we remember; remembering, we discover; and most intensely do we experience this when our separate journeys converge. Our living experience at those meeting points is one of the charged dramatic fields of fiction.
People give pain, are callous and insensitive, empty and cruel... but place heals the hurt, soothes the outrage, fills the terrible vacuum that these human beings make.
The very greatest mystery is in unsheathed reality itself.
Writers and travelers are mesmerized alike by the knowing of their destination
Even as we grew up, my mother could not help imposing herself between her children and whatever it was they might take it in mind to reach out for in the world. For she would get it for them, if it was good enough for them--she would have to be very sure--and give it to them, at whatever cost to herself: valiance was in her very fibre. She stood always prepared in herself to challenge the world in our place. She did indeed tend to make the world look dangerous, and so it had been to her. A way had to be found around her love sometimes, without challenging that, and at the same time cherishing it in its unassailable strength. Each of us children did, sooner or later, in part at least, solve this in a different, respectful, complicated way.
I am a writer who came from a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.
It's all right, I want to say to the students who write to me, for things to be what they appear to be, and for words to mean what they say. It's all right, too, for words and appearances to mean more than one thing Â— ambiguity is a fact of life.
She knew now to look slowly and carefully at a face; she was convinced that it was impossible to see it all at once.
The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that the finished work might contain this life inside it, and offer it to the reader.
Writing a story or a novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer's own life.