Friday, April 18, 2014

Quotations: Still on writing

It’s probably true that the writer’s thoughts and the reader’s thoughts never tally exactly, that the image the writer sees and the image the reader sees are never 100 percent the same. 
We are, after all, not angels but were made a little less than angels, and our language is maddeningly hobbled, a fact to which any port or novelist will attest.  There is no creative writer, I think, who has not suffered that frustrating crash off the walls that stand at the limits of language, who has not cursed the word that just doesn’t exist.  Emotions such as grief and romantic love are particularly hard to deal with, but even such a simple operation as starting up a car with a manual transmission and driving it to the end of the block can present nearly insurmountable problems if you try to write the process down instead of simply doing it.  And if you don’t believe this is so, write down such instructions and try to them on a nondriving friend…but check your auto insurance policy first.
Stephen King, Danse Macabre, 362


In the beginning of something, its ending is foretold.
Steve Martin

One of the most difficult things to teach people outside 
the arts…and in the arts as well…is that the important ingredient in the artist is not talent, technique, genius or luck—the important ingredient is himself.  What you are must color everything you do.  If what you are appeals to your public, you’ll be successful.  If what you are communicates with all publics through all time, you’ll become an immortal.  But, if your personality attracts no one, then despite all crafts and cleverness, you’ll fail.  Perry Lafferty, who directs the Montgomery Show, sums it up bitterly. Perry says: “I’m in the Me business, is all.”
            Actually this isn’t limited to the arts.  It extends all through life, and one of the milestones in the maturation of a man is his discovery that technique with women is a waste of time.  No matter how he dresses, performs, and displays himself, it’s only what he really is that matters. 
            Hamlet, speaking to the player king, suggests that the goal of the actor should be to hold the mirror up to nature.  Actually, no matter what any man does, he holds a mirror up to himself.  He continually reveals himself, especially when he tries hardest to conceal himself.  All literature reveals authors and readers alike…and especially science fiction.
Alfred Bester, “Science Fiction and the Renaissance Man,” Redemolished 32

Most authors spend so much time inside their heads—or as we used to say in West Virginia, “down in the mine”—away from the company or thoughts of others, away from social intercourse, that they have become just a bit deranged.
Lawrence Kasdan, “POV”

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