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Tag: The Paris Review

Writers On Writers

Anthony Powell_Beryl Bainbridge_Jack Kerouac_Virginia Woolf_William Blake_Ernest Hemingway_William Faulkner_ Rebecca West_William Shakespeare_John Updike

“Important novelists often say that writing a novel is hard. I think Anthony Powell said it was like conducting foreign policy—that you have to be prepared to go and do it every day no matter how you feel.”
James Salter

“Beryl Bainbridge understood the absurdity of life and how humour lurks in even the most tragic situation.”
Deborah Moggach

“Jack Kerouac influenced me quite a bit as a writer . . . in the Arab sense that the enemy of my enemy was my friend.”
Hunter S. Thompson

“There was a period in my early career that was determined by the images of women writers I was exposed to—women writers as genius suicides like Virginia Woolf.”
Margaret Atwood

“Blake’s poetry has the unpleasantness of great poetry.”
T. S Eliot

“In writing She Came to Stay, I was certainly influenced by Hemingway insofar as it was he who taught us a certain simplicity of dialogue and the importance of the little things in life.”
Simone de Beauvoir

“I find Faulkner intolerably bad.”
Evelyn Waugh

“Rebecca West’s novel The Fountain Overflows taught me a lot.”
Andrea Barrett

“Every year or so I read Shakespeare straight through.”
P.G. Wodehouse

“Updike is a master of effortless motion — between third and first person, from the metaphorical density of literary prose to the demotic, from specific detail to wide generalisation, from the actual to the numinous, from the scary to the comic.”
Ian McEwan

Sources: Bartleby, The Independent, The Paris Review, Wikiquote

Writers On Writers

Colette_Don DeLillo_John Milton_ Angela Carter_ Percy Shelley_ A. L Barker_ Henry Green_John Keats_ Saki_ William James

“Colette is a writer one should know something about.”
James Salter

“I started reading DeLillo pretty much when he started publishing. He was, and is, one of my heroes.”
Ann Beattie

“Milton…was a true poet and of the Devil’s party without knowing it.”
William Blake

“Angela Carter has remarkable descriptive gifts, a powerful imagination, and… a capacity for looking at the mess of contemporary life without flinching.”
Anthony Burgess

“I still think Shelley is an underestimated poet.”
Michael Frayn

“I am a fanatical admirer of A. L Barker. If you cannot read her it is your fault.”
Rebecca West

“I do like to write dialogue, intense forms of which I admire in Henry Green’s novels.”
Shirley Hazzard

“Being in a garret doesn’t do you any good unless you’re some sort of a Keats.”
Dorothy Parker

“Saki says that youth is like hors d’oeuvres: you are so busy thinking of the next courses you don’t notice it. When you’ve had them, you wish you’d had more hors d’oeuvres.”
Philip Larkin

“William James says that in times of trauma and crisis a door is opened to a place where facts and apparitions mix.”
Susan Howe

Sources: The Paris Review, Wikipedia, GoodReads

Writers On Writers

“Of all German writers, it is Goethe to whom I owe most, who occupies me most, claims my attention, encourages me, who forces me to emulation or opposition.”
Hermann Hesse

“O’Neill had a terrible problem with alcohol. Most writers do.”
Tennessee Williams

“Anthony Trollope trained himself to turn out forty-nine pages of manuscript a week, seven pages a day, and he was so rigorous about keeping to that exact number of pages that if he finished a novel halfway through the last day, he’d write the title of a new book and ‘Chapter One’ on the next page and go right on until he’d done his proper quota of seven pages.”
Malcolm Cowley

“I don’t think I knew what real poetry was till I read Keats a couple of years ago.”
Isaac Rosenberg

“When William Blake says something, I say thank you, even though he has uttered the most hopeless fallacy that you can imagine.”
John Berryman

“I’ve always thought that MacNeice had limitations of temperament. He sometimes seems to be writing a jazzy, crazy kind of poetry, but when you look closer you realise that it’s always perfectly controlled. Inside MacNeice there was always an academic scholar pulling in the rein.”
Stephen Spender

“The trouble began with Forster. After him it was considered ungentlemanly to write more than five or six novels.”
Anthony Burgess

“I think that Brecht was a good producer, but not really a poet or a dramatist, except in his early plays.”
Eugène Ionesco

“I like Colette a great deal—I’ve learned a lot from the way she uses herself as a character in her own books and tantalizes the reader with the question: Is this autobiography or is it fiction?”
Edmund White

“As an undergraduate at Syracuse University I discovered Nietzsche, and it may be the Nietzschean influence that characterizes some of my work.”
Joyce Carol Oates

Sources: The Paris Review, Brainy Quote

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