Analysts keep having to pick away at the scab that the patient tries to form between himself and the analyst to cover over his wounds. The analyst keeps the surface raw, so that the wound will heal properly.

— Janet Malcolm

The most proven Janet Malcolm quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.

16

A lawsuit is to ordinary life what war is to peacetime.

In a lawsuit, everybody on the other side is bad. A trial transcript is a discourse in malevolence.

7

All analyses end badly. Each 'termination' leaves the participants with the taste of ashes in their mouths; each is absurd; each is a small, pointless death. Psychoanalysis cannot tolerate happy endings; it casts them off the way the body's immunological system casts off transplanted organs.

7

This is what it is the business of the artist to do.

Art is theft, art is armed robbery, art is not pleasing your mother.

6

The dominant and most deep-dyed trait of the journalist is his timorousness.

Where the novelist fearlessly plunges into the water of self-exposure, the journalist stands trembling on the shore in his beach robe. The journalist confines himself to the clean, gentlemanly work of exposing the grieves and shames of others.

5

I was always trying to take art photographs, but the most interesting pictures were the snapshots. The artsy pictures were boring, always.

4

If you scratch a great photograph, you find two things; a painting and a photograph.

3

Fidelity to the subject's thought and to his characteristic way of expressing himself is the sine qua non of journalistic quotation.

3

The heavy odds against finding the desired.

.. work of art in the mess and flux of life, as opposed to the serene orderliness of imagined reality, give a special tense dazzle and an atmosphere of tour de force to any photographs that succeed in the search.

2

The camera is simply not the supple and powerful instrument of description that the pen is.

2

There are good photographers who might elevate themselves to the ranks of the great simply by burning most of their work.

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Poets and novelists and playwrights make themselves, against terrible resistances, give over what the rest of us keep safely locked within our hearts.

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About Janet Malcolm

Quotes 22 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

Writing cannot be done in a state of desirelessness.

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Biography is the medium through which the remaining secrets of the famous dead are taken from them and dumped out in full view of the world. The biographer at work, indeed, is like the professional burglar, breaking into a house, rifling through certain drawers that he has good reason to think contain the jewelry and money, and triumphantly bearing his loot away.

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[Richard Avedon's] camera dwells on the horrible things that age can do to people's faces - on the flabby flesh, the slack skin, the ugly growths, the puffy eyes, the knotted necks, the aimless wrinkles, the fearful and anxious set of the mouth, the marks left by sickness, madness, alcoholism, and irreversible disappointment.

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[Y]ou never come right out and admit you have stretched the rules for your own benefit. You do it and shut up about it, and hope you don't get caught, because if you are caught no one or no one who has any sense will come forward and say he has done the same thing himself.

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The 'I' character in journalism is almost pure invention.

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The writer, like the murderer, needs a motive.

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Journalists justify their treachery in various ways according to their temperaments. The more pompous talk about freedom of speech and ‘the public’s right to know’; the least talented talk about Art; the seemliest murmur about earning a living.

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[The] arresting of time is photography's unique capacity, and the decision of when to click the shutter is the photographer's chief responsibility.

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Malice remains its animating impulse.

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