There seems to me now to be the notion that you send something to a journal or an agent and months go by. It seems to me like that is a new piece of bad manners. Probably. Generally I assume that anything that happens now happened to Adam and Eve also.

— Lore Segal

The most viral Lore Segal quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

Did the nineteenth-century novelists create more generously than we do now? In a general reading of contemporary work, do you see a lot of new and different characters, or is it the same character who is a stand-in for the writer? And it's interesting enough, but it's a weakness I think. We are much more self-revealing and less able to produce new people over and over again.

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Once you start on an idea it proliferates in itself.

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Franz Kafka is a huge influence, more than the Grimms.

To allow yourself to get into the coal bucket and fly to the sky ... we learned that from Kafka, that you can have a thought and make a body of it in this way.

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Story has a mind of its own and tells things sometimes it might have preferred us not to know. Stories operate like dreams; both veil what is to be uncovered, neither is capable of the coverup.

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First book was handwritten, then the printing press, now we've got our Kindles.

To be able to push a button and a dictionary comes up. And then, at my age, that I can make the letters any size I want, and that I can carry all of William Shakespeare, all of Gogol, all of Franz Kafka in my handbag? You've got to love it.

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I wrote Her First American and I always say it took me eighteen years.

It took me that long was because after about five years I stopped and wrote Lucinella. I got stuck; it was too hard to write. Lucinella felt like a lark. I wanted to write about the literary circle because it amused me, and I allowed myself to do what I wanted to do. It's just one of the things I'm allowed to do if I feel like it.

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I read on a Kindle. I must be of the opinion that the new way to read is a pretty good way to read. It's a new way. Those of us who like the smell of books get upset but nevertheless this is the way we're going.

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I'm not going to say it's laziness, but I'm not a grand creator of new characters.

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Gustave Flaubert said, "Emma Bovary, c'est moi.

" It is not possible to write something you are not, but to have a new form, with a different hair color and a new body ... I do very little of that. That's why I keep bringing up the same people. I haven't given myself a hard time about it. But I can't make six new characters instead of one.

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I imagine witches to be people who sit around like my witty grandmother, people who are injustice collectors or humiliation collectors. I choose to imagine that's what a witch is. The reason witches are so evil is because they're so unhappy and so hurt.

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I dare say you believe I'm going to die.

I bet you don't believe you're going to die. You know it, but you don't believe it. Imaginatively, I think we find it impossible to believe we don't exist.

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I'm very moved and very excited. And it just seems to me here are houses and trees and streets that feel so different from New York. I feel very attached to London; I love it.

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About Lore Segal

Quotes 18 sayings
Profession Novelist
Birthday March 9, 1928

I don't go to the movies because they scare me.

I don't like anything that is suspenseful, even pleasantly so.

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There's that wonderful line in Measure for Measure.

I forget which of the characters has committed adultery and is going to die. He looks at his hand and says, "How could this die?" That's the joke. I've always thought, and this is nothing new, that we don't really believe we die. I think you're going to die, because I know that's what happens but I can't imagine I'm going to die.

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I'm always amused by the way questions are asked.

"What did you intend?" That's not even a recognizable verb. You don't intend when you write. You sit down and you're thinking things and dreaming things and someone says something and you think "Ah!" That's how it happens. Intention is not part of the game.

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My idea in Half the Kingdom was simply, or not so simply perhaps, that medical science has given us twenty extra years of life. Those twenty extra years - one is grateful for them, one is happy, but they also give you ten or twenty years more of losing your faculties. That is actually the origin of my notion. Once you live longer than you're supposed to live, things go dreadfully wrong. But nevertheless, you're not dead.

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As soon as you move through the hospital doors you've removed yourself from real life. From the world we know. It's an alien world. Just enter those gates and you are in alien territory.

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