A happy man has no past, while an unhappy man has nothing else.

— Richard Flanagan

The most competitive Richard Flanagan quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

The journey is long, the road is dark and frightening, but together we can reach our destination: the Tasmania of which we all dream, where all are welcome and all prosper, made no longer of lies but truth, built not of rich men's hate but our love for our island and for each other.

10

There are words and words and none mean anything. And then one sentence means everything.

9

Writing about sex at length is a bit like describing mastication at length.

It's the causes and the consequences and the meaning of it that are interesting, not the anatomical descriptions.

5

We have a very foolish notion in Western countries that progress delivers freedom. But progress doesn't necessarily bring moral virtue.

4

When forging money, I had always salved my conscience by concluding that I was merely extending the lie of commerce.

3

Is it easier for a man to live his life again as a fish, than to accept the wonder of being human? So alone, so frightened, so wanting for what we are afraid to give tongue to.

3

Writing is not lying, nor is it theft.

It is a journey and search for transparency between one’s words and one’s soul.

3

Love is the scent of a sleeping back, death a slight draft of bad breath.

2

Murder and hate are as deeply buried in the human heart as love, perhaps more so, and in truth they're rather entwined, and if you tried to separate them, you'd be missing something important and human.

1

A good book ... leaves you wanting to reread the book. A great book compels you to reread your own soul.

0

One cannot distinguish between human and non-human acts.

One cannot point, one cannot say this man here is a man and that man there is a devil.

0

The idea of the past is as useless as the idea of the future.

Both could be invoked by anybody about anything. There is never any more beauty than there is now. There is no more joy or wonder or sorrow than there is now, nor perfection, nor any more evil nor any more good than there is now.

0

About Richard Flanagan

Quotes 38 sayings
Profession Novelist
Birthday 1961

I think sometimes writers must attempt to communicate the incommunicable, because, whether they wish it or not, they're the ones to whom it falls.

0

We remember nothing. Maybe for a year or two. Maybe most of a life, if we live. Maybe. But then we will die, and who will ever understand any of this? And maybe we remember nothing most of all when we put our hands on our hearts and carry on about not forgetting.

0

I had some bad jobs when I was young.

Writing is not one of them. If you're fortunate enough to reach my age, to still be writing, you have to be grateful, and I am. I've been lucky. For many years, all I've done is writing, and it's all I've ever wanted to do.

0

I do not share the pessimism of the age about the novel.

They are one of our greatest spiritual, aesthetic and intellectual inventions. As a species it is story that distinguishes us, and one of the supreme expressions of story is the novel. Novels are not content. Nor are they are a mirror to life or an explanation of life or a guide to life. Novels are life, or they are nothing.

0

I think empathy's a terrible danger for a writer.

0

The path to survival was to never give up on the small things.

0

Most of us have loved. And the terror for a writer is that readers will forgive you so much, but they won't forgive you one false note about love, about which they too are expert.

0

Writing reminds you that you're never alone. Writing and reading is to be optimistic.

0

Film is the art of turning money into light, and light into money. But it begins with money.

0

It's a sin for a writer to go looking for camels to put into his or her pages.

I only want details that are the story.

0

What reality was ever made by realists?

0

I do feel like a fraud a lot of the time because I've never been interested in people who say 'I'm a writer', 'I'm an artist'. Too much is made of the role and not enough of the work. We are such a celebrity-driven age and a status-driven age, that the status becomes more important than the actual work.

0

Love is a glimpse of hope. To love is to hope. When we abandon hope, we cease to exist.

0

I think it's always wrong of writers to make too much of the pains of their labors, because most people have much worse jobs and suffer such indignities and hardships.

0

What you're constantly seeking isn't a style, but a transparency between your soul and the words. And your soul is ever in flux, so therefore you have to constantly find new forms of words that might be able to register these changes in the soul.

0

I think writing should be about change.

0

We live in a material world, not a dramatic one.

0

The enslavement, humiliation, torture, and ultimate destruction of thousands upon thousands of human beings for a project for which there was ultimately no purpose is a horror that's very hard to imagine, far less understand.

0

I'm afraid a lot of people have lost a lot of money over the years betting on me.

0

The fallacy is that you have to hold some sort of stake in the grief or horror in order to write about it - I think the opposite is true.

0

You have to attempt to find new forms that will force you to write freshly and better and hopefully more truthfully.

0

I think it's common sense to shy away from the erotic.

Perhaps this grand experiment, which started with Lady Chatterley's Lover, of seeing what you can write and how you can write about sex, has reached a certain weary terminus with Fifty Shades of Grey.

0

In the end you're not made or broken by prizes.

Your relationship is with your readers, not a prize, and you just have to keep on honoring that.

0

Literary prizes serve a purpose if they allow for discussion of books.

0

A writer has to stand outside the page.

It's not for the writer to shed tears onto the pages for these characters. It's not for him to suffer or to laugh or to experience ecstasy or agony in the manner of the characters on the pages.

0