So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.— F. Scott Fitzgerald
Killer Great Literary quotations
Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.
One of the best known, and one of the least intelligible, facts of literary history is the lateness, in Western European Literature at any rate, of prose fiction, and the comparative absence, in the two great classical languages, of what we call by that name.
So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star.
Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.
The aim of great books is ethical: to teach what it means to be a man.
Every major form of literary art has taken for its deeper themes what T.S. Eliot called "the permanent things"-the norms of human action.
People love gossip because it's slightly removed from actuality.
It's a very literary thing... You can hear a great story, and it turns out that it's largely not true. Fiction writing is like gossip. It's not malicious gossip, but it's gossip.
I had literary interests my whole life.
I decided at the age of five I was going to be a writer. So I had done a great deal of reading. I suppose I was more at home in Greenwich Village than, say, any of classmates from Warsaw High School. But in any case, it was an overwhelming experience for me. It took me some time to begin to assimilate it.
He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.
At last, in 1611, was made, under the auspices of King James, the famous King James version; and this is the great literary monument of the English language.
Literary history is the great morgue where all seek the dead ones whom they love, or to whom they are related.
When God lets loose a great thinker on this planet, then all things are at risk.
There is not a piece of science but its flank may be turned to-morrow; nor any literary reputation or the so-called eternal names of fame that many not be refused and condemned.
I felt, "Oh, film is a great art because I can pull in music and visual imagery, and it has its literary aspects and drama." Film was a sort of Wagnerian synthesis of the arts, as opposed to opera, which Wagner had thought would be. That's another art form that has seen its best days.
Evidently one cannot look for long at the Last Supper without ceasing to study it as a composition, and beginning to speak of it as a drama. It is the most literary of all great pictures, one of the few of which the effect may largely be conveyed - can even be enhanced - by description.
A great many political speeches are literary parricides; they kill their fathers.
I believe my publisher has shown a great deal of faith in me over a lot of years but I'm not prepared to be so arrogant to say that the long-term literary value of my work would compensate them for a financial failure.
And in down times it shakes a lot of the bad SF out, a lot the stuff that was bought for literary reasons, which is neither entertaining nor great literature.
A scientific autobiography belongs to a most awkward literary genre.
If the difficulties facing a man trying to record his life are great - and few have overcome them successfully - they are compounded in the case of scientists, of whom many lead monotonous and uneventful lives and who, besides, often do not know how to write . . .
As much as I revere great writing, and am still humbled by it, literary activities are no longer esoteric to me. When I read a great novel - something that I could never have written myself - I'm still looking at it a little bit like a technician.
I don't have traceable literary models because I haven't had great literary influences in my life.
I promise myself great pleasure from my visit to England.
You know I am to stay with Dickens while in London; and beside his own very agreeable society, I shall enjoy that of the most noted literary men of the day, which will be a great gratification to me.
You can write a great book and be ignored.
Literary history is full of classics that were under-appreciated in their own time.
There is a great discovery still to be made in literature, that of paying literary men by the quantity they do not write.
The great break of my literary career was going to law school.
I have been told by a member of the board of one of Canada's most prominent literary magazines that a submission of mine once caused a great deal of controversy.
My favorite book is anything by Kurt Vonnegut - he's my literary hero.
I got to meet him several times, which was a great thrill for me. I don't really remember what we talked about.
In the French language, there is a great gulf between prose and poetry;
in English, there is hardly any difference. It is a splendid privilege of the great literary languages Greek, Latin, and French that they possess a prose. English has not this privilege. There is no prose in English.
Evidently, there are many great American writers.
But sometimes it can feel as though American fiction is dominated by relatively linear narrative form, with a heavy emphasis on psychological realism. If you limit yourself to a certain kind of American literary fiction, it's easy to forget about the different kinds of books that are being written. You can forget to be ambitious, both as a reader and a writer.
The literary scene is filled with young people now, which is a great joy.
They seem fully capable of saving the world, as we failed to do when young, though heaven knows we tried.
From about ninth grade on, I knew I was a writer at heart.
I had fantasies of being a great novelist, but I thought that seemed like an iffy way to try to make a living. So I tried journalism while in college, and really liked it. But even in journalism, I've always pursued ways to be somewhat literary, whether writing a column or writing books.
I see a great lack of stories around.
I bought six literary magazines and looked through them to see what people were doing. There wasn't a story in them. They were all about how poetic the feelings of the author were.
The Night Journal received two awards that I'm terribly proud of - -the Spur from Western Writers of America, and the Willa Literary Award from Women Writing the West. Both these groups are filled with great writers and good people.
I very comprehensively studied Irving Thalberg and his biographies.
He's who [Scott] Fitzgerald roughly modeled the character after. He worked for him, as a writer, when he was at MGM. And, of course, I revisited the novel and the politics of MGM and the studio system at the time and familiarized myself with the world. There was a great deal of physical and literary work that went into it.
The effect of reading literary non-fiction that matters most to me is when the coin drops, and this happens in the company of the great, mercuric, encyclopedic minds: Empson, Kenneth Burke, Northrop Frye.
These were in the days before anybody thought to criticize Congressmen, let alone first ladies, for making money on speeches. So Eleanor raked in quite a bit of cash that she may have put, for all I know, to good uses, or maybe not. I just don't know. But I don't think she was any great literary breakthrough.