Donald Barthelme (b. April 7th): “I’m interested in the ugly sentence that is also beautiful.”

7 Apr

Donald Barthelme, born 7 April 1931 and died 23 July 1989, was an American author known for his playful short fiction. He is the author of Sixty Stories, Forty Stories, and Snow White.

Quotes on writing:

  1. Strings of language extend in every direction to bind the world into a rushing, ribald whole.
  2. I read other writers to discover what they do well; that helps me, reminds me why I got into this peculiar business in the first place.
  3. The order of pieces in a given book is mostly a matter of trying to make sure they don’t get in each other’s way. Much like hanging pictures for a show.
  4. Every writer in the country can write a beautiful sentence, or a hundred. What I am interested in is the ugly sentence that is also somehow beautiful.

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