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Jay McInerney (b. January 13): “There aren’t many shy writers left.”

13 Jan


“There aren’t many shy writers left.”

~ Jay McInerney, b. 13 January 1955


Edna O’Brien (b. December 15): “Writers are always anxious, always on the run…”

15 Dec


“Writers are always anxious, always on the run – from the telephone, from responsibilities, from the distractions of the world.”

~ Edna O’Brien, b. 15 December 1930


Candace Bushnell (b. December 1st): “You don’t have to do everything by the time you’re 30.”

1 Dec

bushnell_cropCandace Bushnell, born 1 December 1958, is an American author and columnist. She is best known as the best-selling author of Sex and the City.

Six quotes on writing:

  1. You don’t have to do everything by the time you’re 30. Or 40. All you need is a work ethic. It’s what allows you to push through moments of disappointment and self-doubt and fear.
  2. I started writing about New York as soon as I arrived. I was 19. I used to write short stories and send them out.
  3. As I’m writing, certain things become clear to me and certain things begin to feel right and make sense. The pieces start to fall into place.
  4. You need characters who want things. They want love, they want recognition, they want happiness.
  5. When it comes to people — don’t write about who you know; but what you know of human nature.
  6. I just wanted to be a writer. I was always attracted to books by English authors. I thought they were very, very glamorous. I read Evelyn Waugh and thought that was the ultimate.


Kala Sarpa: everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask

30 Nov

“If the Sun and Moon would doubt,” poet William Blake once wrote, “they would immediately go out.”

As for me, there were times over the past 18 months when my own vision blurred, and I doubted whether I could write a book on Kala Sarpa that would do justice to its myth. But as it is with all writing of substance, it became a sadhana, and there was no choice but to finish the work. I hope students and practicing astrologers alike can now use it to shed light on what has always been a very dark subject.

~ Alan Annand

Paperback available at Amazon only, ebooks available at all online retailers:


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André Gide (b. November 22): “The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.”

23 Nov

gide67André Gide, born 22 November 1869, died 19 February 1951, was a French author and winner of the 1947 Nobel Prize in literature.

Quotes on art and writing:

  1. The colour of truth is grey.
  2. Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.
  3. It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
  4. The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.
  5. Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
  6. Everything’s already been said, but since nobody was listening, we have to start again.
  7. To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one’s freedom.
  8. The artist who is after success lets himself be influenced by the public. Generally such an artist contributes nothing new, for the public acclaims only what it already knows, what it recognizes.
  9. Know thyself – a maxim as pernicious as it is ugly. Whoever studies himself arrests his own development. A caterpillar who seeks to know himself would never become a butterfly.

Isaac Bashevis Singer (b. November 21): “The waste-paper basket is the writer’s best friend.”

21 Nov

SingerIsaac Bashevis Singer (born 21 November 1902, died 24 July 1991) was a Polish-born Jewish-American author. He was a leading figure in the Yiddish literary movement who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.

Quotes on writing:

  1. The waste-paper basket is the writer’s best friend.
  2. When a writer tries to explain too much, he’s out of time before he begins.
  3. When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am grown up, they call me a writer. 
  4. A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. Because that is how life is – full of surprises.
  5. Originality is not seen in single words or even in sentences. Originality is the sum total of a man’s thinking or his writing.
  6. Actually, the true story of a person’s life can never be written. It is beyond the power of literature. The full tale of any life would be both utterly boring and utterly unbelievable.
  7. Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper.
  8. The very essence of literature is the war between emotion and intellect, between life and death. When literature becomes too intellectual – when it begins to ignore the passions, the emotions – it becomes sterile, silly, and actually without substance.
  9. The storyteller and poet of our time, as in any other time, must be an entertainer of the spirit in the full sense of the word, not just a preacher of social or political ideals. There is no paradise for bored readers and no excuse for tedious literature that does not intrigue the reader, uplift him, give him the joy and the escape that true art always grants. 

Don DeLillo (b. November 20): “Writers should be dangerous” & other quotes on writing

20 Nov

Don DeLillo, born 20 November 1936, is one of the most influential American writers of the past decades. He has received a National Book Award (White Noise, 1985), a PEN/Faulkner Award (Mao II, 1991), and an American Book Award (Underworld, 1998).

“First you look for discipline and control. You want to exercise your will, bend the language your way, bend the world your way. You want to control the flow of impulses, images, words, faces, ideas. But there’s a higher place, a secret aspiration. You want to let go. You want to lose yourself in language, become a carrier or messenger.

“The best moments involve a loss of control. It’s a kind of rapture, and it can happen with words and phrases fairly often – completely surprising combinations that make a higher kind of sense, that come to you out of nowhere. But rarely for extended periods, for paragraphs and pages – I think poets must have more access to this state than novelists do.”

Quotes on writing:

  1. For me, writing is a concentrated form of thinking. 
  2. American writers ought to stand and live in the margins, and be more dangerous. 
  3. I’ve come to think of Europe as a hardcover book, America as the paperback version. 
  4. Writers in repressive societies are considered dangerous. That’s why so many of them are in jail.
  5. I’ve always seen myself in sentences. I begin to recognize myself, word by word, as I work through a sentence.
  6. The writer is the person who stands outside society, independent of affiliation and independent of influence. 
  7. Every sentence has a truth waiting at the end of it and the writer learns how to know it when he finally gets there. 
  8. I like the construction of sentences and the juxtaposition of words – not just how they sound or what they mean, but even what they look like. 
  9. Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some under-culture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.
  10. I think fiction comes from everything you’ve ever done, and said, and dreamed, and imagined. It comes from everything you’ve read and haven’t read. I think my work comes out of the culture of the world around me. I think that’s where my language comes from.
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