Quotes About Literature

Quotes tagged as "literature" (showing 541-570 of 2,819)
Adam Zagajewski
“Read for yourselves, read for the sake of your inspiration, for the sweet turmoil in your lovely head. But also read against yourselves, read for questioning and impotence, for despair and erudition, read the dry sardonic remarks of cynical philosophers like Cioran or even Carl Schmitt, read newspapers, read those who despise, dismiss or simply ignore poetry and try to understand why they do it. Read your enemies, read those who reinforce your sense of what's evolving in poetry, and also read those whose darkness or malice or madness or greatness you can't understand because only in this way will you grow, outlive yourself, and become what you are.”
Adam Zagajewski, A Defense of Ardor: Essays

Machado de Assis
“The best thing to do is to loosen my grip on my pen and let it go wandering about until it finds an entrance. There must be one – everything depends on the circumstances, a rule applicable as much to literary style as to life. Each word tugs another one along, one idea another, and that is how books, governments and revolutions are made – some even say that is how Nature created her species.”
Machado de Assis

Laurence Cossé
“We have no time to waste on insignificant books, hollow books, books that are there to please...

We want books that cost their authors a great deal, books where you can feel the years of work, the backache, the writer's block, the author's panic at the thought that he might be lost: his discouragement, his courage, his anguish, his stubbornness, the risk of failure that he has taken.”
Laurence Cossé, A Novel Bookstore

Corey Redekop
“Literature is a virus.”
Corey Redekop, Shelf Monkey

Stephen Crane
“It perhaps might be said--if any one dared--that the most worthless literature of the world has been that which has been written by the men of one nation concerning the men of another.”
Stephen Crane, The Portable Stephen Crane

Leon Wieseltier
“But even now, with the crates piled high in the hall, what I see most plainly about the books is that they are beautiful. They take up room? Of course they do: they are an environment; atoms, not bits. My books are not dead weight, they are live weight — matter infused by spirit, every one of them, even the silliest. They do not block the horizon; they draw it. They free me from the prison of contemporaneity: one should not live only in one’s own time. A wall of books is a wall of windows.”
Leon Wieseltier

Dean Koontz
“Language can't describe reality. Literature has no stable reference, no real meaning. Each reader's interpretation is equally valid, more important than the author's intention. In fact, nothing in life has meaning. Reality is subjective. Values and truths are subjective. Life itself is a kind of illusion. Blah, blah, blah, let's have another scotch.”
Dean Koontz, False Memory

Wilkie Collins
“You are not to take it, if you please, as the saying of an ignorant man, when I express my opinion that such a book as ROBINSON CRUSOE never was written, and never will be written again. I have tried that book for years—generally in combination with a pipe of tobacco—and I have found it my friend in need in all the necessities of this mortal life. When my spirits are bad—ROBINSON CRUSOE. When I want advice—ROBINSON CRUSOE. In past times when my wife plagued me; in present times when I have had a drop too much—ROBINSON CRUSOE. I have worn out six stout ROBINSON CRUSOES with hard work in my service. On my lady's last birthday she gave me a seventh. I took a drop too much on the strength of it; and ROBINSON CRUSOE put me right again. Price four shillings and sixpence, bound in blue, with a picture into the bargain.

Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone

M.H. Abrams
“We are human, and nothing is more interesting to us than humanity. The appeal of literature is that it is so thoroughly a human thing — by, for and about human beings. If you lose that focus, you obviate the source of the power and permanence of literature.”
M.H. Abrams

Charles Harrington Elster
“To enjoy and learn from what you read you must understand the meanings of the words a writer uses. You do yourself a grave disservice if you read around words you don’t know, or worse, merely guess at what they mean without bothering to look them up.

For me, reading has always been not only a quest for pleasure and enlightenment but also a word-hunting expedition, a lexical safari.”
Charles Harrington Elster

Roland Barthes
“The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture.”
Roland Barthes

Julio Cortázar
“Nothing is more comical than seriousness understood as a virtue that has to precede all important literature”
Julio Cortázar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

Gustave Flaubert
“Let us not kid ourselves; let us remember that literature is of no use whatever, except in the very special case of somebody's wishing to become, of all things, a Professor of Literature.”
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Julio Cortázar
“The best literature is always a take [in the musical sense]; there is an implicit risk in its execution, a margin of danger that is the pleasure of the flight, of the love, carrying with it a tangible loss but also a total engagement that, on another level, lends the theater its unparalleled imperfection faced with the perfection of film.

I don’t want to write anything but takes.”
Julio Cortázar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

Jennifer Elisabeth
“Can you identify the source preventing you from feeling good every single day, from loving yourself unconditionally and making your dreams come true? Is it a voice in your head or a gut wrenching ache that compromises your inner peace and doesn’t allow you to accept the love around you? Is there one thing, or maybe many things, keeping you from forgiving your past and moving forward, tormenting you with lies like “You don’t deserve real love so just settle for whatever you can get,” “You’re not smart enough to achieve your dream so don’t even try,” or “Look at your past… you should hate yourself way more than you actually do!”?

Welcome to your Little Monster.”
Jennifer Elisabeth, Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl

Amy Joy
“Words are a puzzle; put them together the right way and you get something beautiful.”
Amy Joy

A.S. Byatt
“Blackadder was fifty-four and had come to editing Ash out of pique. He was the son and grandson of Scottish schoolmasters. His grandfather recited poetry on firelight evenings: Marmion, Childe Harold, Ragnarok. His father sent him to Downing College in Cambridge to study under F. R. Leavis. Leavis did to Blackadder what he did to serious students; he showed him the terrible, the magnificent importance and urgency of English literature and simultaneously deprived him of any confidence in his own capacity to contribute to, or change it. The young Blackadder wrote poems, imagined Dr Leavis’s comments on them, and burned them.”
A.S. Byatt, Possession

Terry Pratchett
“Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book.”
Terry Pratchett, Soul Music

David Shields
“Story seems to say that everything happens for a reason and I want to say, No, it doesn’t.”
David Shields, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

Barbara Kingsolver
“A novel works it's magic by putting a reader inside another person's life. The pace is as slow as life. It's as detailed as life. It requires you, the reader, to fill in an outline of words with vivid pictures drawn subconsciously from your own life, so that the story feels more personal than the sets designed by someone else and handed over via TV or movies. Literature duplicates the experience of living in a way that nothing else can, drawing you so fully into another life that you temporarily forget you have one of your own. That is why you read it, and might even sit up in bed till early dawn, throwing your whole tomorrow out of whack, simply to find out what happens to some people who, you know perfectly well, are made up. It's why you might find yourself crying, even if you aren't the crying kind.”
Barbara Kingsolver

Alberto Manguel
“And sometimes, when the stars are kind, we read with an intake of breath, with a shudder, as if someone or something had 'walked over our grave,' as if a memory had suddenly been rescued from a place deep within us - the recognition of something we never knew was there, or of something we vaguely felt as a flicker or a shadow, whose ghostly form rises and passes back into us before we can see what it is, leaving us older and wiser.”
Alberto Manguel, A History of Reading

Adam Gopnik
“Of all the unexpected things in contemporary literature, this is among the oddest: that kids have an inordinate appetite for very long, very tricky, very strange books about places that don’t exist.”
Adam Gopnik

V.S. Naipaul
“What matters in the end in literature, what is always there, is the truly good. And -- though played out forms can throw up miraculous sports like The Importance of Being Earnest or Decline and Fall-- what is good is always what is new, in both form and content. What is good forgets whatever models it might have had, and is unexpected; we have to catch it on the wing. ((p. 62, Reading & Writing)”
V.S. Naipaul

Alexander McCall Smith
“But he'll never be fully recognised, because Scots literature these days is all about complaining and moaning and being injured in one's soul.”
Alexander McCall Smith, The Sunday Philosophy Club

“Speech is the body part of thinking, the voice of the mind. Writing is the blood and mind mixing to speak through the fingers, through the hands.”
Lenora Champagne

Jennifer Elisabeth
“Even if we try to conform to ideals and strive for perfection, we will always be pulled back to our core identity because it’s the path of least resistance for our souls – an energy force that wants nothing more than for us to honor and accept who we are and discover what we’re meant to do in the world.”
Jennifer Elisabeth, Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl

Washington Irving
“For my part, I love to give myself up to the illusion of poetry. A hero of fiction that never existed is just as valuable to me as a hero of history that existed a thousand years ago.”
Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories

Kenneth McLeish
“The text contains no literary criticism. I wanted to describe books, not to be clever at their expense.”
Kenneth McLeish, Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide

Milan Kundera
“A novel examines not reality but existence. And existence is not what has occurred, existence is the realm of human possibilities, everything that man can become, everything he's capable of. Novelists draw up the map of existence by discovering this or that human possibilit. But again, to exist mean: 'being-in-the-world.' Thus both the character and his world must be understood as possibilities.”
Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel

Jules Verne
“In the course of time, Michael Strogoff reached a high station in the Empire. But it is not the history of his success, but the history of his trials, which deserves to be related.”
Jules Verne, Michael Strogoff

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