On Fiction Quotes

Quotes tagged as "on-fiction" Showing 1-30 of 79
G.K. Chesterton
“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.”
G.K. Chesterton

Tim O'Brien
“That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.”
Tim O'Brien

Albert Camus
“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”
Albert Camus

Alan Moore
“Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.”
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

Jessamyn West
“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.”
Jessamyn West

J.R.R. Tolkien
“I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which 'Escape' is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?”
J.R.R. Tolkien

John Cheever
“Fiction is art and art is the triumph over chaos… to celebrate a world that lies spread out around us like a bewildering and stupendous dream.”
John Cheever

David Foster Wallace
“Fiction is one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved. Drugs, movies where stuff blows up, loud parties -- all these chase away loneliness by making me forget my name's Dave and I live in a one-by-one box of bone no other party can penetrate or know. Fiction, poetry, music, really deep serious sex, and, in various ways, religion -- these are the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated.”
David Foster Wallace

Michael Cunningham
“One always has a better book in one's mind than one can manage to get onto paper.”
Michael Cunningham

Oscar Wilde
“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.”
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Simone Elkeles
“But wishes are only granted in fairy tales.”
Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry

Doris Lessing
“There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth.”
Doris May Lessing, Under My Skin: Volume One of My Autobiography, to 1949

Arthur Conan Doyle
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

John Waters
“You should never read just for "enjoyment." Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends' insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick "hard books." Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god's sake, don't let me ever hear you say, "I can't read fiction. I only have time for the truth." Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of "literature"? That means fiction, too, stupid.”
John Waters, Role Models

Mary Ann Shaffer
“Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life.”
Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Phyllis A. Whitney
“A good book isn't written, it's rewritten.”
Phyllis A. Whitney, Guide to Fiction Writing

Ken Kesey
“But it's the truth even if it didn't happen.”
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Diane Setterfield
“A good story is always more dazzling than a broken piece of truth.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

David Foster Wallace
“Good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”
David Foster Wallace

Gabriel García Márquez
“Fiction was invented the day Jonah arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale..”
Gabriel García Márquez

John Green
“Neither novels or their readers benefit from any attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story. Such efforts attack the very idea that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Khaled Hosseini
“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.”
Khaled Hosseini

Walter Moers
“Reading is an intelligent way of not having to think.”
Walter Moers, The City of Dreaming Books

Flannery O'Connor
“There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored. The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but what he has forgotten is the cost of it. His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration. When he reads a novel, he wants either his sense tormented or his spirits raised. He wants to be transported, instantly, either to mock damnation or a mock innocence.”
Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose

Darren Shan
“The thing about real life is, when you do something stupid, it normally costs you. In books the heroes can make as many mistakes as they like. It doesn't matter what they do, because everything works out in the end. They'll beat the bad guys and put things right and everything ends up cool.
In real life, vacuum cleaners kill spiders. If you cross a busy road without looking, you get whacked by a car. If you fall from a tree, you break some bones.
Real life's nasty. It's cruel. It doesn't care about heroes and happy endings and the way things should be. In real life, bad things happen. People die. Fights are lost. Evil often wins.
I just wanted to make that clear before I begun.”
Darren Shan, A Living Nightmare

Richard Bach
“If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.”
Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Ursula K. Le Guin
“While we read a novel, we are insane—bonkers. We believe in the existence of people who aren't there, we hear their voices... Sanity returns (in most cases) when the book is closed.”
Ursula K. Le Guin

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Michael Scott
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Michael Scott, The Warlock

Norton Juster
“if something is there, you can only see it with your eyes open, but if it isn't there, you can see it just as well with your eyes closed. That's why imaginary things are often easier to see than real ones.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

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