In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well oiled in the closet, but unused.
To be a successful father... there's one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don't look at it for the first two years.
When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
You know that fiction, prose rather, is possibly the roughest trade of all in writing. You do not have the reference, the old important reference. You have the sheet of blank paper, the pencil, and the obligation to invent truer than things can be true. You have to take what is not palpable and make it completely palpable and also have it seem normal and so that it can become a part of experience of the person who reads it.
I'm not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy.
Category: Fights And Fighting
Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl.
There is no friend as loyal as a book
Category: Friends And Friendship
My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible. The game of golf would lose a good deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green. You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements.
To me heaven would be a big bull ring with me holding two barrera seats and a trout stream outside that no one else was allowed to fish in and two lovely houses in the town; one where I would have my wife and children and be monogamous and love them truly and well and the other where I would have my nine beautiful mistresses on nine different floors.
You write a book like that you're fond of over the years, then you see that happen to it, it's like pissing in your father's beer.
When you have shot one bird flying you have shot all birds flying. They are all different and they fly in different ways but the sensation is the same and the last one is as good as the first.
All things truly wicked start from an innocence.
That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best --make it all up --but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way.
Category: Invention And Inventor
Personal columnists are jackals and no jackal has been known to live on grass once he had learned about meat -- no matter who killed the meat for him.
Category: Journalism And Journalists
There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man's life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.