“I hate writing. I love having written.” – Dorothy Parker

Some Ideas on Fiction and Other Things that I Accumulated More than Thirty Years Ago

Here are some items I accumulated more than thirty years ago in a notebook that I recently found. What is nice is that some of these have disappeared from usage since then. Some you may agree with, some not.

We will start with a bit of humor.

If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.” – Kingsley Amis

“In the ways people are strange, they grow stranger.” – Marilynne Robinson

All literature is gossip.” – Truman Capote

As soon as you can say what you think and not what some other person has thought for you, you are on the way to being a remarkable person.” – James Barrie

Like everybody who is not in love, he imagined that one chose the person whom one loved after endless deliberations and on the strength of various qualities and advantages.” – Marcel Proust

Fiction, even at its best, is remarkably useless in the world of events. The man who has read everything is less subject to action than the man who has read nothing. It would be fine to say fiction maketh a man good, but the evidence is scanty.” – Wright Morris

Everyone has their own eyes to choose the world with.” – John Ciardi

Each day only has enough difference in it to make what you’ve already learned unnecessary.” – Joy Williams

The virtues of some people repel us, yet the vices of others are their greatest charms.” – Francois de La Rochefoucald

You wouldn’t worry so much what people think of you, if you knew how seldom they did.” – Anonymous

Tell it Slant.” – Emily Dickinson

To want to forget something is to think of it.” – French Proverb

You read every sex manual in the house and wonder how on earth anyone could ever do these things with someone they truly loved.” – Lorrie Moore

The less one feels a thing, the more likely one is to express it as it really is.” – Gustav Flaubert

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” – Mark Twain

Anyone who has survived childhood knows enough about life to write for the rest of their days.” – Flannery O’Connor

Say what you like, but such things do happen – not often, but they do happen.” – Nikolai Gogol

Saying nothing sometimes says the most.” – Emily Dickinson

Intensity always prevails. Whoever possesses intensity is bound to conquer other minds, whatever the nature of the intensity, angelic or diabolic, positive or negative, minor or major, human or inhuman.” – Van Wyk Brooks

Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.” – Oscar Wilde

If you want to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh…or they will kill you.” – George Bernard Shaw

I have written with a certain success about failure.” – Arturo Vivante

“It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.” – Dorothy Parker

People are not always tolerant of the tears they themselves have provoked.” – Marcel Proust


That’s enough for now



6 responses to this post.

  1. Loved these Tony – particularly the Amis. I do like an old curmudgeon!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. “Say what you like, but such things do happen – not often, but they do happen.” Gogol can’t have been thinking of The Nose then!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. A great selection – thanks, Tony. I particularly enjoyed the quote from Dorothy Parker – what a woman!



    • Hi Jacqui,
      Happy you enjoyed the quotes. Dorothy Parker and Dawn Powell are two women who show they are at least as witty as the guys. (Interesting, both D. P.)



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