"I made up my mind that I would hold onto nothing, that I would expect nothing."
— Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer (via bookmania)
"I am glad to have found a readership, but one can’t write only what is likely to sell. A writer is not a shopkeeper. A writer creates an imaginary world that he transmits to others."
— Tahar Ben Jelloun (via theparisreview)
"One writes out of one thing only — one’s own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art."
— James Baldwin (via observando)
"I know there is no straight road
No straight road in this world
Only a giant labyrinth
Of intersecting crossroads"
— Federico García Lorca (via noir-couplet)
"More and more I think there’s an element of fiction writing that’s performative. If you want your stories to carry a particular charge of feeling, you have to experience that feeling while you’re working. I don’t know that you can fake it, or at least I don’t know that I’ve ever been able to fake it, because the choices you make when you’re writing—the rhythms you adopt, the phrases you construct, the effect one word has when it’s nestled alongside another—are so highly nuanced, and have so much to do with the ultimate emotional effect of a story, so that if you aren’t feeling along with your sentences, your instincts will gradually lead you astray."
— The Rumpus Interview With Kevin Brockmeier
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
— Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
"Auden said a poem should be more interesting than anything that might be said about it. If you take the theme out of a poem and talk about that theme, there should still be some residual being left in the poem that goes on ticking, something like, why not say it, color, something that has an effect on your central nervous system. It is not what a poem says with its mouth, it’s what a poem does with its eyes."
— Mary Ruefle, from Madness, Rack, and Honey (via bostonpoetryslam)