Archive for ‘literature’



Stationery lives and travels.

Garance Doré, quoted in the New York Times, “With Spring Fashion, It’s All About Wearing Your Slogan on Your Sleeve” (2014)



What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)



So what I want to argue for is not that we should give up on our ideas of success, but we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas. and make sure that we own them, that we are truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough, not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of a journey, that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along.

Alain de Botton, “A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success” (2009)



Remember. Before your father was a parent, he was a person. Young, and confused, just like you.

Phillip Toledano, The Reluctant Father (2014)



Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.

Hunter S. Thompson, in a Rolling Stone interview (1996)



It is better, I think, to grab at the stars than to sit flustered because you know you cannot reach them.

R.A. Salvatore, Sojourn (1991)



When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.

George Orwell, “Why I Write”  (1946)



Hurry ruins saints as well as artists.

Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation (1972)


sound and rhythm

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.

Elmore Leonard, Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing (2001)



Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.

G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1909)

Thank you to all our veterans. God bless and keep you all.



I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol…

Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude (1976)



How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.

Anne Dillard, The Writing Life (1989)



No one ever approaches perfection except by stealth, and unknown to themselves.

William Hazlitt, “Thoughts on Taste,” Edinburgh Magazine (1819)



My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.

A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh (1926)

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