"A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing, what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward; amid its shadows, he builds a new world with words."
— Orhan Pamuk (via pavorst)
"When I write poetry, I’ll write it down, or a tiny bit of it, and then have to depend on the reader to bring his own feelings, moods and memories to the act of reading poetry. And this act is considerable art in itself. To read poetry or literature with attention is a marvelous thing to be able to do— to respond, to live and be moved by this subtle world you’ve created about you."
— William Anderson, poet
"People who want to censor books aren’t really censoring books; they are censoring people.. The censor is trying to predict the reaction of a potential reader to a book. But we have found that you just can’t predict that."
— Gordon A. Sabine, journalism professor
"For me, writing isn’t an occupation, but a duty. I write as much to understand as to be understood."
— Elie Wiesel, author
The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
By his dishonored grave:
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross
That Christ for sinners gave,
Because the man was one of those
Whom Christ came down to save
Yet all is well; he has but passed
To Life’s appointed bourne:
And alien tears will fill for him
Pity’s long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn.
— Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol
"You are subjecting yourself to tough things as a writer. It erodes a person. That’s why the casualty rate is so high. You fear the exhaustion of your reserve, the collapse of your ambition, involuntary retirement by your readers. The psychic drain is enormous."
— Leon Uris, author
"…I believe that a writer has an adversary relationship with his publisher… If someone has applied himself to an art for 15 or 20 years and they’ve gotten good at it, and they’re expected to do something else to support themselves while the industry that sells this craft supports itself very well, something is badly wrong. Morally wrong."
— John Irving, author