“You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even but a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.”
- James Baldwin, b. 1924
"I have deliberately chosen the uncertain path whenever I had the choice . . . A more important freedom was that which made it possible to travel"
"By God, I didn't know myself what I had tried to do, and how much I had succeeded."
"Oh, the comfort -- the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person -- having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."
-Dinah Maria Mulock Craik,
poet and novelist
(26 Apr 1826-1887)
"My follies are the follies of youth. You will see that I laugh at them, and if you are kind you will laugh at them with me...
...I loved, I was loved, my health was good, I had a great deal of money, and I spent it, I was happy and I confessed it to myself."
Tennesee Williams was prone to deep depression and, in later years, abused alcohol and drugs. But he once said, "If I got rid of my demons, I'd lose my angels."
If one advances confidently in the direction of his
dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has
imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in
common hour …
"For a writer, the best way to speak is by writing. You will find everything I need to say in my works. Speech is carried off by the wind; the written word can never be obliterated."
- Mo Yan, first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Prize in literature (2012).
"Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it." -Novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (France)
"The only way I can write narrative is to get right outside my body and experience it. This can be exhausting and at times dangerous. One cannot be sure of redemption." -William S. Burroughs
"I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most."
William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.