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A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out.
When I was ten, I wrote an essay on what I would be when I grew up and said I would be a professional soccer player and a comedian in off season.
A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery.
At the age of 12 I won the school prize for Best English Essay. The prize was a copy of Somerset Maugham's 'Introduction To Modern English And American Literature.' To this day I keep it on the shelf between my collection of Forester's works and the little urn that contains my mother's ashes.
For me, playwriting is and has always been like making a chair. Your concerns are balance, form, timing, lights, space, music. If you don't have these essentials, you might as well be writing a theoretical essay, not a play.
What I'm exploring right now is the subject of my own mortality. It's an area that I'm curious about, and I'm researching it to see if there's a photographic essay in it for me. If images don't start to come, I'll go to something else.
I was uncomfortable writing fiction. My love was the personal essay, rather than the novel.
Alain de Botton
I believe that a work of art, like metaphors in language, can ask the most serious, difficult questions in a way which really makes the readers answer for themselves; that the work of art far more than an essay or a tract involves the reader, challenges him directly and brings him into the argument.
In an essay, you have the outcome in your pocket before you set out on your journey, and very rarely do you make an intellectual or psychological discovery. But when you write fiction, you don't know where you are going - sometimes down to the last paragraph - and that is the pleasure of it.
What a writer can do, what a fiction writer or a poet or an essay writer can do is re-engage people with their own humanity.
A lazy man works twice as hard. My mother told that to me, and now I say it to my kids. If you're writing an essay, keep it in the lines and in the margins so you don't have to do it over.
I went on all over the States, ranting poems to enthusiastic audiences that, the week before, had been equally enthusiastic about lectures on Railway Development or the Modern Turkish Essay.
I found the structure of writing a screenplay harder than the structure of writing an essay. But it was definitely challenging to force myself to sit and write. I'm not used to having to force myself to work.
I'm most suspicious of scripts that have a lot of stage direction at the top of the page... sunrise over the desert and masses of... a whole essay before you get to the dialogue.
Criticism is, for me, like essay writing, a wonderful way of relaxation; it doesn't require a heightened and mediated voice, like prose fiction, but rather a calm, rational, even conversational voice.
Joyce Carol Oates
I kind of got more interested in writing after I turned in my last college essay and nobody was going to tell me what kind of academic papers to write anymore. I could write whatever I wanted, and I realized that I actually liked it when I could choose what I would write.
I thought I was going to write fiction but I fell backwards into non-fiction. It started when I got locked out of two apartments in one day and I told the story to some friends, one of whom worked in the 'Village Voice' and asked me to turn it into an essay.
In high school, I won a prize for an essay on tuberculosis. When I got through writing the essay, I was sure I had the disease.
Constance Baker Motley
An essay is a thing of the imagination. If there is information in an essay, it is by-the-by, and if there is an opinion, one need not trust it for the long run. A genuine essay rarely has an educational, polemical, or sociopolitical use; it is the movement of a free mind at play.
The primary thing I should do, apart from being a good husband, brother, son, and friend, is to be a citizen activist. But I'm afraid it takes away from the writing. Not that anything depends on whether I put an essay in 'The Nation' or not. But you want to participate.
To love is to believe, to hope, to know; Tis an essay, a taste of Heaven below!
Philosophy wasn't about facts, it was about ideas. My first essay title was something like: 'How can you know what other people are thinking?' I thought, 'Wow, what an amazing thing.' I really thought deeply for the first time.
The point of the essay is to change things.
I'm trying to put more elements of the essay into my writing.
I remember when an editor at the National Geographic promised to run about a dozen of my landscape pictures from a story on the John Muir trail as an essay, but when the group of editors got together, someone said that my pictures looked like postcards.
C. S. Lewis
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leonardo da Vinci
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