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The great American novel has not only already been written, it has already been rejected.
W. Somerset Maugham
The stupidity of people comes from having an answer for everything. The wisdom of the novel comes from having a question for everything.
In a novel, if you're any good, you don't just have good people or bad people. You have complicated people. You have real people.
If you write a book about a bygone period that lies east of the Mississippi River, then it's a historical novel. If it's west of the Mississippi, it's a western, a different category. There's no sense to it.
A novel that does not uncover a hitherto unknown segment of existence is immoral. Knowledge is the novel's only morality.
The novel is the highest form of human expression so far attained. Why? Because it is so incapable of the absolute.
D. H. Lawrence
Sometimes writing a novel is not unlike having a baby. You'd have to ask a female novelist to compare the pain.
For me, writing a novel is like having a dream. Writing a novel lets me intentionally dream while I'm still awake. I can continue yesterday's dream today, something you can't normally do in everyday life.
Hemingway is terribly limited. His technique is good for short stories, for people who meet once in a bar very late at night, but do not enter into relations. But not for the novel.
W. H. Auden
I can't understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars.
The short story is still like the novel's wayward younger brother, we know that it's not respectable - but I think that can also add to the glory of it.
I think, in a written novel, the way in which you play with the readers' emotion or the way in which you engage the readers' emotions can be very indirect. You could come at it through irony or comedy, etcetera, and you could capture people's sympathies and feelings kind of by stealth if you like.
If a theme or idea is too near the surface, the novel becomes simply a tract illustrating an idea.
I really want to write a novel. I also want to learn to play the mandolin.
I suspect there are two kinds of novelists. Those who have a point of view and have something to say and then write a novel in order to say that thing, and those of us who write the book in order to find out what we think about that thing.
The idea that a book can advise a woman how to capture a man is touchingly naive. Books advising men how to capture a woman are far less common, perhaps because few men are willing to admit to such a difficulty. For both sexes, I recommend a good novel, offering scenarios you might learn from, if only because they reflect a lot of doubt.
Human beings, you see, do absolutely two primary things. We see like and unlike. Like becomes, in literature, simile and metaphor. Unlike becomes uniqueness and difference, from which I believe, the novel is born.
Rohinton Mistry's celebrated novel 'Such a Long Journey' was pulled off the syllabus of Mumbai University because local extremists objected to its content.
The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting.
'The Fourth Hand' was a novel that came from twenty years of screenwriting concurrently with whatever novel I'm writing.
When I am writing fiction, I believe I am much better organized, more methodical - one has to be when writing a novel. Writing poetry is a state of free float.
Any fool can write a novel but it takes real genius to sell it.
J. G. Ballard
Whether or not you agree with Ayn Rand - and I have certain issues with some of her beliefs - the woman can tell a story. I mean, the novel as an art form is just in full florid bloom in 'Atlas Shrugged.' It's an unbelievable story. The characters are so compelling, and what she's saying is mind-expanding.
I don't begin a novel or a screenplay until I know the ending. And I don't mean only that I have to know what happens. I mean that I have to hear the actual sentences. I have to know what atmosphere the words convey.
The object is very clear in the fight against racism; you have reasons why you're opposed to it. But when you're writing a novel, you don't want the reader to come out of it voting yes or no to some question. Life is more complicated than that.
William Arthur Ward
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image of the Moment
One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.
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