Thursday, 24 March 2016



Gide understood that a white writer cannot go in and talk as if he knows the place; he can only make something out of his incomprehension.

Lawrence Osborne, talking about Gide talking about North Africa, but it might apply to an Englishman in Romania. I had never heard, until this evening, of Lawrence Osborne, who was apparently at Cambridge three years before me, but he is a novelist who lives in
Bangkok and has been compared to Graham Greene. Lucky him.

All the time I'm not writing I feel like a criminal.

Fran Lebowitz

I don’t recognize a distinction between literature and life.

Harold Bloom

One very important ingredient of success is a good, wide-awake, persistent, tireless enemy.

Frank Shutts

English remains the most beautiful of languages. It will do anything.

Maya Angelou

There is no work of literature that is not the fruit of tradition.

Elena Ferrante

Editing a sentence is a musical process.

Luc Sante

First and foremost, writing poems should be a pleasure.

Philip Larkin


  1. David in Banja Luka31 March 2016 at 16:18

    One of my favourites is “clarity is courtesy” (José Ortega y Gasset.

    1. Very good! Many academics should take note.