Friday, October 12, 2007

I don't know much about creative writing programs. But they're not telling the truth if they don't teach, one, that writing is hard work, and, two...

that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer."

Doris Lessing, who wrote that, just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. She's 88 and she deserves the award (no irony there). I read some of her works years ago including The Golden Notebook which I totally forgot. Anyway, here are some quotes from Lessing which you can pepper your cocktail conversations later so you can pass yourself as an erudite Lessing fan. Maybe Lesser.

• There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second-best is anything but second best.

• What's really terrible is to pretend that the second-rate is the first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do, or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.

• You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing.

• The current publishing scene is extremely good for the big, popular books. They sell them brilliantly, market them and all that. It is not good for the little books.

• Trust no friend without faults, and love a woman, but no angel.

• Laughter is by definition healthy.

• This world is run by people who know how to do things. They know how things work. They are equipped. Up there, there's a layer of people who run everything. But we -- we're just peasants. We don't understand what's going on, and we can't do anything.

• It is the mark of great people to treat trifles as trifles and important matters as important

• It is terrible to destroy a person's picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction.

• What is a hero without love for mankind?

• In university they don't tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools.

• With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one - but no one at all - can tell you what to read and when and how.

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2 Comments:

Blogger The Nashman said...

Ah bless.

Did you see how it was unceremoniously announced to her by a hack as she got out of the cab? The look on her face, priceless....

9:43 PM  
Blogger frank cimatu said...

Would that mean that England will go on to win the Rugby World Cup?

11:12 AM  

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