Top Great Writers Quotes

Browse top 103 famous quotes and sayings about Great Writers by most favorite authors.

Favorite Great Writers Quotes

1. "Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright."
Author: Aaron Sorkin
2. "The songwriters whom we think of being the greatest songwriters usually write one hit and six or seven flops. That includes the Irving Berlins and the Hoagy Carmichaels, the Harold Arlens, Cole Porter."
Author: Ahmet Ertegun
3. "A great writer is, so to speak, a second government in his country. And for that reason no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones."
Author: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
4. "We are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter"
Author: Allen Ginsberg
5. "The other night we talked about literature's elimination of the unessential, so that we are given a concentrated "dose" of life. I said, almost indignantly, "That's the danger of it, it prepares you to live, but at the same time, it exposes you to disappointments because it gives a heightened concept of living, it leaves out the dull or stagnant moments. You, in your books, also have a heightened rhythm, and a sequence of events so packed with excitement that I expected all your life to be delirious, intoxicated."Literature is an exaggeration, a dramatization, and those who are nourished on it (as I was) are in great danger of trying to approximate an impossible rhythm. Trying to live up to Dostoevskian scenes every day. And between writers there is a straining after extravagance. We incite each other to jazz-up our rhythm."
Author: Anaïs Nin
6. "Almost all great writers have as their motif, more or less disguised, the passage from childhood to maturity, the clash between the thrill of expectation and the disillusioning knowledge of truth. 'Lost Illusion' is the undisclosed title of every novel."
Author: André Maurois
7. "And I love Jane Austen's use of language too--the way she takes her time to develop a phrase and gives it room to grow, so that these clever, complex statements form slowly and then bloom in my mind. Beethoven does the same thing with his cadence and phrasing and structure. It's a fact: Jane Austen is musical. And so's Yeats. And Wordsworth. All the great writers are musical."
Author: Andrew Clements
8. "Behind every door in London there are stories, behind every one ghosts. The greatest writers in the history of the written word have given them substance, given them life.And so we readers walk, and dream, and imagine, in the city where imagination found its great home."
Author: Anna Quindlen
9. "Was Charles I too stubborn to listen to reason? Could Civil War have been averted if the king had been more willing to negotiate? His great enemy Cromwell always maintained that the king had been swayed at the last moment by his queen, the beautiful Henrietta Maria. We can believe Cromwell's claim that the queen told her husband to be firm. But the wicked, spiteful, altogether irresistable quote often attributed to her by Puritan writers of the time is almost certainly false. "Oh my love, if you cannot remain firm in the bedchamber, at least try to remain firm with your subjects!"
Author: Antonia Fraser
10. "At a time when India is going through great changes and, with China, is likely to inherit the world from the West, it is important that writers like me try to highlight the brutal injustices of society."
Author: Aravind Adiga
11. "It is a great paradox and a great injustice that writers write because we fear death and want to leave something indestructible in our wake and, at the same time, are drawn to all the things that kill: whiskey and cigarettes, unprotected sex, and deep-fried burritos."
Author: Ariel Gore
12. "I know great songwriters. Fred Neil would come up when he was in L.A., we all used to hang out. He would sit there and sing, and we would just melt. I mean, we would go to his recording sessions."
Author: Barry McGuire
13. "All the great writers root their characters in true human behaviour."
Author: Ben Kingsley
14. "There is a problem with writers. If what a writer wrote was published and sold many, many copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold a medium number of copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold very few copies, the writer thought he was great. If what the writer wrote never was published and he didn't have enough the money to publish it himself, then he thought he was truly great. The truth, however, was there was very little greatness. It was almost nonexistent, invisible. But you could be sure that the worst writers had the most confidence, the least self-doubt. Anyway, writers were to be avoided, and I tried to avoid them, but it was almost impossible. They hoped for some sort of brotherhood, some kind of togetherness. None of it had anything to do with writing, none of it helped at the typewriter."
Author: Charles Bukowski
15. "My first thought when I came here was that I understood why there are so many great Irish writers - because there is something mystical in the air. There's always this cloudy, moody sky and it's challenging."
Author: Christopher Meloni
16. "I do feel fortunate to have some knowledge of the great Latin American writers, including some that are probably not that well known in English. I'm thinking of Jose Maria Arguedas, whom I read when I was living in Lima, and who really impacted the way I viewed my country."
Author: Daniel Alarcon
17. "I can well imagine that certain writers, even writers that we'd consider today very great writers, may not necessarily have tested highly on IQ just because of their numerical skills, or maybe they may not be very good at memory, and are not particularly good at these kinds of tests."
Author: Daniel Tammet
18. "It's no use imagining that bringing great writers together inevitably precipitates great conversation."
Author: Edward St Aubyn
19. "A writer's style should be direct and personal, his imagery rich and earthy, and his words simple and vigorous. The greatest writers have the gift of brilliant brevity, are hard workers, diligent scholars and competent stylists."
Author: Ernest Hemingway
20. "To have come on all this new world of writing, with time to read in a city like Paris where there was a way of living well and working, no matter how poor you were, was like having a great treasure given to you. You could take your treasure with you when you traveled too, and in the mountains where we lived in Switzerland and Italy, until we found Schruns in the high valley in the Vorarlberg in Austria, there were always the books, so that you lived in the new world you had found, the snow and the forests and the glaciers and their winter problems and your high shelter in the Hotel Taube in the village in the day time, and at night you could live in the other wonderful world the Russian writers were giving you."
Author: Ernest Hemingway
21. "Writing is an expression of the writer's own peculiar personality, could not help being so. Yet in reading great works one feels that the finished piece transcends the personal. All writers great and small must sometimes have felt that they have become part of what they wrote even more than it still remains a part of them."
Author: Eudora Welty
22. "Manners are of such great consequence to the novelist that any kind will do. Bad manners are better than no manners at all, and because we are losing our customary manners, we are probably overly conscious of them; this seems to be a condition that produces writers."
Author: Flannery O'Connor
23. "I can only say thank you and thanks also to all of the great songwriters who wrote those wonderful songs that became number ones."
Author: George Strait
24. "It's been a great place to get in touch with what people are really thinking. And to make contact with readers and other writers. Egalitarian, wide open, like the Wild West!"
Author: Greg Bear
25. "I'm such a huge fan of fan fiction, to me it's a great way for readers to become writers. It's like putting the training wheels on for writing."
Author: Hugh Howey
26. "In his funeral oration the spokesman of the most artistic and critical of European nations, Ernest Renan, hailed him as one of the greatest writers of our times: ‘The Master, whose exquisite works have charmed our century, stands more than any other man as the incarnation of a whole race,' because ‘a whole world lived in him and spoke through his mouth.' Not the Russian world only, we may add, but the whole Slavonic world, to which it was ‘an honour to have been expressed by so great a Master."
Author: Ivan Turgenev
27. "A creative writing program is only as good as its teachers, and I was fortunate in having two great writers as mentors."
Author: Jay McInerney
28. "But there were other great writers who had done all these things. What set Shakespeare apart...even from other greats, was his generosity: his invitation, even insistence,for others to join him in the act of imagining...His reticence [to add stage directions] made his works wonderfully elastic. It also made them demnding--sometimes maddeningly so--for directors and actors who had to figure out at every turn why these words and no others needed to be said right here and now. But Shakespeare was also demanding of his audiences: 'Yes,' you could almost hear him say, 'you are sitting in a fairly barren wooden theater. But dream yourselves to France. To a seacoast in Bohemia. To a magic-haunted island in a tempest-tossed sea. I dare you.' -Kate Stanley"
Author: Jennifer Lee Carrell
29. "Our great American writers were all newspaper people."
Author: John Gould
30. "They say great themes make great novels. but what these young writers don't understand is that there is no greater theme than men and women."
Author: John O'Hara
31. "Not being published would be great. When I say that to other writers they look at me as if I'm totally insane."
Author: Kate Atkinson
32. "No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere."
Author: Leonard Ravenhill
33. "There's sort of a very symbiotic thing that happens on good TV shows with great writers, which is that they start to sort of embrace who the actors are and try to make the roles more specific to what they bring and what they can do."
Author: Lucas Neff
34. "I have advice for people who want to write. I don't care whether they're 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can't be a writer if you're not a reader. It's the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it's for only half an hour — write, write, write."
Author: Madeleine L'Engle
35. "I'm pleased to have outsold great writers. But I'm not insane - I realize I am a writer people buy to take on vacation."
Author: Maeve Binchy
36. "Human nature is not amenable to prediction based on the trends or tendencies prevailing at the time. It is amenable to startling creativity of the kind practiced by great artists, directors, writers, musicians, actors, who know how to touch a chord in humans everywhere."
Author: Maurice Saatchi
37. "I don't think I'm a great singer myself. I'm all right. I've worked with different writers, different producers... I've just been blessed with the caliber of people I've been able to work with."
Author: Melanie Chisholm
38. "[T]he reason why Shakespeare and Pushkin were great writers was because from the time when they were boys they stood like policemen over their thoughts and didn't allow one small insincerity to creep in."
Author: Michael D. O'Brien
39. "A lot of the great songwriters in history have been collaborators, with a separate lyricist."
Author: Mike Gordon
40. "Bruce is still my friend. We don't talk much. We don't have to. He is great and in his own league. I'm not him and he is not me. But we are on similar paths, writing and singing out own kind of songs around the world, along with Bob and a few other singer/songwriters. It is a a silent fraternity of sorts, occupying this space in people's souls with our music. Last year, I lost my right-hand man, the pedal steel guitarist Ben Keith. This year Bruce lost his right-hand man, the saxophonist Clarence Clemons. It's time for another talk; friends can help each other just by being there. Now both of us will look to our right and see a giant hole, a memory, the past and the future. I won't play with another steel player trying to recreate Ben's parts, and I know Bruce won't play with another sax man trying to play Clarence's. Those parts are not going to happen again. They already did. That takes a lot out of our repertoires."
Author: Neil Young
41. "Above all things -- read. Read the great stylists who cannot be copied rather than the successful writers who must not be copied."
Author: Ngaio Marsh
42. "Here's what I love: when a great writer turns me into a Jew from Chicago, a lesbian out of South Carolina, or a black woman moving into a subway entrance in Harlem. Turn me into something else, writers of the world. Make me Muslim, heretic, hermaphrodite. Put me into a crusader's armor, a cardinal's vestments. Let me feel the pygmy's heartbeat, the queen's breast, the torturer's pleasure, the Nile's taste, or the nomad's thirst. Tell me everything that I must know. Hold nothing back."
Author: Pat Conroy
43. "Being lately engaged to plead a cause before the Court of the Hundred, the crowd was so great that I could not get to my place without crossing the tribunal where the judges sat. And I have this pleasing circumstance to add further, that a young nobleman, having had his tunic torn, an ordinary occurrence in a crowd, stood with his gown thrown over him, to hear me, and that during the seven hours I was speaking, whilst my success more than counterbalanced the fatigue of so long a speech. So let us set to and not screen our own indolence under pretence of that of the public. Never, be very sure of that, will there be wanting hearers and readers, so long as we can only supply them with speakers and writers worth their attention."
Author: Pliny The Younger
44. "'Mad Men' is the greatest example of a perfect cast uniting with a perfect group of writers and creators to create a show that is bold, brutal, and brilliant."
Author: Rachel G. Fox
45. "...it's worth pointing out that [Herman Melville] worked in [the New York Custom House] as a deputy customs inspector between 1866 and 1885. Nineteen years, and he never got a raise - four dollars a day, six days a week. He was by then a washed-up writer, forgotten and poor. I used to find this subject heartbreaking, a waste: the greatest living American author was forced to spend his days writing tariff reports instead of novels. But now, knowing what I know about the sleaze of the New York Custom House, and the honorable if bitter decency with which Melville did his job, I have come to regard literature's loss as the republic's gain. Great writers are a dime a dozen in New York. But an honest customs inspector in the Gilded Age? Unheard of."
Author: Sarah Vowell
46. "The idea that the creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time. ... Substance abusing writers are just substance abusers — common garden variety drunks and druggies, in other words. Any claims that the drugs and alcohol are necessary to dull a finer sensibility are just the usual self-serving bullshit. I've heard alcoholic snowplow drivers make the same claim, that they drink to still the demons."
Author: Stephen King
47. "I think distance also helps me gain an certain critical perspective that's essential for good writing. It makes it possible to be more truthful in my writing, to speak some harsh truths. And being an immigrant in America, always having this outsider-rinsider thing going on, is such great training for being a writer. Because that's what writers are - outsiders wanting to get on the inside and insiders longing to burst out."
Author: Thrity Umrigar
48. "Yet, it ought to be obvious that good music generally occupies a higher plane that mere politics. Great writers can express moods through melody and capture experiences we share most powerfully - love, lust, longing; joy, rage, fear; triumph, yearning and confusion."
Author: Tony Snow
49. "Neither black/red/yellow nor woman but poet or writer. For many of us, the question of priorities remains a crucial issue. Being merely "a writer" without a doubt ensures one a status of far greater weight than being "a woman of color who writes" ever does. Imputing race or sex to the creative act has long been a means by which the literary establishment cheapens and discredits the achievements of non-mainstream women writers. She who "happens to be" a (non-white) Third World member, a woman, and a writer is bound to go through the ordeal of exposing her work to the abuse and praises and criticisms that either ignore, dispense with, or overemphasize her racial and sexual attributes. Yet the time has passed when she can confidently identify herself with a profession or artistic vocation without questioning and relating it to her color-woman condition."
Author: Trinh T. Minh Ha
50. "Many great writers address audiences who do not exist; to address passionately and sometimes with very great wisdom people who do not exist has this advantage—that there will always be a group of people who, seeing a man shouting apparently at somebody or other, and seeing nobody else in sight, will think it is they who are being addressed."
Author: Wyndham Lewis

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Meinem Eindruck nach ist der arme Martin nicht einmal in der Lage, seine Schugröße niederzuschreiben, und verharrt meistens in einer Art von Fegefeuer, das er in seinem eigenen Kopf aufgebaut hat, wo ihn Gewissensbisse und Schmerz bei lebendigem Leib aufzehren."
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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