Famous Quotes About Novelist

Browse 390 famous quotes and sayings about Novelist.

Top Quotes About Novelist

1. "No one has expressed it better than a great novelist I heard once on a talk show who said something like "You want to know the price I pay for being a writer? Okay, I'll tell you. I travel by plane a great deal. And I'm usually seated next to some huge businessman who works on files or his laptop computer for a while, and then notices me and asks me what I do. And I say I'm a writer. Then there's always a terrible silence. Then he says eagerly, 'Have you written anything I might have heard of?"
Author: Anne Lamott
2. "Yeah, I have the detail-obsessed, controlling personality of a novelist, but I somehow ended up writing plays."
Author: Annie Baker
3. "In a sense, the first (if not necessarily the prime) function of a novelist, of ANY artist, is to entertain. If the poem, painting, play or novel does not immediately engage one's surface interest then it has failed. Whatever else it may or may not be, art is also entertainment. Bad art fails to entertain. Good art does something in addition."
Author: Brigid Brophy
4. "People have many cruel expectations from writers. People expect novelists to live on a hill with three kids and a spouse, people expect children's story writers to never have sex, and people expect all great poets to be dead. And these are all very difficult expectations to fulfill, I think."
Author: C. JoyBell C.
5. "It is in their 'good' characters that novelists make, unawares, the most shocking self- revelations...To project ourselves into a wicked character, we have only to stop doing something, and something that we are already tired of doing; to project ourselves into a good one we have to do what we cannot and become what we are not."
Author: C.S. Lewis
6. "The latter, for the last few centuries, we have been closing up as a way of escape. We have done this through the poets and novelists by persuading the humans that a curious, and usually shortlived, experience which they call ‘being in love' is the only respectable ground for marriage; that marriage can, and ought to, render this excitement permanent; and that a marriage which does not do so is no longer binding."
Author: C.S. Lewis
7. "Writing tends to be very deliberate. A novelist could probably run a military campaign with some success. They could certainly run a country."
Author: Colm Toibin
8. "TO ALL THEambulance driversfirewatchersair-raid wardensnursescanteen workersairplane spottersrescue workersmathematiciansvicarsvergersshopgirlschorus girlslibrariansdebutantesspinstersfishermenretired sailorsservantsevacueesShakespearean actorsand mystery novelistsWHO WON THE WAR."
Author: Connie Willis
9. "And I didn't grow up wanting to be a director. I grew up wanting to be a writer, so for me, that was always the goal - to be a novelist, not a screenwriter. And I think, again, if I didn't have the novels, maybe I'd be much more frustrated by not having directed yet."
Author: David Benioff
10. "A novelist has to know enough about a subject to fool the passenger next to him on an airplane."
Author: David Foster Wallace
11. "Novelists don't have answers and ones that do I'm not sure you should trust."
Author: David Mitchell
12. "I want to be a popular novelist who's also serious, or a serious novelist who's also very accessible."
Author: Douglas Kennedy
13. "The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like."
Author: E. L. Doctorow
14. "If human nature does alter it will be because individuals manage to look at themselves in a new way. Here and there people — a very few people, but a few novelists are among them — are trying to do this. Every institution and vested interest is against such a search: organized religion, the State, the family in its economic aspect, have nothing to gain, and it is only when outward prohibitions weaken that it can proceed: history conditions it to that extent. Perhaps the searchers will fail, perhaps it is impossible for the instrument of contemplation to contemplate itself, perhaps if it is possible it means the end of imaginative literature — [...] anyhow—that way lies movement and even combustion for the novel, for if the novelist sees himself differently, he will see his characters differently and a new system of lighting will result."
Author: E.M. Forster
15. "The Catholic novelist in the South will see many distorted images of Christ, but he will certainly feel that a distorted image of Christ is better than no image at all. I think he will feel a good deal more kinship with backwoods prophets and shouting fundamentalists than he will with those politer elements for whom the supernatural is an embarrassment and for whom religion has become a department of sociology or culture or personality development."
Author: Flannery O'Connor
16. "San Francisco has long been a leader in the arts, nurturing generations of painters, sculptors, poets, novelists, playwrights, film-makers, and performing artists and innovators of every kind."
Author: Gavin Newsom
17. "He was interviewed in the early '60s by a young novelist, Pati Hill."
Author: George Plimpton
18. "And when I'd be reporting in Israel, Palestinians would say, the Jews they're not like us, and the Jews would say the same things about the Palestinians, they don't want what we want. And I never bought it as a reporter and I don't buy it as a novelist. I think, you know, the sound of somebody crying for their lost child sounds the same."
Author: Geraldine Brooks
19. "Q: What literary complexities do you find most interesting? That is, what do you like most to "solve," so to speak, as a novelist?A: One wishes to create characters who will speak directly to the minds of comparative literature professors and intelligent book reviewers."
Author: Gilbert Sorrentino
20. "The novelist must ground his work in faithful study of human nature."
Author: Goldwin Smith
21. "A petty reason perhaps why novelists more and more try to keep a distance from journalists is that novelists are trying to write the truth and journalists are trying to write fiction."
Author: Graham Greene
22. "Dreaming is the day job of novelists, but sharing our dreams is a still more important task for us. We cannot be novelists without this sense of sharing something."
Author: Haruki Murakami
23. "...the novel had reached its apogee with the marriage plot and had never recovered from its disappearance. In the days when success in life had depended on marriage, and marriage had depended on money, novelists had had a subject to write about. The great epics sang of war, the novel of marriage. Sexual equality, good for women, had been bad for the novel. And divorce had undone it completely. What would it matter whom Emma married if she could file for separation later? How would Isabel Archer's marriage to Gilbert Osmond have been affected by the existence of a prenup? As far as Saunders was concerned, marriage didn't mean much anymore, and neither did the novel. Where could you find the marriage plot nowadays? You couldn't. You had to read historical fiction. You had to read non-Western novels involving traditional societies. Afghani novels, Indian novels. You had to go, literarily speaking, back in time."
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
24. "I like grit, I like love and death, I'm tired of irony. ... A lot of good fiction is sentimental. ... The novelist who refuses sentiment refuses the full spectrum of human behavior, and then he just dries up. ... I would rather give full vent to all human loves and disappointments, and take a chance on being corny, than die a smartass."
Author: Jim Harrison
25. "The novel is resilient, and so are novelists."
Author: John Banville
26. "Dostoevsky is such a bad writer it is hard to take him seriously as a novelist, though he is a wonderful philosopher."
Author: John Banville
27. "Ruth Cole was a novelist; novelists are not at their best when they go off half-cocked. She believed that she would prepare what she was going to tell the police - preferably in writing."
Author: John Irving
28. "It's like a novelist writing far out things. If it makes a point and makes sense, then people like to read that. But if it's off in left field and goes over the edge, you lose it. The same with musical talent, I think."
Author: Johnny Cash
29. "I am a better novelist than a poet, playwright, or essayist."
Author: Jose Saramago
30. "Jeremy and Karl and Elizabeth have known each other since the first day of kindergarten. Amy and Talis are a year younger...Now the five are inseparable; invincible. They imagine that life will always be like this--like a television show in eternal syndication--that they will always have each other. They use the same vocabulary. They borrow each other's books and music. They share lunches, and they never say anything when Jeremy comes over and takes a shower. They all know Jeremy's father is eccentric. He's supposed to be eccentric. He's a novelist."
Author: Kelly Link
31. "You could use a moth like that as a symbol in a novel, but it was trite, wasn't it? The old moth-to-the-flame image had been used and used again. It was the stuff of amateur poetry. And she, having so little experience crafting a story, would be the most in danger of falling into trite approaches. If she wrote a novel, it probably would be about her father. And the male Luna moth would haunt its pages. Everyone would recognize the work as that of a first novelist. "She wrote about herself through the lens of her father."The really good novelists, Laura thought, put their fathers, and maybe their mothers too, deeper into the stories. Which, she suddenly thought, might redeem Melville just the littlest bit."
Author: L.L. Barkat
32. "One more recent novelist to come along is Cormac McCarthy. Him, I like."
Author: Leslie Fiedler
33. "As a novelist, I tell stories and people give me money. Then financial planners tell me stories and I give them money."
Author: Martin Cruz Smith
34. "A novelist is an elephant, but an elephant who must pretend to forget."
Author: Mary McCarthy
35. "I am not much of a researcher as a novelist; I write mainly from experience."
Author: Mohsin Hamid
36. "Forgive my asking you to use your mind. It is a thing which no novelist should expect of his reader..."
Author: Owen Wister
37. "That balance between involvement and detachment is what novelists do. It's the ideal relationship between a novelist and a character, I think, total involvement and identity and empathy, stopping short of being autobiographical - in my case, anyway - but also quite detached."
Author: Pat Barker
38. "I wanted to be a novelist from a very early age - 11 or 12 - but I don't think I ever thought I would write historical fiction. I never thought I might write academic history because I simply wasn't good enough!"
Author: Pat Barker
39. "As it is I'm a dated novelist, whom hardly anybody reads, or if they do, most of them don't understand what I am on about. Certainly I wish I had never written Voss, which is going to be everybody's albatross."
Author: Patrick White
40. "Although some people think I am a romantic novelist I have always thought of myself as a rather gritty radical historian."
Author: Philippa Gregory
41. "The pleasures of being a novelist are many.  But the greatest by far is the manner in which I live through my characters; experiencing every detail of their story as it unfolds gradually and personally within my own creative psyche.  I'm like a cat with untold lives, because each new book is my rebirth."
Author: Richelle E. Goodrich
42. "Johnson's later life, from 1763, is among the best documented of all literary lives. James Boswell gave himself the enormous task, after Johnson's death in 1784, of producing what is now held to be a model of biography; rich in detail and anecdote, a complete picture of the man and his times, traced over a period of more than twenty years. Boswell's Life of Johnson, published in 1791, carries on Johnson's own contribution to the growing art of biography, and consolidates Johnson's position as a major literary figure, who, although a poet and a novelist, is remembered more for his academic and critical achievement than for his creative writings."
Author: Ronald Carter
43. "As a novelist, Scott's influence was immense: his creation of a wide range of characters from all levels of society was immediately likened to Shakespeare's; the use of historical settings became a mainstay of Victorian and later fiction; his short stories helped initiate that form; his antiquarian researches and collections were a major contribution to the culture of Scotland."
Author: Ronald Carter
44. "As a historical novelist, there is very little I like more than spending time sorting through boxes of old letters, diaries, maps, trinkets, and baubles."
Author: Sara Sheridan
45. "God pity the poor novelist."
Author: Steven Millhauser
46. "Paradox is beloved of novelists. The despised savior, the humane whore, the selfish man suddenly munificent, the wise fool, and the cowardly hero. Most writers spend their lives writing about unexpected malice in the supposedly virtuous, and unexpected virtue in the supposedly sinful."
Author: Thomas Keneally
47. "All they're trying to do is tell you what they're like, and what you're like—what's going on—what the weather is now, today, this moment, the rain, the sunlight, look! Open your eyes; listen, listen. That is what the novelists say. But they don't tell you what you will see and hear. All they can tell you is what they have seen and heard, in their time in this world, a third of it spent in sleep and dreaming, another third of it spent in telling lies. "The truth against the world!"—Yes. Certainly. Fiction writers, at least in their braver moments, do desire the truth: to know it, speak it, serve it."
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
48. "Life, it has been agreed by everyone whose opinion is worth consulting, is the only fit subject for novelist or biographer; life, the same authorities have decided, has nothing whatever to do with sitting still in a chair and thinking. Thought and life are as the poles asunder."
Author: Virginia Woolf
49. "As a novelist, where do you go to tap into memories, and impressions, and sensations? It's usually, in my experience, your early life, before you started thinking of yourself as a writer, because somehow those experiences are unadulterated."
Author: William Boyd
50. "[Jane] Austen was not a novelist for nothing: she knew that our stories are what make us human, and that listening to someone else's stories -- entering into their feelings, validating their experiences -- is the highest way of acknowledging their humanity, the sweetest form of usefulness."
Author: William Deresiewicz

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Author: Alexander Pope

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