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99,912. I hate these academics that get praise, and they’re shallow. It’s all smug and bullshit. [Ian] McEwan and [Martin] Amis and all them. Middle-class mafia … They can buy their way to a lifelong competitive advantage over the uneducated and poor. This middle-class business, it’s the only place in the world where it’s really strong because it comes right down from the Queen. It’s a nepotistic way British society is run. They don’t draw from the whole gene pool, like America. That’s why you get good writers in America. There’s never been any great writers here in England, not in the last century. Look at Kingsley Amis. You can’t believe in the characters he writes about. And the experiences he attributes to them. And yet they made him a Sir. They’re disgusting people really. It can be treacherous, the publishing world. (Literature & Book & Class & Great Britain & Write) John Healy interview May 2012
79,430. The Cuirt Festival is renowned for risk, but do the daredevils of Galway know what it means to invite John Health, the author of The Grass Arena? Barbaric Genius, Sky Arts 2012, Observer 9th April 2007
79,431. I had a very violent childhood. ibid. John
79,432. It’s a mental opiate – chess. (Literature & Chess) ibid.
79,433. ‘There are no tomorrows. Tomorrow can’t be relied upon to come. Each day you have to prove yourself anew – stealing, fighting, begging and drinking.’ (Literature & Tomorrow) ibid. John Healy’s The Grass Arena
79,434. In 2008 The Grass Arena was brought back into print by Penguin Books. ibid.
79,435. During his chess career John won ten international chess tournaments. (Literature & Chess) ibid.
79,436. The Grass Arena was published in 1988 by Faber & Faber to immediate acclaim. ibid.
79,437. The Grass Arena was to remain out of print and unobtainable for fifteen years. ibid.
79,438. John Healy’s first book in twenty years ‘Coffee House Chess Tactics’ was published in August 2010 by a Dutch publisher. ‘The Metal Mountain’ and ‘The Glass Cage’ remain unpublished. (Literature & Chess) ibid.
906. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast p7
907. All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer. (Truth & Books & Writing) Ernest Hemingway
74,829. The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it. (Gift & Writer & Bullshit) Ernest Hemingway
94,244. There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. Ernest Hemingway
94,251. My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way. Ernest Hemingway
94,252. It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way. Ernest Hemingway
94,141. I come from a backward place: your duty is supplied by life around you. One guy plants bananas; another plants cocoa; I’m a writer, I plant lines. There’s the same clarity of occupation, and the sense of devotion. Derek Walcott, Guardian 12th July 1997
93,683. The only end of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life, or better to endure it. (Words & Write) Samuel Johnson, A Free Enquiry 1757
94,221. A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it. Samuel Johnson
94,222. Read over your compositions, and where ever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out. (Write & Compose) Samuel Johnson, cited James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, quoting college tutor
94,223. The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book. (Write & Read) ibid.
94,224. No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money. ibid.
94,142. I like to write when I feel spiteful; it’s like having a good sneeze. D H Lawrence, letter 25th November 1913
4,318. Developed five-thousand years ago in the Middle East writing is an extension of the human brain. (Humanity & Writing) Mankind: The Story of All of Us I, History Channel 2012
4,643. A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. (Woman & Writing) Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own 1929
4,825. For most of history, Anonymous was a woman. (Woman & Writing) Virginia Woolf
4,756. The carping malice of the vulgar world, who think it a proof of sense to dislike every thing that is writ by women. (Woman & Writing) Susannah Centlivre 1669-1723, The Platonic Lady
5,538. Yes, my consuming desire is to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, barroom regulars – to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording – all this is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always supposedly in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yes, God, I want to talk to everybody as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night. (Freedom & Society & Writing) Sylvia Plath
94,246. And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. (Write & Create) Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
6,256. Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish. (Self & Writing) John Jakes
7,103. Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. (Study & Read & Write) Francis Bacon, Essays 1625 ‘Of Studies’
7,118. For those who have tasted the profound activity of writing, reading is no more than a secondary pleasure. (Ready & Write) Stendhal aka Henri Beyle, De l’Amour
7,120. I wish thee as much pleasure in the reading, as I had in the writing. (Read & Write) Francis Quaries, Emblems 1635
7,126. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. (Read & Write) Stephen King
7,145. By now, it is probably very late at night, and you have stayed up to read this book when you should have gone to sleep. If this is the case, then I commend you for falling into my trap. It is a writer’s greatest pleasure to hear that someone was kept up until the unholy hours of the morning reading one of his books. It goes back to authors being terrible people who delight in the suffering of others. Plus, we get a kickback from the caffeine industry. (Read & Book & Write) Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians
7,149. Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written; I’d rather boast about the ones I’ve read. (Read & Book & Write) Jorge Luis Borges