Short stories can be rather stark and bare unless you put in the right details. Details make stories human, and the more human a story can be, the better.
Writing enlarges the landscape of the mind.
It is the role of the poet to look at what is happening in the world and to know that quite other things are happening.
I am under the spell of language, which has ruled me since I was 10.
A short story is. . .frequently the celebration of character at bursting point.
Sooner or later, the great men turn out to be all alike. They never stop working. They never lose a minute. It is very depressing.
The present has its élan because it is always on the edge of the unknown and one misunderstands the past unless one remembers that this unknown was once part of its nature.
Life — how curious is that habit that makes us think it is not here, but elsewhere.
How extraordinary it is that one feels most guilt about the sins one is unable to commit.
I felt the beginning of a passion, hopeless in the long run, but very nourishing, for identifying myself with people who were not my own, and whose lives were governed by ideas alien to mine.
It's all in the art. You get no credit for living.
All writers - all people - have their stores of private and family legends which lie like a collection of half-forgotten, often violent toys on the floor of memory.
The difference between farce and humour in literature is, I suppose, that farce strums louder and louder on one string, while humour varies its note, changes its key, grows and spreads and deepens until it may indeed reach tragic depths.
It is well known that, when two authors meet, they at once start talking about money-like everyone else.
The mark of genius is an incessant activity of mind. Genius is a spiritual greed.
It is exciting and emancipating to believe we are one of nature's latest experiments, but what if the experiment is unsuccessful?
Like many popular best-sellers, he was a very sad and solemn man who took himself too seriously and his art not seriously enough.
It is often said that in Ireland there is an excess of genius unsustained by talent; but there is talent in the tongues.
Those mausoleums of inactive masculinity are places for men who prefer armchairs to women.
The wrongs of childhood and upbringing have made a large and obsessional contribution to autobiography and the novel.
We are used to the actions of human beings, not to their stillness.
I shall never be as old as I was between 20 and 30.
A natural New Yorker is a native of the present tense.
Because of the influence of the cinema, most reports or stories of violence are so pictorial that they lack content or meaning. The camera brings them to our eyes, but does not settle them in our minds, nor in time.
It's very important to feel foreign. I was born in England, but when I'm being a writer, everyone in England is foreign to me.
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