Look around the table

Look around the table. If you don’t see a sucker, get up, because you’re the sucker.

Amarillo Slim

The older I grow

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.

H. L. Mencken

I always wanted

I always wanted to get into politics, but I was never light enough to make the team.

Art Buchwald

I pretended

I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until finally I became that person. Or he became me.

Cary Grant

Everyone

Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.

Cary Grant

Communism

Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy.

Mao Zedong

You swallow hard when you discover

You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ”It happened overnight.” But of course it didn’t. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can’t remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people’s other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.

Colson Whitehead

I don’t think it would have all got me quite so down

I don’t think it would have all got me quite so down if just once in a while—just once in a while—there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn’t, it’s just a disgusting waste of time! But there never is! You never even hear any hints dropped on a campus that wisdom is supposed to be the goal of knowledge. You hardly ever even hear the word ‘wisdom’ mentioned!

J.D. Salinger

But if you tell folks you’re a college student

But if you tell folks you’re a college student, folks are so impressed. You can be a student in anything and not have to know anything. Just say toxicology or marine biokinesis, and the person you’re talking to will change the subject to himself. If this doesn’t work, mention the neural synapses of embryonic pigeons.

Chuck Palahniuk

Wider

The brain is wider than the sky.     

Emily Dickinson

A good bookshop

A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.

Terry Pratchett

It’s so tedious writing

It’s so tedious writing cookbooks or writing the recipes because I’ve never been much of a measurer. But to write a book, you have to measure everything.

Maya Angelou

Resentment

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Carrie Fisher

Moral indignation

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.

H.G. Wells

Pick a theme

Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion… the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.

Dorothea Lange

What is hardest to accept

What is hardest to accept about the passage of time is that the people who once mattered the most to us wind up in parentheses.

John Irving, The Cider House Rules

So, in the interests of survival

So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too.

Kurt Vonnegut

Without translation

Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence.

George Steiner

Translation is a disturbing craft

Translation is a disturbing craft because there is precious little certainty about what we are doing, which makes it so difficult in this age of fervent belief and ideology, this age of greed and screed.

Gregory Rabassa

The writing of a novel

The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that the finished work might contain this life inside it and offer it to the reader. The essence will not be, of course, the same thing as the raw material; it is not even of the same family of things. The novel is something that never was before and will not be again.

Eudora Welty

If it sounds like writing

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.

Elmore Leonard

Each writer is born

Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players. … I have 10 or so, and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.

Gore Vidal

Making people believe the unbelievable

Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.

Stephen King,

When I sit down to write a book

When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.

George Orwell

Cheat your landlord

Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.

William S. Burroughs

Don’t worry

Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.

Drew Houston

A friendship

A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.

John D. Rockefeller

Kickstarter eliminates the risk

Kickstarter eliminates the risk that publishers and booksellers face. They have limited resources and limited shelf space, and Kickstarter is proof to them that something is going to work.

Seth Godin

Slavery

Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man’s nature – opposition to it is his love of justice. These principles are an eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely, as slavery extension brings them, shocks and throes and convulsions must ceaselessly follow.

Abraham Lincoln

Sometimes in life

Sometimes in life, you just have to smile, put on a brave face, and pretend that everything is okay. Raise your head up high, hold back your tears and bravely walk away.

Betty Boop

Chaos

It’s all about finding calm in the chaos.

Donna Karan

We believe that we can change the things around us in accordance with our desires

We believe that we can change the things around us in accordance with our desires—we believe it because otherwise we can see no favourable outcome. We do not think of the outcome which generally comes to pass and is also favourable: we do not succeed in changing things in accordance with our desires, but gradually our desires change. The situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant to us. We have failed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us round it, led us beyond it, and then if we turn round to gaze into the distance of the past, we can barely see it, so imperceptible has it become.

Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

As regular visitors to TPV may have noticed, PG usually only includes one quote per day, but he was feeling vaguely philosophical when he came upon this Proust quote and broke his own rule.

The good parts of a book

The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life and one is as good as the other.

Ernest Hemingway

The falcon cannot hear the falconer

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming

Oh, you hate your job?

Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.

Drew Carey

Bad writing is not easier

Bad writing is not easier than good writing. It’s just as hard to make a toilet seat as it is a castle window. Only the view is different.

Ben Hecht

The most beautiful thing

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.

Albert Einstein

An expenditure of words

An expenditure of words without income of ideas will lead to intellectual bankruptcy.

Ravi Zacharias

Have You Ever Noticed?

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

George Carlin

Class Division

Class division in knowledge goes deeper than any other class division.

Richard Burdon Haldane

If you get to my age

If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.

Warren Buffett