Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Choice Tidbits

I'm pressed for time this go round, so I'm just going to leave some tasty morsels about artists, writers and writing that might prove entertaining.  They come from David Markson's book The Last Novel, which, by the way, I would highly recommend.

There is no such thing as abstract art, said Picasso.
You always have to start somewhere or other.

Writers are the beggars of Western society.
Said Octavio Paz

I am quite content to go down to posterity as a scissors and paste man.
Said Joyce.

Stories only happen to people who know how to tell them.
Said Thucydides.

It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.
Said Gertrude Stein.

Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.
Said Voltaire - describing opera.

The proper study of mankind is books.
Said Aldous Huxley.

Thomas Hardy's first wife, Emma, kept a twenty-year diary that was evidently devoted almost entirely to the evisceration of his character.
Hardy burned every word of it at her death.

There are so many ways of earning a living, and most of them are failures.
Said Gertrude Stein.

The only exercise I get these days is walking behind the coffins of my friends who took exercise.
Said Peter O'Toole in his late sixties.

If you are going to make a book end badly, Robert Louis Stevenson once pointed out, it must end badly from the beginning --
Such as by mentioning an eighth-story roof in its very first paragraph.

Life is a long process of getting tired.
Say Samuel Butler's Notebooks.

Reality is under no obligation to be interesting.
Said Borges.

Trollope's declaration that he wrote with his watch on his desk in front of him - so that he could be certain he had produced at least two hundred and fifty words every quarter of an hour.

No further martinis after dinner, Conrad Aiken's physician once commanded.
Following which Aiken frequently refused to eat until practically bedtime.

When I am eighty, my art may finally begin to cohere.  By ninety, it may truly turn masterful.
Said Hokusai. At seventy-four.

I'm a poet, I'm life. You're an editor, you're death.
Proclaimed Gregory Corso to someone in the White Horse Tavern - who shortly commenced punching him through the door and across the sidewalk.

Conclusions are the weak points of most authors.
George Eliot said.

Eugene Sue, most of whose widely read novels dealt with the poor and downtrodden.
And thereby made him a millionaire, Kierkegaard noted.

Minor authors - who lived, men knew not how, and died obscure, men marked not when.
Roger Ascham takes notice of.

Those rare intellects who, not only without reward, but in miserable poverty, brought forth their works.
Vasari likewise commemorates.

One must go on working. And one must have patience.
Rodin told Rilke.

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