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Harlan Ellison

It is not merely enough to love literature if one wishes to spend one’s life as a writer. It is a dangerous undertaking on the most primitive level. For, it seems to me, the act of writing with serious intent involves enormous personal risk. It entails the ongoing courage for self-discovery. It means one will… Continue reading Harlan Ellison

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Clarice Lispector

In order to write I must place myself into the void. In this void is where I exist intuitively. But it’s a terribly dangerous void: it’s where I wring out blood. I’m a writer who fears the snares of words: the words I say hide others—which? maybe I’ll say them. Writing is a stone cast… Continue reading Clarice Lispector

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Flannery O’Connor

Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I’m always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system. — Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. (Farrar,… Continue reading Flannery O’Connor

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Helen Bevington

The seasonal urge is strong in poets. Milton wrote chiefly in winter. Keats looked for spring to wake him up (as it did in the miraculous months of April and May, 1819). Burns chose autumn. Longfellow liked the month of September. Shelley flourished in the hot months. Some poets, like Wordsworth, have gone outdoors to… Continue reading Helen Bevington

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Wallace Stevens

You can compose poetry in whatever form you like. If it seems a seventeenth-centruy habit to begin lines with capital letters, you can go in for the liquid transitions of greater simplicity; and so on. It is not that nobody cares. It matters immensely. The slightest sound matters. The most momentary rhythm matters. You can… Continue reading Wallace Stevens

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