Take a commonplace, clean it and polish it, light it so that it produces the same effect of youth and freshness and originality and spontaneity as it did originally, and you have done a poet's job. The rest is literature.
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
The study of literature threatens to become a kind of paleontology of failure, and criticism a supercilious psychoanalysis of authors.
To provoke dreams of terror in the slumber of prosperity has become the moral duty of literature.
There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.
Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.
To write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write.
I am an Anglo-Catholic in religion, a classicist in literature and a royalist in politics.
At Cornell University, my professor of European literature, Vladimir Nabokov, changed the way I read and the way I write. Words could paint pictures, I learned from him. Choosing the right word, and the right word order, he illustrated, could make an enormous difference in conveying an image or an idea.
For the creation of a masterwork of literature two powers must concur, the power of the man and the power of the moment, and the man is not enough without the moment.
Literature — quotes and aphorisms
Escapist literature gets a bad rap. But I think escape is important for a lot of people in a lot of places.
From the beginnings of literature, poets and writers have based their narratives on crossing borders, on wandering, on exile, on encounters beyond the familiar. The stranger is an archetype in epic poetry, in novels. The tension between alienation and assimilation has always been a basic theme.
At Harvard I was taking an African-American studies class, and we were reading about the tragic mulatto. Invariably, the tragic mulatto can't fit in either world and flings herself off a bridge. So I'm reading, and I'm like, 'Oh, my God, I think I'm in literature', but my life was never like that.
The medical literature tells us that the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and many more problems are through healthy diet and exercise. Our bodies have evolved to move, yet we now use the energy in oil instead of muscles to do our work.
A lawyer without history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he possesses some knowledge of these, he may venture to call himself an architect.
There are three things men can do with women: love them, suffer for them, or turn them into literature.