More literary quips, observations, & instructions

“You can’t talk about the serious and the comic separately and still be talking about life, any more than you can independently discuss hydrogen and oxygen and still be talking about water.” — Peter DeVries

“I feel there is a great deal of highly conventional thinking in almost every area of life that must be discarded in order for a writer to make something with integrity.” — Marilynne Robinson (pictured; image taken from the excellent Open Letters Monthly)

“Novelists are people who have discovered that they can dampen their neuroses by writing make-believe. We will keep doing that no matter what, while offering loftier explanations.” — Kurt Vonnegut, responding to Jonathan Franzen’s “Perchance to Dream: In the Age of Images, a Reason to Write Novels”

“On the off chance that you think the piece is so righteous that the magazine would have folded if it (the piece) had not crossed your fucking desk, you might also call me and say something to that effect. I’m like an old whore these days, still getting plenty of work, but not enjoying it as much as I once did. Old whores need kind words and a little praise for their efforts just like everybody else.” — Harry Crews, letter to James Morgan printed in The Georgia Review

“Nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose — a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.” — Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

“I want to devote my life to my art. And I know if I’m a man and I say that I would be this great artist who sacrifices life for his talent, but since I am a woman I become this ambitious bitch who doesn’t want to have kids.” — Marjane Satrapi (via)


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