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Unquotable quotes Writers - XXXVIII

Unquotable quotes: Writers – XXXVIII for Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoieski who let not even hope sustain them and who used their own last drop of blood for ink The time is at hand when robots tutored by “how-to-write” softwares are ready to take over from creative-writing teachers. Successful “robot writers” won’t need penthouse apartments nor mountain resort hideouts to produce their masterpieces. The cut-up and fold-in method, the stream of consciousness and surrealist techniques are mere bird-formatons broken by airplane wings or shoals of sardines shattered by sharp shark strikes. Every living creature espies the world through a tiny aperture in its eyes. The writer perceives the same world with himself in the principal role. Writing unlike painting or composing music requires full-time living and for which you don’t get paid: it’s like living in limbo and you get paid once you’re dead. A writer who has attained “sacred cow” status through, say, the attribution of a Pullitzer, a Booker or a Nobel, produces thenceforth manna and ambrosia fit only to be consumed by the Gods. Even the most prolific writers have only a few much-talked of books to their name, but the greatest only leave one – at the most two - to be remembered by: The Odyssey, Ramayana, Shakuntala, Manimekalai, Silappathikaram, Genji Monogatari, Monkey, Don Quijote de la Mancha, Gullivers Travels, Candide, Canterbury Tales, Crime and Punishment, Ulysses, excepting Shakespeare, of course, for he certainly must have had three pairs of hands. The self-published writer still perpetuates the hallowed lineage of the great writers of yore. You can always tell when a writer has nothing much to tell: the book gets catapulted into the eye from every bus-stop and train station platform. Isn’t the best writer of prose always the poet at heart. Who is the true author of the book? Experience or the educated eye? Or both? Can a man or a woman who hasn’t lived dangerously nor be in constant danger of being overwhelmed by life, itself, author a work of lasting value? Writers who autograph their books at a book launch can be assured the buyer will not read beyond the autographed pages. Post-colonial writing is exactly what it says: after the fashion of the colonial-canon: historical fiction, magical realism, anthropological travelogue, diary diarrhoea, testosteronal feminism, poésie à la mode de bourgeois sentimentality… War and Peace, Dr. Zhivago and Cien Anos de Soledad beget Midnight’s Children, etc., and A Suitable Boy; Greek tragedy – The Road. And a good deal of what passes for poetry in South Asia and Southeast Asia where Eliots, Yeatses and even Horaces abound! The successful prize-winning author - in the eyes of the media – is a prophet: by rights he/they may pronounce and declaim on the fate of the world. The unquenchable dream of all unknown writers, not represented by top-notch literary agents: an Ayatolla FATWA! The facile tongue often betrays the true métier of the author: ACTOR ! The pecking-order for authors in the limelight is ordered by the number of books sold. Writers who have made it into the eight-digit royalty class tend to shed wives like moulting skin: fill in the blanks – Arthur _______/ Marylyn ________. Don’t “enfants terribles” writers let late starters walk all over their backs as “fast finishers” ? A wise writer will hold on to his best work while he lets the literary agent and publisher’s editor re-write his juvenilia, until the hooked public acclaims his name. When you have finished reading a novel, and you are not totally and abysmally disgusted with every living human being still standing – including yourself – then, ask for your money back ! Writing is like eating: what gets digested must of necessity be absorbed; the rest must be expelled. It helps to have sturdy Hemingway legs! If you became a full-fledged writer by following creative-writing courses, then you have no right whatsoever to your name on your books. Who said: “Don’t ever (let your shadow) darken the portals of a university if you want to be a writer!” Tom Wolfe? © T. Wignesan – Paris, 2016

Copyright © | Year Posted 2016

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