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Quote via Dave Kindred

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Michelle Hiskey, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. Dave Kindred passed this quote along recently. It's originally from Gustave Flaubert, and might help anyone trying to find a fresh approach to writing:

    "We have fallen into the habit of remembering, whenever we use our eyes, what people before us have thought of the thing we are looking at. Even the slightest thing contains a little that is unknown. We must find it.

    " To describe a blazing fire or a tree in a plain, we must remain before that fire or tree until they no longer resemble for us any other tree or any other fire. That is the way to become original.

    "When you pass a grocer sitting in his doorway, or a concierge smoking his pipe, or a cab-stand, show me that grocer and that concierge, the way they are sitting or standing, their entire physical appearance, making it by the skillfulness of your portrayal, embody all their moral nature as well, so that I cannot confuse them with any other grocer or any other concierge.

    "And make me see, by means of a single word, wherein one cab-horse does not resemble the 50 others ahead of it or behind it."
  2. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest


    Thanks, Michelle.
  3. badmoon

    badmoon Member

    More from Flaubert:

    "Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity."

    Sounds like a guy who knew about writing a gamer on deadline.
  4. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    I prefer the sequel, "Son of Flaubert."
  5. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Nice (,obscure) reference.
  6. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Sequels are almost never as good.

    But before we swerve too far into the late-period mortgage-paying work of Mr. Fred McMurray, another quote about the writing life:

    Without writing I would have dried up and blown away. That was my discipline, what I lived for, finally. I never had a lot of ego. It got crushed when I was small. Writing was the one thing I had that was beautiful, the only thing that justified me, the only way in which I could provide something beyond my own gratification. Without it, I was just a guy who drank too much, took too many drugs, and talked too much. Without it, I could say to this day, I am virtually nothing.

    -- Robert Stone
  7. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    Thank you, that made me laugh.
  8. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Our inspirational thought for the day, July 13, 2007:

    "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."

    -- Samuel Johnson
  9. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    "Nobody really wants to write. Everyone wants to have written."

    -- Universal, Anonymous
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