Margaret Atwood

  • Aug. 7th, 2013 at 1:06 PM
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The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.

William Faulkner

  • Jan. 25th, 2013 at 12:16 AM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
I doubt that a man trying to write about people is any more interested in blood relationships than in the shape of their noses, unless they are necessary to help the story move. If the writer concentrates on what he does need to be interested in, which is the truth and the human heart, he won't have much time left for anything else, such as ideas and facts like the shape of noses or blood relationships, since in my opinion ideas and facts have very little connection with truth.

China Mievelle

  • Jan. 16th, 2013 at 8:32 PM
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There’s simultaneously something rigorous and something playful in genre. It’s about the positing of something impossible—whether not-yet-possible or never-possible—and then taking that impossibility and granting it its own terms and systematicity. It’s carnivalesque in its impossibility and overturning of reality, but it’s rationalist in that it pretends it is real. And it’s that second element which I think those who dip their toes in the SF pond so often forget. They think SF is “about” analogies, and metaphors, and so on. I refute that—I think that those are inevitable components, but it’s the surrendering to the impossible, the weird, that characterizes genre. Those flirting with SF don’t surrender to it; they distance themselves from it, and have a neon sub-text saying, “It’s okay, this isn’t really about spaceships or aliens, it’s about real life,” not understanding that it can be both, and would do the latter better if it was serious about the former.

Vladimir Nabokov

  • Dec. 23rd, 2012 at 12:10 AM
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The inspiration of genius adds a third ingredient: it is the past and the present and the future (your book) that come together in a sudden flash; thus the entire circle of time is perceived, which is another way of saying that time ceases to exist. It is a combined sensation of having the whole universe entering you and of yourself wholly dissolving in the universe surrounding you. It is the prison wall of the ego suddenly crumbling away with the nonego rushing in from the outside to save the prisoner – who is already dancing in the open.

Ursula K. le Guin

  • Nov. 21st, 2012 at 11:57 PM
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It is by such statements as "Once upon a time there was a dragon," or "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" - it is by such beautiful non-facts that we fantastic human beings may arrive, in our peculiar fashion, at the truth.

Lois Lowry

  • Nov. 14th, 2012 at 10:40 PM
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Impossible promises are what we must make to today's children. We also owe them honesty; and I would like to think that the two things are not mutually exclusive...

Ernest Heminway

  • Nov. 3rd, 2012 at 9:36 PM
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If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.

(A Moveable Feast)

Ralph Ellison

  • Aug. 9th, 2012 at 9:38 PM
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When I examined the rather rigid concepts of reality which informed a number of the works which impressed me and to which I owed a great deal, I was forced to conclude that for me and for so many hundreds of thousands of Americans, reality was simply far more mysterious and uncertain, and at the same time more exciting, and still, despite its raw violence and capriciousness, more promising.

To see America with an awareness of its rich diversity and its almost magical fluidity and freedom I was forced to conceive of a novel unburdened by the narrow naturalism which has led after so many triumphs to the final and unrelieved despair which marks so much of our current fiction. I was to dream of a prose which was flexible, and swift as American change is swift, confronting the inequalities and brutalities of our society forthrightly, but yet thrusting forth its images of hope, human fraternity, and individual self-realization. A prose which would make use of the richness of our speech, the idiomatic expression, and the rhetorical flourishes from past periods which are still alive among us. Despite my personal failures there must be possible a fiction which, leaving sociology and case histories to the scientists, can arrive at the truth about the human condition, here and now, with all the bright magic of the fairy tale.

Charles de Lint

  • Jul. 17th, 2012 at 6:50 PM
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As far as I'm concerned, the only difference between fact and what most people call fiction is about fifteen pages in the dictionary.

G. K. Chesterton

  • May. 30th, 2012 at 7:32 PM
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People wonder why the novel is the most popular form of literature; people wonder why it is read more than books of science or books of metaphysics. The reason is very simple; it is merely that the novel is more true than they are.

Albert Camus

  • May. 17th, 2012 at 11:43 PM
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Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.

George Sand

  • May. 6th, 2012 at 11:19 AM
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Life resembles a novel more often than novels resemble life.

Ursula K. le Guin

  • Apr. 17th, 2012 at 12:18 AM
beth_shulman: (book: wizard heir)
We who hobnob with hobbits and tell tall tales about little green men are quite used to being dismissed as mere entertainers, or sternly disapproved of as escapists. But I think... sophisticated readers are accepting the fact that an improbable and unmanageable world is going to produce an improbable and hypothetical art. At this point, realism is perhaps the least adequate means of understanding or portraying the incredible realities of our existence.

Charles de Lint

  • Dec. 11th, 2011 at 1:20 AM
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The thing to remember when you're writing is, it's not whether or not what you put on paper is true. It's whether it wakes a truth in your reader.

Stephen King

  • Nov. 15th, 2011 at 12:40 AM
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Fiction is the truth inside the lie.

Ursula K. le Guin

  • Oct. 31st, 2011 at 2:05 AM
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The artist deals with what cannot be said in words.

The artist whose medium is fiction does this in words. The novelist says in words what cannot be said in words. Words can be used thus paradoxically because they have, along with a semiotic usage, a symbolic or metaphoric usage...

All fiction is metaphor. Science fiction is metaphor. What sets it apart from older forms of fiction seems to be its use of new metaphors... Space travel is one of those metaphors; so is an alternative society, an alternative biology; the future is another. The future, in fiction, is a metaphor.

A metaphor for what?

If I could have said it nonmetaphorically, I would not have written all these words, this novel [The Left Hand of Darkness]; and Genly Ai would never have sat down at my desk and used up my ink and typewriter ribbon in informing me, and you, that the truth is a matter of the imagination.

Lloyd Alexander

  • Oct. 16th, 2011 at 11:34 PM
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...My concern is not with stretching the truth but simply trying to measure up to it.

Philip Pullman

  • Sep. 16th, 2011 at 2:46 PM
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"...My true story’s too important for me to tell if you’re only going to believe half of it. So I promise to tell the truth, if you promise to believe." (The Amber Spyglass)

Ernest Hemingway

  • Aug. 4th, 2011 at 9:30 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: black and white tree scene)
"...Sometimes when I was starting a new story and could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, "Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know."

(A Moveable Feast)

Madeleine L'Engle

  • Jun. 19th, 2011 at 2:55 PM
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Truth is what is true, and it's not necessarily factual. Truth and fact are not the same thing. Truth does not contradict or deny facts, but it goes through and beyond facts. This is something that it is very difficult for some people to understand. Truth can be dangerous. If you go beyond the facts, things can happen [like Joshua's being shot]. But wonderful things can happen, too.


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