Memorable Quotations: American Novelists of the Past


I gazed awhile On her cold smile; Too cold—too cold for me- There pass'd, as a shroud, A fleecy cloud, And I turned away to thee, Proud Evening Star, In thy glory afar, And dearer thy beam shall be; For joy to my heart Is the proud part Thou bearest in Heaven at night, And more I admire Thy distant fire, Than that colder, lowly light. An Informal History of Bohemianism in America. I have vomited at their newspapers, read their literature, observed their customs, eaten their food, desired their women, gaped at their art.

But I am poor, and my name ends with a soft vowel, and they hate me and my father, and my father's father, and they would have my blood and put me down, but they are old now, dying in the sun and in the hot dust of the road, and I am young and full of hope and love for my country and my times, and when I say Greaser to you it is not my heart that speaks, but the quivering of an old wound, and I am ashamed of the terrible thing I have done. It begins with Moby-Dick, the book that swallowed European civilization whole. I been there before.

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From the Notebooks of Theodore Roethke. That is what makes America what it is. This squander of land substitutes a sense of self with a sense of place by giving him days of himself until, tiring of his own small compass, he looks for relief to the bigness outside -- a grandness that demands attention not just for its scope, but for its age, its diversity, its continual change.

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The isolating immensity reveals what lies covered in places noisier, busier, more filled up. For me, what I saw revealed was this only this: We have no generations of Americans behind us.

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We have roots elsewhere. We are looking in from the outside. The 15 best comedy books of all time.

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Do not use semicolons. The 15 best comedy books of all time. If it's good, you'll find out. Some of these authors recorded their thoughts on writing in books, some as essays, and some as letters to their friends, lovers, and editors. The things were all there to content everybody; yet everybody has the wrong thing.

Fathoms deep in allusion and nautical nomenclature. Buy Moby-Dick from the Telegraph Bookshop. Caught between her entitled taste for luxury and her yearning for true love, Lily Bart, the beautiful and intelligent heroine of this acutely observed novel slowly slithers down the rungs of superficial New York society to a tragic end.

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It was the main reason he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Buy Independence Day from the Telegraph Bookshop. This impressionistic travelogue, whose rolling, incantatory style predicted the Beat Generation, was inspired by the time Miller spent in Greece with Lawrence Durrell before the SecondWorldWar.

American Literature Quotes

Buy Beloved from the Telegraph Bookshop. The reclusive author best known for bringing a biblical sense of evil into his portrayal of the unforgiving American landscape achieved mainstream success with this tale of a talented year-old horse breaker, evicted from his Texan ranch in First in the Border Trilogy. All they do is show you've been to college. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.

First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money. I'd type a little faster. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

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It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts still called "leaves" imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you.

Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time--proof that humans can work magic.