The ancient commission of the writer has not changed. He is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement.
Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.
Nothing can destroy the good writer. The only thing that can alter the good writer is death. Good ones don’t have time to bother with success or getting rich.
Literature is one vast hypocrisy, a giant deception, treachery. All the writers have concealed more than they have revealed.
In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work. That’s the only difference, and it lies in the commitment of the writer. A novelist can do anything he wants so long as he makes people believe in it.
If you appear in the ‘Atlantic’ or ‘Harper’s’ or the ‘New Yorker,’ by God, you must be a writer, because everybody says so.
I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things.
I always considered myself a minor writer. My province is small and I try to explore it very, very thoroughly.
Boileau said that Kings, Gods and Heroes only were fit subjects for literature. The writer can only write about what he admires. Present-day kings aren’t very inspiring, the gods are on a vacation and about the only heroes left are the scientists and the poor… And since our race admires gallantry, the writer will deal with it where he finds it. He finds it in the struggling poor now.