Memorable Quotations: Short Story Writers of the Past

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Colson Whitehead.

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George R. Anna Quindlen. I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book. Stephen King. Mason Cooley. Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Edmund Wilson. Albert Einstein. The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library. Thomas Wharton. You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.

Lloyd Alexander. Keep reading. It's one of the most marvelous adventures anyone can have. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. A key aspect of the unity aesthetic is the idea that the short story concentrates on a single character, and whereas the novel has scope to develop characterisation, the short story is usually deemed to have space only to show, to illuminate a character in a single moment of insight — Dominic Head in The Modernist Short Story Cambridge, The short story is an art of moral revelation, the novel an art of moral evolution — Mark Schorer.

A short story relies on those values that make poetry and jazz what they are: tension, rhythms, inner beat, into unforeseen within foreseen parameters — Julio Cortazar. There is the idea that there is always something more to come from the short story. The frequency with which these formulations appear attest to the importance of paradox to the short story Dominic Head in The Modernist Short Story Cambridge, The first thing we see about a short story is its mystery. And in the best short stories, we return at the last to see mystery again — Eudora Welty.

So that when you read anything by me you actually experience the thing — Ernest Hemingway. I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eighths of it under water for every part that shows. Anything you know you can eliminate and t only strengthens your iceberg. You could omit anything if you knew that the omitted part would strengthen the short story and make people feel something more than they understood — Ernest Hemingway. A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it — Edgar Allan Poe.

A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film — Lorrie Moore. A short story is a shard, a sliver, a vignette. For me, the short story is the depth of a novel, the breadth of a poem, and, as you come to the last few paragraphs, the experience of surprise — Amy Bloom. The reader really has to step up to the plate and read a short story — Tobias Wolff. I watch people sometimes, wonder how they can walk around with the weight of what they know — Cate Kennedy in Dark Roots: Stories.

Hemingway’s Writer Life

The short story packs a self in a few pages predicating a lifetime — Bernard Malamud. I live in a house over there on the Island, and in that house there is a man waiting for me. Scott Fitzgerald in Winter Dreams.

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You become a different writer when you approach a short story. When things are not always having to represent other things, you find real human beings begin to cautiously appear on your pages — Zadie Smith. Short stories consume you faster. With the short story, you are up against mortality. I feel very protective in the first draft, when all the pieces are coming together. I work in a way that is not linear or chronological at all, even with the short story. I will just be writing bits and pieces, and then when I have all the pieces on the table, that for me is when it feels like the real work begins — Jill McCorkle.

Homo Americanus is going to go on speaking and writing the way he always has, no matter what dictionary he owns — Kurt Vonnegut in Welcome to the Monkey House.

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Our body temperature will have gone up, or down, by a degree. Can we arrange the matter somehow? Faith is a capacity of the spirit. You can write a short story in two hours. His painting of Saint Victoire mountains could have been done with on an iPhone.

Strong strokes construct the landscape like Lincoln logs. Hemingway believed each word was a brush stroke on the page. He used few adjectives. His prose is full of action, not decor, and so when an occasional bit of color is revealed, it fills in the whole image. The good news is, Hemingway had lots of advice for other writers. Which of his tips will you try in your writing next?


You have always written before and you will write now. The blue-backed notebooks, the two pencils and the pencil sharpener a pocket knife was too wasteful , the marble topped tables, the smell of early morning, sweeping out and mopping, and luck were all you needed. Write the truest sentence that you know.

It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.

Epigraph (literature) - Wikipedia

It was in that room too that I learned not to think about anything that I was writing from the time I stopped writing until I started again the next day. That way my subconscious would be working on it and at the same time I would be listening to other people and noticing everything. Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald:.

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Up in that room I decided that I would write one story about each thing that I knew about. I was trying to do this all the time I was writing, and it was good and severe discipline.

I was learning very much from him but I was not articulate enough to explain it to anyone. Besides it was a secret. This book began magnificently, went on very well for a long way with great stretches of great brilliance and then went on endlessly in repetitions that a more conscientious and less lazy writer would have put in the waste basket.

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It was necessary to get exercise, to be tired in the body, and it was very good to make love with whom you loved. That was better than anything. But afterwards, when you were empty, it was necessary to read in order not to think or worry about your work until you could do it again. I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.

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When I was writing, it was necessary for me to read after I had written. If you kept thinking about it, you would lose the thing that you were writing before you could go on with it the next day. When I had to write it, then it would be the only thing to do and there would be no choice.