John Irving Quotes


28 John Irving quotes:



"You can't learn everything you need to know legally."
"Sometimes that's a year, sometimes it's 18 months, where all I'm doing is taking notes. I'm reconstructing the story from the back to the front so that I know where the front is."
"When I was still in prep school - 14, 15 - I started keeping notebooks, journals. I started writing, almost like landscape drawing or life drawing. I never kept a diary, I never wrote about my day and what happened to me, but I described things."
"And I don't want to begin something, I don't want to write that first sentence until all the important connections in the novel are known to me. As if the story has already taken place, and it's my responsibility to put it in the right order to tell it to you."
"And I find - I'm 63, and my capacity to be by myself and just spend time by myself hasn't diminished any. That's the necessary part of being a writer, you better like being alone."
"I had been a student in Vienna, and one of the neat little things I had found out was about that zoo. It was a good debut novel for me to have published. I was 26 or 27 when it was published. I already had a kid and would soon have a second."
"I have pretty thick skin, and I think if you're going to be in this business, if you're going to be an actor or a writer, you better have a thick skin."
"I think the sport of wrestling, which I became involved with at the age of 14... I competed until I was 34, kind of old for a contact sport. I coached the sport until I was 47. I think the discipline of wrestling has given me the discipline I have to write."
"If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it."
"More than a half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn't say I have a talent that's special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina."
"No adult in my family would ever tell me anything about who my father was. I knew from an older cousin - only four years older than I am - everything, or what little I could discover about him."
"The building of the architecture of a novel - the craft of it - is something I never tire of."
"There's no reason you should write any novel quickly."
"There's no reason you shouldn't, as a writer, not be aware of the necessity to revise yourself constantly."
"You don't want to dwell on your enemies, you know. I basically feel so superior to my critics for the simple reason that they haven't done what I do. Most book reviewers haven't written 11 novels. Many of them haven't written one."
"You know, people think you have to be dumb to skip rope for 45 minutes. No, you have to be able to imagine something else. While you're skipping rope, you have to be able to see something else."
"So, you see, it's a real chore for me to write a book review because it's like a contest. It's like I'm writing that book review for every bad book reviewer I've ever known and it's a way of saying [thrusts a middle finger into the air] this is how you ought to do it. I like to rub their noses in it."
"To each other, we were as normal and nice as the smell of bread. We were just a family. In a family even exaggerations make perfect sense."
"I take people very seriously. People are all I take seriously, in fact. Therefore, I have nothing but sympathy for how people behave - and nothing but laughter to console them with."
"Writing a novel is actually searching for victims. As I write I keep looking for casualties. The stories uncover the casualties."



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