John Irving Quotes


28 John Irving quotes:



"I suppose I'm proudest of my novels for what's imagined in them. I think the world of my imagination is a richer and more interesting place than my personal biography."
"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."
"The building of the architecture of a novel - the craft of it - is something I never tire of."
"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."
"Your memory is a monster; you forget - it doesn't. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you - and summons them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!"
"Good habits are worth being fanatical about."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"You can't learn everything you need to know legally."
"I've always been a fan of the 19th century novel, of the novel that is plotted, character-driven, and where the passage of time is almost as central to the novel as a major minor character, the passage of time and its effect on the characters in the story."
"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."
"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."
"Writing a novel is actually searching for victims. As I write I keep looking for casualties. The stories uncover the casualties."
"Half my life is an act of revision."
"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."
"You've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed."



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