Literature Quotes

Everything is becoming science fiction. From the margins of an almost invisible literature has sprung the intact reality of the 20th century.

J G Ballard

The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself..

Jim Rohn

The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself.

Jim Rohn

A young man should serve his parents at home and be respectful to elders outside his home. He should be earnest and truthful, loving all, but become intimate with humaneness. After doing this, if he has energy to spare, he can study literature and the arts.


The trade of critic, in literature, music, and the drama, is the most degraded of all trades.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Most artists, whether in religion, music, literature, painting, or what not, are shopkeepers in disguise. They hide their shop as much as they can, and keep pretending that it does not exist, but they are essentially shopkeepers and nothing else.

Samuel Butler

It is curious that money, which is the most valuable thing in life, exceptis excipiendis, should be the most fatal corrupter of music, literature, painting and all the arts. As soon as any art is pursued with a view to money, then farewell, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, all hope of genuine good work.

Samuel Butler

Every mans work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself, and the more he tries to conceal himself the more clearly will his character appear in spite of him.

Samuel Butler

My writing is a combination of three elements. The first is travel: not travel like a tourist, but travel as exploration. The second is reading literature on the subject. The third is reflection.

Ryszard Kapuscinski

A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance.


This, indeed, is one of the eternal paradoxes of both life and literature-that without passion little gets done; yet, without control of that passion, its effects are largely ill or null.

F. L. Lucas

There have been a number of us working very, very hard to bring myth and fairy tales into public consciousness, through fantasy literature and other media. I hope we're succeeding in some small way.

Terri Windling

Expediency of literature, reason of literature, lawfulness of writing down a thought, is questioned; much is to say on both sides, and, while the fight waxes hot, thou, dearest scholar, stick to thy foolish task, add a line every hour, and between whiles add a line.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

As I was writing about Grace Marks, and about her interlude in the Asylum, I came to see her in context the context of other people's opinions, both the popular images of madness and the scientific explanations for it available at the time. A lot of what was believed and said on the subject appears like sheer lunacy to us now. But we shouldn't be too arrogant how many of our own theories will look silly when those who follow us have come up with something better? But whatever the scientists may come up with, writers and artists will continue to portray altered mental states, simply because few aspects of our nature fascinate people so much. The so-called mad person will always represent a possible future for every member of the audience who knows when such a malady may strike? When "mad," at least in literature, you aren't yourself; you take on another self, a self that is either not you at all, or a truer, more elemental one than the person you're used to seeing in the mirror. You're in danger of becoming, in Shakespeare's works, a mere picture or beast, and in Susanna Moodie's words, a mere machine; or else you may become an inspired prophet, a truth-sayer, a shaman, one who oversteps the boundaries of the ordinarily visible and audible, and also, and especially, the ordinarily sayable. Portraying this process is deep power for the artist, partly because it's a little too close to the process of artistic creation itself, and partly because the prospect of losing our self and being taken over by another, unfamiliar self is one of our deepest human fears.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood
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