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" Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. "
" I learned 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. "
" You're beautiful, like a May fly. "
" From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality. "
" Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up. "
" There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention. "
" There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter. "
" When I am working on a book or a story, I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you, and it is cool or cold, and you come to your work and warm as you write. "
" A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book. "
" On the 'Star,' you were forced to learn to write a simple declarative sentence. This is useful to anyone. Newspaper work will not harm a young writer and could help him if he gets out of it in time. "
" We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. "
" Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war. "
" When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. "
" Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts. "
" I know now that there is no one thing that is true - it is all true. "
" Things may not be immediately discernible in what a man writes, and in this sometimes he is fortunate; but eventually they are quite clear, and by these and the degree of alchemy that he possesses, he will endure or be forgotten. "
" To be a successful father... there's one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don't look at it for the first two years. "
" When I have an idea, I turn down the flame, as if it were a little alcohol stove, as low as it will go. Then it explodes and that is my idea. "
" Ezra was right half the time, and when he was wrong, he was so wrong you were never in any doubt about it. "
" In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason. "
" I've tried to reduce profanity but I reduced so much profanity when writing the book that I'm afraid not much could come out. Perhaps we will have to consider it simply as a profane book and hope that the next book will be less profane or perhaps more sacred. "
" Switzerland is a small, steep country, much more up and down than sideways, and is all stuck over with large brown hotels built on the cuckoo clock style of architecture. "
" There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self. "
" I always rewrite each day up to the point where I stopped. When it is all finished, naturally you go over it. You get another chance to correct and rewrite when someone else types it, and you see it clean in type. The last chance is in the proofs. You're grateful for these different chances. "
" His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. "
" If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. "
" Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over. "
" You see, I am trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across - not to just depict life - or criticize it - but to actually make it alive. So that when you have read something by me, you actually experience the thing. You can't do this without putting in the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful. "
" They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason. "
" The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life and one is as good as the other. "
" A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl. "