We are deceiving ourselves if we believe that a literary work written and published in a country where 70 per cent of the population is illiterate, can change the political and social life of the country..it is up to political organization..and not to romantic literature.. to change the present situation.
Professors of literature, who for the most part are genteel but mediocre men, can make but a poor defense of their profession, and the professors of science, who are frequently men of great intelligence but of limited interests and education
True literature can exist only where it is created, not by diligent and trustworthy functionaries, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels, and skeptics.
Literature is painting, architecture, and music.
Life itself today has lost its plane reality: it is projected, not along the old fixed points, but along the dynamic coordinates of Einstein, of revolution. In this new projection, the best-known formulas and objects become displaced, fantastic, familiar-unfamiliar. This is why it is so logical for literature today to be drawn to the fantastic plot, or to an amalgam of reality and fantasy.
It is not possible to build on negative emotions. Genuine literature will come only when we replace hatred for man with love for man.
The highly complex, almost mathematical, nature of music creates for it an ironclad protection against the microbes of dilletantism, which penetrate much more easily into the fields of painting, literature, and the theater.
The literature of the immediate future will inevitably turn away from painting, whether respectably realistic or modern, and from daily life, whether old or the very latest and revolutionary, and turn to artistically realized philosophy.
What we need in literature today are vast philosophic horizons... we need the most ultimate, the most fearsome, the most fearless "Why?" and "What next?".
Literature has to serve as a moral control of politics.
In general, in poetry and literature, I am among those people who believe that too much is indispensable.
The phrase I like to use to describe my sense of time-a play on comparative literature - is comparative time.
I study English literature but my friends are doing psychology and things like that. No one cares about acting there. It's not competitive and it's a nice environment for me.
Movies are a complicated collision of literature, theatre, music and all the visual arts.
Somehow, in the novel format, I don't really like to do upfront, ideological discussion. In my heart, literature remains a poetic and ambiguous medium. On the other hand, I trained as a documentary filmmaker in film school, so my films very much reflect reality and socio-political problems. They're less subtle I would say.
Scholarship cannot do without literature.... It needs literature to float it, to set it current, to authenticate it to all the race, to get it out of closets and into the brains of men who stir abroad.
History shows us a lot of things. It shows why the Lord's Prayer includes the supplication: "And lead us not into temptation." In my day, dissertations were still written by hand, or drummed out with a typewriter. In the past, you had to round up the literature, find the books and find the passages. Nowadays you click on Wikipedia or Google and you have everything you need. This probably makes it more difficult to resist temptation.
The very function of creativity, of the elaboration of the human condition only enlarges the human spirit and, I mean, as a writer I don't want to read political literature all the time. It would be terribly boring and, you know, abrasive, but just reading the insights, you know, partaking of the insights of a writer into phenomena, into society, into human relationships, both on a micro level and on a macro level, is already a function.
What I teach is literary criticism and comparative literature and so on and that's my function, but from time to time it's possible for me actually to help a writer. I read something and something strikes me then, I feel I can talk to that writer about it.
Don't feel that you have to tailor your literature a particular way to please any school of ideology. There will emerge in its own right, effortlessly, some kind of ideological direction which is a reflection of your thinking and you want your thinking, above all.
I believe that prizes are useful things for the disciplines, whether we are talking about chemistry or we're talking... It motivates, it, you know, inspires, it encourages and it brings, in the case of literature, it brings literature, the arts out of the ghetto.
The problem with literature, with writing, is that it works sometimes in terms of correction of social ills. Other times, it just does not suffice. The proof of that is the ability of a dictator to snuff out the life of a writer.
Writers throughout the ages have one weapon, which is literature, but they also have their responsibilities as a citizen when literature does not seem to suffice. I mean, they are not mutually exclusive. One continues to write anyway but if you are called out to demonstrate, if people are being killed in the streets, it's hardly the moment to go for your pen and paper, you know, help in one way or the other.
By the age of nine I had a thorough knowledge of contemporary Polish literature as well as of foreign literature in Polish translation, and I began to write poems in honour of a lady of thirty years. Naturally, she knew nothing about them.
— Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont
Serious literature does not exist to make life easy but to complicate it.
Maria Edgeworth grumbled against vandals who ruined immortal works by quoting the life out of them. "How far our literature may in future suffer from these blighting swarms, will best be conceived by a glance at what they have already withered and blasted of the favourite productions of our most popular poets." Shakespeare, Milton, and Dryden, scissored, patched, and frayed.
Christian literature makes reference to many episodes that parallel the experiences of those going a yogic way. Saint Anthony, one of the first desert mystics, frequently encountered strange and sometimes terrifying psychophysical forces while at prayer.
The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis, and we'd have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads.
Nonfiction writers are second-class citizens, the Ellis Island of literature. We just can't quite get in. And yes, it pisses me off.
Literature is not a picture of life, but is a separate experience with its own kind of flow and enhancement.
Willmott, the English essayist, says poetry is the natural religion of literature.
— William Rounseville Alger
Literature flourishes best when it is half a trade and half an art.
I think my books give people a language to have a conversation about God that's not religious. There isn't enough new literature that brings the conversation of God into a modern context. I love the Bible, but in the West we've analyzed it until it fits into a structure of control. We need more new stories. We need different ways of looking at things, and I think it's coming.
Take the sum of human achievement in action, in science, in art, in literature subtract the work of the men above forty, and while we should miss great treasures, even priceless treasures, we would practically be where we are today ... The effective, moving, vitalizing work of the world is done between the ages of twenty-five and forty.
I have the same confidence in the ability of our people to reject noxious literature as I have in their capacity to sort out the true from the false in theology, economics, or any other field.
Thus if the First Amendment means anything in this field, it must allow protests even against the moral code that the standard of the day sets for the community. In other words, literature should not be suppressed merely because it offends the moral code of the censor.
Literature should not be suppressed merely because it offends the moral code of the censor.
You can believe in originals only if you just don't know their context within literature. Certainly I believe in originality, but it lies with the teller, not the tale.
Aspiring writers should read the entire canon of literature that precedes them, back to the Greeks, up to the current issue of The Paris Review.
Without a sense of place the work is often reduced to a cry of voices in empty rooms, a literature of the self, at its best poetic music; at its worst a thin gruel of the ego.