Quotes about literature

A collection of quotes on the topic of literature.

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Borís Pasternak photo
Mortimer J. Adler photo
John Galt (novelist) photo
Arthur Conan Doyle photo
Augustin Louis Cauchy photo
Françoise Sagan photo
Amos Oz photo

„The best way to know the soul of another country is to read its literature.“

—  Amos Oz Israeli writer, novelist, journalist and intellectual 1939 - 2018

André Breton photo

„Keep reminding yourself that literature is one of the saddest roads that leads to everything.“

—  André Breton French writer 1896 - 1966

Le Manifeste du Surréalisme, Andre Breton (Manifesto of Surrealism; 1924)
Context: After you have settled yourself in a place as favorable as possible to the concentration of your mind upon itself, have writing materials brought to you. Put yourself in as passive, or receptive, a state of mind as you can. Forget about your genius, your talents, and the talents of everyone else. Keep reminding yourself that literature is one of the saddest roads that lead to everything. Write quickly, without any preconceived subject, fast enough so that you will not remember what you're writing and be tempted to reread what you have written. The first sentence will come spontaneously, so compelling is the truth that with every passing second there is a sentence unknown to our consciousness which is only crying out to be heard.

Virginia Woolf photo
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn photo

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Monte Melkonian photo
Northrop Frye photo
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Thomas Sowell photo
Flannery O’Connor photo
James Baldwin photo
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Fernando Pessoa photo

„Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.“

—  Fernando Pessoa, book The Book of Disquiet

A literatura é a maneira mais agradável de ignorar a vida.
Variant: To write is to forget. Literature is the pleasantest way of ignoring life.
Source: The Book of Disquietude, trans. Richard Zenith, text 116

Andrea Dworkin photo
Alice A. Bailey photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“