„My weapon is literature“

Chinua Achebe photo
Chinua Achebe63
Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic 1930 - 2013

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Alphonse Daudet photo

„There is no law, in literature, against picking up a rusty weapon; the important thing is to be able to sharpen the blade and to reforge the hilt to fit one's hand.“

—  Alphonse Daudet French novelist 1840 - 1897

Il n'est pas défendu, en littérature, de ramasser une arme rouillée; l'important est de savoir aiguiser la lame et d'en reforger la poignée à la mesure de sa main.
Souvenirs d'un homme de lettres (Paris: C. Marpon et E. Flammarion, 1888) p. 178; George Burnham Ives (trans.) Thirty Years in Paris (Boston: Little, Brown, 1900) p. 134.

Helen Keller photo

„Literature is my Utopia“

—  Helen Keller American author and political activist 1880 - 1968

Epifanio de los Santos photo

„At the end of three years my knowledge of Spanish and of literature in general was far beyond that of my friends. It was then my turn to laugh!“

—  Epifanio de los Santos Filipino politician 1871 - 1928

As quoted in “Don Pañong – Genius" by A.V.H. Hartendorp in Philippine Magazine (September 1929), p. 211.
ULOL
Context: When I left the University of Santo Tomas, I had but a smattering of Spanish. My friends made sport of me. What keen mortification did I suffer at my ignorance! One day, no longer able to stand the jeerings of my friends, I made up my mind to learn Spanish. I purchased a dozen good novels and began to read. I did not spend hours over a grammar, but just kept on reading, taking care to remember the idioms. In the meantime my library grew. At the end of three years my knowledge of Spanish and of literature in general was far beyond that of my friends. It was then my turn to laugh!

Burkard Schliessmann photo
George Gissing photo

„I am learning my business. Literature nowadays is a trade.“

—  George Gissing English novelist 1857 - 1903

Vol. I, Ch. 1 : A Man of His Day, p. 8
New Grub Street : A Novel (1891)
Context: I am learning my business. Literature nowadays is a trade. Putting aside men of genius, who may succeed by mere cosmic force, your successful man of letters is your skilful tradesman. He thinks first and foremost of the markets; when one kind of goods begins to go off slackly, he is ready with something new and appetising. He knows perfectly all the possible sources of income. Whatever he has to sell he'll get payment for it from all sorts of various quarters; none of your unpractical selling for a lump sum to a middleman who will make six distinct profits.

Joyce Carol Oates photo

„My theory is that literature is essential to society in the way that dreams are essential to our lives.“

—  Joyce Carol Oates American author 1938

Context: My theory is that literature is essential to society in the way that dreams are essential to our lives. We can’t live without dreaming — as we can’t live without sleep. We are “conscious” beings for only a limited period of time, then we sink back into sleep — the “unconscious.” It is nourishing, in ways we can’t fully understand.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer photo
Mario Vargas Llosa photo
Stanley Baldwin photo
Mike Tyson photo

„I probably have a 20,000-word vocabulary. I'll match my wits with anyone on literature, science and the arts.“

—  Mike Tyson American boxer 1966

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/boxing/2005-06-02-tyson-saraceno_x.htm
On himself

Albert Hofmann photo

„In studying the literature connected with my work, I became aware of the great universal significance of visionary experience.“

—  Albert Hofmann Swiss chemist 1906 - 2008

Foreword
LSD : My Problem Child (1980)
Context: In studying the literature connected with my work, I became aware of the great universal significance of visionary experience. It plays a dominant role, not only in mysticism and the history of religion, but also in the creative process in art, literature, and science. More recent investigations have shown that many persons also have visionary experiences in daily life, though most of us fail to recognize their meaning and value. Mystical experiences, like those that marked my childhood, are apparently far from rare.

Vanna Bonta photo

„Any literature, when it arrives at being good literature, transcends genre.“

—  Vanna Bonta Italian-American writer, poet, inventor, actress, voice artist (1958-2014) 1958 - 2014

Philip Roth photo
Oscar Wilde photo
Gene Wolfe photo
George Bernard Shaw photo
Romain Gary photo
Imre Kertész photo

„Giving state support to literature is the state's sneaky way for the state liquidation of literature.“

—  Imre Kertész Hungarian writer 1929 - 2016

Liquidation (2003)
Context: The state is always the same. The only reason it financed literature up till now was in order to liquidate it. Giving state support to literature is the state's sneaky way for the state liquidation of literature.

Mao Zedong photo

„[Our purpose is] to ensure that literature and art fit well into the whole revolutionary machine as a component part, that they operate as powerful weapons for uniting and educating the people and for attacking and destroying the enemy, and that they help the people fight the enemy with one heart and one mind.“

—  Mao Zedong Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China 1893 - 1976

Chapter 32 https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/red-book/ch32.htm, originally published in Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art (May 1942), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 84.
Original: (zh) 要使文艺很好地成为整个革命机器的一个组成部分,作为团结人民、教育人民、打击敌人、消灭敌人的有力的武器,帮助人民同心同德地和敌人作斗争。

Gertrude Stein photo

„Remarks are not literature.“

—  Gertrude Stein, book The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

Comment to Ernest Hemingway, Ch. 7
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933)

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