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I’m not as hopeful as I was when I was young.
– Irwin Shaw
My attitudes have changed, but somebody would have to read all my books to find out how they have.
An absolutely necessary part of a writer’s equipment, almost as necessary as talent, is the ability to stand up under punishment, both the punishment the world hands out and the punishment he inflicts upon himself.
My views naturally have mellowed. Most of the critics have been more or less nice to me.
Every novelist has a different purpose – and often several purposes which might even be contradictory.
I reach my readers regardless of what the critics have written.
A good editor understands what you’re talking and writing about and doesn’t meddle too much.
The last paragraph, in which you tell what the story is about, is almost always best left out.
Writing is like a contact sport, like football. You can get hurt, but you enjoy it.
I never drink while I’m working, but after a few glasses I get ideas that would never have occurred to me dead sober.
At the height of the McCarthy period, writers were being hounded.
There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.
Kennedy was a man who liked writers and even I got invited to the White House.
I imagine that my characters have become much more complicated than when I first began, which would be normal.
All writers are the same – they forget a thousand good reviews and remember one bad one.
Ernest Hemingway did a great deal toward making the writer an acceptable public figure; obviously, he was no sissy.
I am forced to say that I have many fiercer critics than myself.
In the theater, characters have to cut the umbilical cord from the writer and talk in their own voices.
It’s those damn critics again.
People who light up like Roman candles come down in the dark very quickly.
A writer has to live with a sense of honor.
No writer need feel sorry for himself if he writes and enjoys it, even if he doesn’t get paid.
Posterity makes the judgments. There are going to be a lot of surprises in store for everybody.
In America, we have the feeling of the doomed young artist. Fitzgerald was the great example of that.
Writing for the theater, you find yourself living a nocturnal life.
Curiously, the United States is full of writers who have one big work in their life and that’s all.