When a character is born, he acquires at once such an independence, even of his own author, that he can be imagined by everybody even in many other situations where the author never dreamed of placing him; and so he acquires for himself a meaning which the author never thought of giving him.
When I read a novel that I really like, I feel as if I am in direct, personal communication with the author. I feel as if the author and I are on the same wavelength mentally, that we have a lot in common with each other, and that we could have an interesting conversation, or even a friendship, if the circumstances permitted it. When the novel comes to an end, I feel a certain letdown, a loss of contact. It is natural to want to recapture that feeling by reading other works by the same author, or by corresponding with him/her directly.
Because every book of art, be it a poem or a cupola, is understandably a self-portrait of its author, we won't strain ourselves too hard trying to distinguish between the author's persona and the poem's lyrical hero. As a rule, such distinctions are quite meaningless, if only because a lyrical hero is invariably an author's self-projection.
Whether the author intended a symbolic resonance to exist in her book is irrelevant. All that matters is whether it's there. Because the book does not exist for the benefit of the author, the book exists for the benefit of YOU. If we as readers can have a bigger and richer experience with the world as a result of reading a symbol and that symbol wasn't intended by the author, WE STILL WIN.
An author is similar to an actor. They play many characters in their lives-photographer, nurse, dancer, doctor, writer, etc. As an author, you have to learn your craft, know each and every element to become that character you're writing about to be able to live and breathe what they do.
It has been our experience that American houses insist on very comprehensive editing; that English houses as a rule require little or none and are inclined to go along with the author's script almost without query. The Canadian practice is just what you would expect-a middle-of-the-road course. We think the Americans edit too heavily and interfere with the author's rights. We think that the English publishers don't take enough editorial responsibility. Naturally, then, we consider our editing to be just about perfect. There's no doubt about it, we Canadians are a superior breed! (in a letter to author Margaret Laurence, dated May, 1960)
I can still remember the miraculous feeling of writing a sentence, then more sentences, telling a story. The first thing I wrote was a one-page summary of Robinson Crusoe and I am so sorry I do not have it any more; it was at that moment I became an author." [As quoted in the author biography on Mankell's official website.]
As a children's author, you get to advocate for reading and writing in general, in a way an adult author might not be able to. It's a really interesting dance we do to get literature into the hands of young people and to help them to become literate and become readers; we want them to grow up reading and continue to do so when they're adults.
Someone from the Internet Writing Workshop sent me a link to the Gender Genie, where you paste in a section of text and it uses an algorithm to detect whether the author is male or female. Or, if you're an author, you can tell whether you're really nailing your opposite-sex characters. I mean, nailing their dialog.
As I have pointed out before, characters are not born like people, of woman; they are born of a situation, a sentence, a metaphor containing in a nutshell a basic human possibility that the author thinks no one else has discovered or said something essential about. But isn't it true that an author can write only about himself?
An author is a trigger to our own imaginations. We either go along for the ride, or we flinch and look the other way. Don't look the other way. Embrace the story, embrace the characters, embrace everything the author wants you to explore, because the written word is something for you to treasure in your own way.
I would not employ an author to referee a Ping-Pong match. By their very nature they are biased and bloody-minded. Better put a fox in a henhouse than to ask an author to judge his peers. (in a letter to the Governor General about the GA's Literary Awards & his issue-among others-with the judging system, 1981)
To make someone an icon is to make him an abstraction, and abstractions are incapable of vital communication with living people.10 10 One has only to spend a term trying to teach college literature to realize that the quickest way to kill an author's vitality for potential readers is to present that author ahead of his time as "great" or "classic." Because then the author becomes for the students like medicine or vegetables, something the authorities have declared "good for them" that they "ought to like, " at which point the students' nictitating membranes come down, and everyone just goes through the requisite motions of criticism and paper-writing without feeling one real or relevant thing. It's like removing all oxygen from the room before trying to start a fire.
David Foster Wallace
No one really knows the value of book tours. Whether or not they're good ideas, or if they improve book sales. I happen to think the author is the last person you'd want to talk to about a book. They hate it by that point; they've already moved on to a new lover. Besides, the author never knows what the book is about anyway.
I often get asked the question, 'If you had to compare your writing to an author who would it be?' My answer is always the same; the author I compare myself to is me. Every writer has a unique style relevant to only themselves. I am nothing like other authors; some aspects of my writing may have similarities to another, but in the end, each and every one of us is different.
Ashley Tia Long
Times have changed since a certain author was executed for murdering his publisher. They say that when the author was on the scaffold he said good-bye to the minister and to the reporters, and then he saw some publishers sitting in the front row below, and to them he did not say good-bye. He said instead, "I'll see you again."
James M. Barrie
I don't think that children, if left to themselves, feel that there is an author behind a book, a somebody who wrote it. Grown-ups have fostered this quotient of identity, particularly teachers. Write a letter to your favorite author and so forth. When I was a child I never realized that there were authors behind books. Books were there as living things, with identities of their own.
P. L. Travers
It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences, and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles: he can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.
If you are working with authors, you are accepting a great responsibility and must tread very carefully. The author's work is a part of herself, a creative endeavor she has poured her heart and soul into. Protecting and nurturing that work and the author is part of the job of a publisher.
The world of fiction is a sovereign world that comes to life in the author's head and follows the rules of art, of literature. And that is the major difference that is reflected in the form of the work, in its language and its plot. An author invents every aspect of a fiction, every detail.
I know publishing now more as an author than with occasional peaks inside those elite offices than as an industry insider. It was difficult publishing a novel the first time around, while working behind the scenes, knowing all that has to happen to make a book a success and to still make the leap as an author.
The true reader must be an extension of the author. He is the higher court that receives the case already prepared by the lower court. The feeling by means of which the author has separated out the materials of his work, during reading separates out again the unformed and the formed aspects of the book-and if the reader were to work through the book according to his own idea, a second reader would refine it still more, with the result that, since the mass that had been worked through would constantly be poured into fresh vessels, the mass would finally become an essential component-a part of the active spirit. Through impartial rereading of his book the author can refine his book himself. With strangers the particular character is usually lost, because the talent of fully entering into another person's idea is so rare. Often even in the author himself. It is not a sign of superior education and greater powers to justifiably find fault with a book. When receiving new impressions, greater sharpness of mind is quite natural.
A reader kindly pointed out to me recently that most of the quotes I include are by men. And it's true. Personally, I don't even consider whether the author is male or female, nor even care much who the author is - what's significant is the message. Of course, women are equally capable of great insights, however in our culture it's not so long ago that women could not even be published
Why do you keep reading a book? Usually to find out what happens. Why do you give up and stop reading it? There may be lots of reasons. But often the answer is you don't care what happens. So what makes the difference between caring and not caring? The author's cruelty. And the reader's sympathy...it takes a mean author to write a good story.
Gail Carson Levine
Beginning to sense his call to preach boldly in dangerous situations even though he was young and slight, the author agreed to go only if God would give him a particular sense of His presence. The next morning, the author says it was as if God took out his human eyes and replaced them with God's own because he saw other people so much more vividly.
I'm very intrigued by e-books, the topic du jour in the industry today. As a number one bestselling Kindle author, I love the way e-books make an author's backlist accessible to new readers. Of course, price point remains a source of concern. Personally, I don't have any of the answers, but I'm intrigued by the questions.
A tactic used by authors of virtually every single book I've ever read that propounds a conspiracy theory is to attack an agency as being part of a conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination, but when this same agency comes up with something favorable to the author's position, the author will cite that same agency as credible support for his argument.
The work of one author or artist may stimulate another author or artist to push the edge, to take the risk, to go where the field hasn't gone before. The result -very exciting children's literature and art ... exciting both for the professional and for the intended audience, the children.
There is no obligation for the author of a film to believe in, or to sympathise with, the moral behaviour of his characters. Nor is he necessarily to be accredited with the same opinions as his characters. Nor is it necessary or obligatory for him to believe in the tenet of his construction - all of which is a disclaimer to the notion that the author of Drowning by Numbers believes that all men are weak, enfeebled, loutish, boorish and generally inadequate and incompetent as partners for women. But it's a thought.
Reading with an eye towards metaphor allows us to become the person we're reading about, while reading about them. That's why there is symbols in books and why your English teacher deserves your attention. Ultimately, it doesn't matter if the author intended the symbol to be there because the job of reading is not to understand the author's intent. The job of reading is to use stories as a way into seeing other people as a we ourselves.
There are books that speak to us of our own lives with a clarity we cannot match. They prevent the morose suspicion that we do not fully belong to the species, that we lie beyond comprehension. Our embarrassments, our sulks, our envy, our feelings of guilt, these phenomena are conveyed in Austen in a way that affords us bursts of almost magical self-recognition. The author has located words to depict a situation we thought ourselves alone in feeling, and for a few moments, we see ourselves more clearly and wish to become whom the author would have wanted us to be.
Alain de Botton
The author called us to re-examine assumptions bequeathed to us from Greece and Rome. Just as a bridge built by the Roman Empire might have held up tolerably for centuries under foot traffic but crumble under the weight of a modern truck, the author cautions that classical thinking had limits exposed by contemporary events and certainly exposed by the modern world.
Francis A. Schaeffer
It is (to describe it figuratively) as if an author were to make a slip of the pen, and as if this clerical error became conscious of being such. Perhaps this was no error but in a far higher sense was an essential part of the whole exposition. It is, then, as if this clerical error were to revolt against the author, out of hatred for him, were to forbid him to correct it, and were to say, "No, I will not be erased, I will stand as a witness against thee, that thou art a very poor writer."
Basically, if the author is totally un-educated, then the text won't bring out his best. Normal, educated people always understand that. But here's the thing-when the author is very highly-educated, the result is the same: the text turns out sub-par. Like if Charybdis was an uneducated cannibal, and Scylla was a sophisticated gourmand. Real literature snakes between the two. Like Hera's hair.
Elizaveta Mikhailichenko Yury Nesis
Reading a book should be a conversation between you and the author. Presumably he knows more about the subject than you do; if not, you probably should not be bothering with his book. But understanding is a two-way operation; the learner has to question himself and question the teacher, once he understands what the teacher is saying. Marking a book is literally an expression of your differences or your agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him.
an Autobiography is the truest of all books; for while it inevitably consists mainly of extinctions of the truth, shirkings of the truth, partial revealments of the truth, with hardly an instance of plain straight truth, the remorseless truth is there, between the lines, where the author-cat is raking dust upon it which hides from the disinterested spectator neither it nor its smell... the result being that the reader knows the author in spite of his wily diligences.
You've thrown down the gauntlet. You've brought my wrath down upon your house. Now, to prove that I exist I must kill you. As the child outlives the father, so must the character bury the author. If you are, in fact, my continuing author, then killing you will end my existence as well. Small loss. Such a life, as your puppet, is not worth living. But... If I destroy you and your dreck script, and I still exist... then my existence will be glorious, for I will become my own master.
Why don't you purchase an Italian dictionary? I will assume the expense." "I have one," she said, "but I don't think it's very good. Half the words are missing." "Half?" "Well, some," she amended. "But truly, that's not the problem." He blinked, waiting for her to continue. She did. Of course. "I don't think Italian is the author's native tongue," she said. "The author of the dictionary?" he queried. "Yes. It's not terribly idiomatic.
WARNING: The following is a transcript of a digital recording. In certain places, the audio quality was poor, so some words and phrases represent the author's best guesses. Where possible, illustrations of important symbols mentioned in the recording have been added. Background noises such as scuffling, hitting, and cursing by the two speakers have not been transcribed The author makes no claims for the authenticity of the recording. It seems impossible that the two young narrators are telling the truth, but you, the reader, must decide for yourself.
I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won't... I very much love those mysterious volumes, both ancient and modern, that have no definite author but have had and continue to have an intense life of their own. They seem to me a sort of nighttime miracle, like the gifts of the Befana, which I waited for as a child... True miracles are the ones whose makers will never be known... Besides, isn't it true that promotion is expensive? I will be the least expensive author of the publishing house. I'll spare you even my presence.
Christ is the Master; the Scriptures are only the servant. The true way to test all the Books is to see whether they work the will of Christ or not. No Book which does not preach Christ can be apostolic, though Peter or Paul were its author. And no Book which does preach Christ can fail to be apostolic, although Judas, Ananias, Pilate, or Herod were its author.
Readers really want to come back to an author; they do not want a one-book wonder. That is all very well, but to be career author, you have to be prepared to write one really good book and then write another really good book and keep feeding your readers. You build your audience over a long time.
The history of this paper suggests that highly speculative investigations, especially by an unknown author, are best brought before the world through some other channel than a scientific society, which naturally hesitates to admit into its printed records matters of uncertain value. Perhaps one may go further and say that a young author who believes himself capable of great things would usually do well to secure the favourable recognition of the scientific world by work whose scope is limited and whose value is easily judged, before embarking upon higher flights.
John William Strutt
There should be more or less of a jumble in your head or on your note paper after the first time and even after the second. Much that you will think of in connection will come to nothing and be wasted. But some of it ought to go together under one idea. That idea is the thing to write on and write into the title at the head of your paper... One idea and a few subordinate ideas - [the trick is] to have those happen to you as you read and catch them - not let them escape you... The sidelong glance is what you depend on. You look at your author but you keep the tail of your eye on what is happening over and above your author in your own mind and nature.