Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the book; a personality which, by birth and quality, is pledged to the doctrines there set forth, and which exists to see and state things so, and not otherwise.

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Talent & Writer

The purpose of a writer is to be read, and the criticism which would destroy the power of pleasing must be blown aside

Samuel Johnson – Writer, Reading, Critics

The characteristic of Chaucer is intensity: of Spencer, remoteness: of Milton elevation and of Shakespeare everything.

William Hazlitt Quote on Characteristics, Writers

He who does not expect a million readers should not write a line.

Goethe quote on Writer

Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom but they dare to go it alone.

John Updike – Writers

Until the 20th century it was generally assumed that a writer had said what he had to say in his works.

John Updike – Writers

Writers, like teeth, are divided into incisors and grinders.

Walter Bagehot – Writers

To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company.

Andre Gide – Reading

Success comes to a writer, as a rule, so gradually that it is always something of a shock to him to look back and realize the heights to which he has climbed.

P. G. Wodehouse – Writer, Success

The fact is that every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.

Borges – Writing & Writers

I suppose some editors are failed writers; but so are most writers.

T.S. Eliot – Writer

Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding.

Milan Kundera – Writer, Understanding

Borges said there are only four stories to tell: a love story between two people, a love story between three people, the struggle for power and the voyage. All of us writers rewrite these same stories ad infinitum.

Paulo Coelho – Literature

Until you understand a writer’s ignorance, presume yourself ignorant of his understanding.

Coleridge on ignorance

What makes books – and with them writers – so dangerous that church and state, politburos and the mass media feel the need to oppose them?

Power of Books

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