In America, only the successful writer is important, in France all writers are important, in England no writer is important, and in Australia you have to explain what a writer is.
It was one of the dullest speeches I ever heard. The Agee woman told us for three quarters of an hour how she came to write her beastly book, when a simple apology was all that was required.
He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.
William Faulkner (on Ernest Hemingway)
To say that Agatha Christie’s characters are cardboard cut-outs is an insult to cardboard cut-outs.
If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.
What a man Balzac would have been if he had known how to write.
Gustave Flaubert (on Honoré de Balzac)
An editor should have a pimp for a brother so he’d have someone to look up to.
From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.
A great many people now reading and writing would be better employed keeping rabbits.
You’ve got the brain of a four-year-old boy, and I bet he was glad to get rid of it.
This is not a book that should be tossed lightly aside. It should be hurled with great force.
Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I’ll waste no time reading it.