Quotes of Note

“It has pleased me throughout the long series of Tarzanian exploits to draw comparisons between the manners of men and the manners of beasts and seldom to the advantage of men.  Perhaps I hoped to shame men into being more like beasts in those respects in which the beasts excel men, and those are not a few.  “I wanted my readers to realize that man alone of all the creatures that inhabit the earth or the waters below or the air above takes life wantonly; he is the only creature that derives pleasure from inflicting pain on other creatures, even his own kind.  Jealousy, greed, hate, spitefulness are more fully developed in man than in the lower orders.  These are axiomatic truths that require no demonstration.” – Edgar Rice Burroughs in “The Tarzan Theme” – Writer’s Digest, June 1932

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

“Leave well–even ‘pretty well’–alone: that is what I learn as I get old.” – Poet Edward FitzGerald

“Lots of people think that the Internet has ruined today’s kids. They don’t read, it seems. Google has rewired their brains and stunted their attention spans. Are attention spans deteriorating? Forty years ago, the length of Marcel Ophüls’ The Sorrow and The Pity (at 4 hours 11 minutes) or Andy Warhol’s Empire (6 hours 36 minutes) was a sign of extreme seriousness. Today, popular entertainments are vastly longer. J.M. Straczynski’s Babylon 5 was conceived as a single story told in more than 100 hours of film. Joss Whedon’s Buffy, The Vampire Slayer is a coming of age story meant to be viewed over a period of seven years. Harry Potter comes in seven volumes, none of them short, and when the children have finished those, they enjoy Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and the 20 volumes of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin stories. If our attention span grows short, one wonders where those mythic Victorians found time get anything done.” – Mark Bernstein in the Atlantic magazine

“I don’t think anyone should write their autobiography until after they’re dead.” – Samuel Goldwyn

“All those writers who write about their childhood!  Gentle God, if I wrote about mine, you wouldn’t sit in the same room with me.” – Dorothy Parker

“Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers.  My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.  There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” – Flannery O’Connor, “The Nature and Aim of Fiction”

“It is striking that the bad behaviour of great writers should strike us with quite such force: perhaps it is because the assumption still runs so deep, despite the obvious evidence, that creative genius and moral intelligence somehow go together.” – Seamus Perry in a review of The Vampyre Family: Passion, Envy and The Curse of Byron

“Never learn to do anything.  If you don’t learn you’ll always find someone else to do it.” – Jane Clemens, Mother of Mark Twain

“As Dr. Given laid the baby across my stomach he said, ‘It’s a girl,’ and I said, ‘Now I have a friend.’ ” – Writer Gisella Heinemann talking about the birth of her daughter, Johanna

“I’m having a wonderful time.  I can’t figure out who did the killing.” – Mary Roberts Rinehart at age 81 rereading one of her earliest mysteries

“I have done what people do, my life makes a reasonable showing.  Can I go back to my books now?” – Lynne Sharon Schwartz

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