Image result for bob dylan
Bob Dylan (Zimmerman)
photograph of Ezra H. Pound
Ezra Pound

1. Ezra Pound was a mover and shaker in the early 20th Century who had a major influence on writers such as T.S. Eliot, Yeats, Hemingway, and James Joyce. He was a trend setter in poetry and is considered to be the originator of the Imagist Movement in the early part of the last century. And, in my humble opinion, I believe he even influenced Bob Dylan’s coiffure…check it out:

“The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth.”   Ezra Pound


2. We humans wouldn’t need art if:

Paul Valery
Paul Valery

“If what has happened in the one person were communicated directly to the other, all art would collapse, all the effects of art would disappear.” Valéry, “Reflections”, p.64, Collected Works

3. Here’s a very similar idea from Bergson:


“If reality impacted directly on our senses and our consciousness, if we could have direct communication between the material world and ourselves, art would be unnecessary.” Bergson

4. Talk about character assassination!:

Astrid Artisticem Cruz
Astrid Artisticem Cruz

“I write because, if I don’t, my characters will murder me in my sleep.”
Astrid ‘Artistikem’ Cruz

5. A very very cool observation by Thomas Merton:

Thomas Merton

” I think it was not the books themselves but my own sense of energy and resolve that made me think everything was more interesting than it was.” Thomas Merton

6. In an age where art forms have become increasingly mimetic to a point that originality means going back several decades to repeat past trends, Franz Kafka’s words are a key:

Franz Kafka

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”  Franz Kafka

If you want a taste of that merciless obsession, check out his short story “Metamorphosis.” It’s a mind blower.

7. T.S. Eliot was what I would call a brainy poet. I was once told by a professor that I would do well to have an encyclopedia with me while reading his poetry to understand all of his many scholarly references. The following quote of his, though, is pretty straightforward and a very cool metaphor of the poetic mind:

T.S. Eliot
T.S. Eliot

“[the poet’s mind is] a receptacle for seizing and storing up numberless feeling, phrases and images, which remain there until all the particles, which can unite to form a new compound are present together”T.S. Eliot

8. John Gardner on the most common mistake in the fiction of beginners:

john gardner
John Gardner

“No fiction can have real interest if the central character is not an agent struggling for his or her own goals, but a victim, subject to the will of others; failure to recognize that the central character must act, not simply be acted upon, is the single-most common mistake in the fiction of beginners.” Gardner

9. Flannery  O’Connor on writing:

Flannery O'Connor
Flannery O’Connor

“Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I’m always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system.”

“Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.”  Flannery O’Connor

10. How important is the fictional dream?

John Gardner

“What counts in conventional fiction must  be the vividness and continuity of the fictional dream the words set off in the reader’s mind. The writer’s characters must stand before us in a wonderful clarity – such continuous clarity that nothing they may do strikes us as improbable behavior for that character, even when the character’s action is, as sometimes happens, something that came as a surprise to the writer himself. ” John Gardner

11. Just get something, anything, down on paper:

Joseph M Williams

“It is at the point where you have something-anything- on paper that principles of style are most useful- not as you are creating your first draft, but when you are rethinking and revising it. In fact, if we had to think about principles of style as we wrote, we’d probable never write anything. Smart writers get something down on paper as fast as they can just so they can revise it into something clearer.” Joseph M. Williams