Camilo José Cela was born 11 May 1916, and died 17 January 2002
- Literature is the denunciation of the times in which one lives.
- I begin to write. If nothing occurs to me, I remain seated at the writing table until something finally does come to mind. You must surrender yourself to a discipline.
- There is more than enough time for everything. The important thing is not to waste it.
- Ideas? My head is full of them, one after the other, but they serve no purpose there. They must be put down on paper, one after the other.
- There are two kinds of man: the ones who make history and the ones who endure it.
- No, absolutely not. [The muses] This is nothing more than a subterfuge used by lyric poets. It’s just so convenient. It’s a lie. The excuse is used not when a good piece of writing is being turned out but when a good piece is not forthcoming.
- In order to write books, all one needs to have is something to say, a stack of blank papers and a pen with which to say it; everything else is extraneous and nothing more than an attempt to add theatrics to the trade.
- I think inspiration is a refuge for poets. All poets are generally very lazy. They’re loafers!
- There is nothing as frightening as a stack of blank pieces of paper and the thought that I have to fill them from top to bottom, placing letters one after the other.
- The case is that when I write I do it aloud. Many faults and cacophonies that the ear is able to catch cannot be seen on the written page. So, if it sounds poorly to my ear I can catch the error.
- You must learn how to foment your enemies. It is good for a writer to foster his enemies.
- [A writer’s] lack of quality is unpardonable, because then he should have dedicated himself to some other trade.
Cela was a Spanish novelist, short story writer and essayist. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1989.
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