Literary Birthday - 7 November - Helen Garner

Happy Birthday, Helen Garner, born 7 November 1942

Seven Quotes

  1. Writers seem to me to be people who need to retire from social life and do a lot of thinking about what’s happened - almost to calm themselves.
  2. The trouble starts at the moment when you get the crazy idea that not winning a prize means you’re no good. It doesn’t mean that at all. I have been a member of several judging panels. I have witnessed the strange dynamic of their functioning. Forces that outsiders can’t even conceive of are at work in those meeting rooms. Under all their beautiful intelligent reasoning, prize judges, like people in every sphere of action, are driven by unconscious urges. How could it be otherwise? They are not sphinxes, or oracles, or disembodied spirits. They are people, subject to moods, full of contradictions and unacknowledged emotions and thwarted longings of their own.
  3. People tell you more than you need to know - and more than they want you to know.
  4. [writing novels is like] trying to make a patchwork quilt look seamless. A novel is made up of scraps of our own lives and bits of other people’s, and things we think of the night and whole notebooks full of randomly collected details.
  5. It’s disturbing at my age to look at a young woman’s destructive behaviour and hear the echoes of it, of one’s own destructiveness in youth.
  6. I like poking my nose into other people’s lives.
  7. Death will not be denied. To try is grandiose. It drives madness into the soul. It leaches out virtue. It injects poison into friendship, and makes a mockery of love.

Garner is an Australian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist. Garner’s first novel, Monkey Grip, was published in 1977. She has written both fiction and non-fiction as well as for film and theatre. She has consistently won awards for her work.

Source for Image

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  LinkedIn,  Google+,  Tumblr,  and  Twitter.

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