Literary Birthday - 20 December - David Levine

Happy Birthday, David Levine, born 20 December 1926, died 29 December 2009

Levine was an American artist and illustrator best known for his caricatures inThe New York Review of Books. Jules Feiffer called him ‘the greatest caricaturist of the last half of the 20th Century.’ 

Clockwise (from top left): Jay McInerney, Toni Morrison, Jonathan Safran Foer, Hilary Mantel, Malcolm Gladwell, Isabel Allende, Philip Pullman, Nicole Krauss, Edward St Aubyn (centre)

Source for Caricatures

 by Amanda Patterson

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

Literary Birthday - 19 October - Philip Pullman

Happy Birthday, Philip Pullman, born 19 October 1946

Philip Pullman’s Top 10 Writing Quotes

  1. Read like a butterfly, write like a bee.
  2. After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.
  3. I write almost always in the third person, and I don’t think the narrator is male or female anyway. They’re both, and young and old, and wise and silly, and sceptical and credulous, and innocent and experienced, all at once. Narrators are not even human - they’re sprites.
  4. I am a story teller. If I wanted to send a message I would have written a sermon.
  5. There’s a hunger for stories in all of us, adults too. We need stories so much that we’re even willing to read bad books to get them, if the good books won’t supply them.
  6. As Jane Austen might have put it: It is a truth universally acknowledged that young protagonists in search of adventure must ditch their parents.
  7. I am a strong believer in the tyranny, the dictatorship, the absolute authority of the writer.
  8. Writer’s block is a condition that affects amateurs and people who aren’t serious about writing. 
  9. I have stolen ideas from every book I have ever read.
  10. What I do say is that I can write verse, and that the writing of verse in strict form is the best possible training for writing good prose.

Pullman is the author of several best-selling books, most notably the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials and the fictionalised biography of Jesus, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Philip Pullman: On Writer’s Block

'Writer’s block…a lot of howling nonsense would be avoided if, in every sentence containing the word WRITER, that word was taken out and the word PLUMBER substituted; and the result examined for the sense it makes. Do plumbers get plumber’s block? What would you think of a plumber who used that as an excuse not to do any work that day?

The fact is that writing is hard work, and sometimes you don’t want to do it, and you can’t think of what to write next, and you’re fed up with the whole damn business. Do you think plumbers don’t feel like that about their work from time to time? Of course there will be days when the stuff is not flowing freely. What you do then is MAKE IT UP. I like the reply of the composer Shostakovich to a student who complained that he couldn’t find a theme for his second movement. “Never mind the theme! Just write the movement!” he said.

Writer’s block is a condition that affects amateurs and people who aren’t serious about writing. So is the opposite, namely inspiration, which amateurs are also very fond of. Putting it another way: a professional writer is someone who writes just as well when they’re not inspired as when they are.'

Read more about the author here

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.