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date: 03 December 2023


  1. A losing trade, I assure you, sir: literature is a drug.
    George Borrow 1803–81 English writer: Lavengro (1851) ch. 30
  2. Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be read once.
    Cyril Connolly 1903–74 English writer: Enemies of Promise (1938) ch. 3
  3. There is first the literature of knowledge, and secondly, the literature of power.
    Thomas De Quincey 1785–1859 English essayist and critic: review of the Works of Pope (1847 ed.) in North British Review August 1848, vol. 9
  4. Nothing factual that I write or say will be as truthful as my fiction.
    Nadine Gordimer 1923–2014 South African novelist and short-story writer: Nobel lecture: ‘Writing and Being’ 7 December 1991
  5. Literature is my Utopia.
    Helen Keller 1880–1968 American writer and social reformer, blind and deaf from the age of 19 months: The Story of my Life (1903) ch. 21
  6. In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.
    André Maurois 1885–1967 French writer: The Art of Living (1940) ch. 6
  7. All true literature rises from this childish, hopeful certainty that all people resemble each other.
    Orhan Pamuk 1952–  Turkish novelist: My Father's Suitcase: the Nobel Lecture (2006)
  8. Literature is news that stays news.
    Ezra Pound 1885–1972 American poet: The ABC of Reading (1934) ch. 2
  9. Literature is the one place in any society where, within the secrecy of our own heads, we can hear voices talking about everything in every possible way.
    Salman Rushdie 1947–  Indian-born British novelist: lecture ‘Is Nothing Sacred’ 6 February 1990
  10. The illusion of art is to make one believe that great literature is very close to life, but exactly the opposite is true. Life is amorphous, literature is formal.
    Françoise Sagan 1935–2004 French novelist: Malcolm Cowley (ed.) Writers at Work (1958) 1st series
  11. Remarks are not literature.
    Gertrude Stein 1874–1946 American writer: Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933) ch. 7