George Orwell’s 20 Quotes on Writing

george orwell, george orwell quotes, george orwell 1984, 1984 george orwell, 1984 by george orwell

1. “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.”

2. “- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
– Never use a long word where a short one will do.
– If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
– Never use the passive where you can use the active.
– Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
– Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.”

3. “When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”

4. “For after all, what is there behind, except money? Money for the right kind of education, money for influential friends, money for leisure and peace of mind, money for trips to Italy. Money writes books, money sells them. Give me not righteousness, O lord, give me money, only money.”

5. “In an age like our own, when the artist is an altogether exceptional person, he must be allowed a certain amount of irresponsibility, just as a pregnant woman is. Still, no one would say that a pregnant woman should be allowed to commit murder, nor would anyone make such a claim for the artist, however gifted. If Shakespeare returned to the earth to-morrow, and if it were found that his favourite recreation was raping little girls in railway carriages, we should not tell him to go ahead with it on the ground that he might write another King Lear. And, after all, the worst crimes are not always the punishable ones. By encouraging necrophilic reveries one probably does quite as much harm as by, say, picking pockets at the races. One ought to be able to hold in one’s head simultaneously the two facts that Dali is a good draughtsman and a disgusting human being. The one does not invalidate or, in a sense, affect the other. The first thing that we demand of a wall is that it shall stand up. If it stands up, it is a good wall, and the question of what purpose it serves is separable from that. And yet even the best wall in the world deserves to be pulled down if it surrounds a concentration camp. In the same way it should be possible to say, “This is a good book or a good picture, and Continue reading “George Orwell’s 20 Quotes on Writing”

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Why I’ll Never Love a Book More Than Harry Potter

[click the image for the reasons] Why I'll Never Love a Book Like Harry Potter - Source: (azevedosreviews.com)

I wear glasses and say words like “derogatory”. I watched Arrested Development. So, yeah, I’m pretty smart. I’m not an expert in literature, but I’ve read a few of the Slavics, some Dickens, all of Bukowski’s novels and most of Vonnegut’s. Of my countrymen, I’ve read almost everything by Saramago and Eça; I read one or two other authors, but I don’t bother with the rest. But when people ask me which is my favorite book, I’ll always proudly reply: Harry Potter. It doesn’t matter which big words I use or the way I arrange my glasses when I reply, they’ll always be, in this order, surprised and condescending. “Don’t give me that derogatory look just yet”, I tell them “let me explain”.

There’s a very simple reason for Harry Potter remaining in the top of my favourite books: I read it as a child. I grew up with it. I was lucky to be the same age as Hermione, Harry and Ron. I went through the same things they did, at the same time. I was accepted in a very exclusive school, top 10 in the country at the time. My sister went there before me, but I still felt like a mudblood (sorry for the language). Before the school year I had to buy my supplies. Like a Weasley, everything I could re-use from my older siblings I did. Fortunately, my parents had TV’s, so I had only a 5 year older sister, smaller than me; I got some books, pens, notebooks, rulers, erasers, half of a set-square, and one particularly large summer dress. What I couldn’t get second hand, I had to buy at the lowest price, so I had to scourge Diagon Alley for the best bargains. I was either 10 or 11, I thought I was big and brave, but like Harry I was also scared when Olivander helped me choose my wand. I mean, when he helped me getting chosen by my wand. I also bought my cauldron, 1 set of crystal phials, gym clothes, 2 gridded notebooks, 1 telescope, 1 drawing pad, 15 different pencils, 1 set of brass scales and the required books I hadn’t inherited: Portuguese, English, History, Sciences, Defense Against The Dark Arts and Geography. I also had to buy new clothes. I wanted a pair of loose jeans, with a cartoon on the back and metal chains, which connected from the beginning of the pocket to the end, and hung almost to the knees. I got the cheap imitation and which still made me happy.

You might have noticed I have some difficulty separating reality from fantasy. That’s the muggle in you talking. Tell him to quiet down for the next few hundred words. Continue reading “Why I’ll Never Love a Book More Than Harry Potter”

Vladimir Nabokov’s 20 Quotes on Writing

(Click the image) for 20 Vladimir Nabokov's quotes on writing

1. “Literature is invention. Fiction is fiction. To call a story a true story is an insult to both truth and art.”

2. “It is a singular reaction, this sitting still and writing, writing, writing, or ruminating at length, which is much the same, really.

3. “There are three points of view from which a writer can be considered: he may be considered as a storyteller, as a teacher, and as an enchanter. A major writer combines these three — storyteller, teacher, enchanter — but it is the enchanter in him that predominates and makes him a major writer…The three facets of the great writer — magic, story, lesson — are prone to blend in one impression of unified and unique radiance, since the magic of art may be present in the very bones of the story, in the very marrow of thought…Then with a pleasure which is both sensual and intellectual we shall watch the artist build his castle of cards and watch the castle of cards become a castle of beautiful steel and glass.”

4. “The thought, when written down, becomes less oppressive, but some thoughts are like a cancerous tumor: you express is, you excise it, and it grows back worse than before.”

5. “No writer in a free country should be expected to bother about the exact demarcation between the sensuous and the sensual; this is preposterous; I can only admire but cannot emulate the accuracy of judgment of those who pose the fair young mammals photographed in magazines where the general neckline is just low enough to provoke a past master’s chuckle and just high enough not to make a postmaster frown.” Continue reading “Vladimir Nabokov’s 20 Quotes on Writing”

Chan-Wook Park Goes to America

Stoker

I put artsy indie films and Hollywood blockbusters in the same category. I look at both with mistrust. The archetype of the blockbuster is a tightly structured movie, with very little space for creativity. Movies like Iron-Man, Men in Black, Twillight and more, are a product Hollywood sells. They have to make money, so I understand very little is to be left to chance. Art films (lacking a better word), are the opposite, often on purpose. If the norm is to shoot, write, light, in a certain way, they do the opposite to escape the norm. Originality supersedes quality.

I beware of the mindless blockbuster as I do of indie-crap.

Stoker looks a lot like indie-crap. Fortunately its director is Chan-wook Park and luck of lucks, he didn’t get lost in translation.

The plot uses two conventional settings: A woman becomes Continue reading “Chan-Wook Park Goes to America”

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE MACHINE

#matrix 5 reasons you should root for the machine

I know it’s not a popular opinion, but here it goes: Neo’s an asshole.

Matrix was centered on the struggles of Human resistance against the dominance of their mechanical counterparts. A Rage against the machines, if you will. We see this from the biased human perspective, of course. We’re conditioned to be on Neo’s side… but should we?

1-     Agent Smith provides the first reason that shows that Neo is one of the bad guy: “I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”

A virus.

2-     The machines needed sunlight to function, the humans thought. As a result, we decided to wreck the entire planet and all its life forms, which have existed for billions of years, for our own benefit. There’s not much said about the machines actions, but apart from wanting to annihilate humanity they probably were pretty good guys. I don’t see why they wouldn’t give a hand to penguins or pandas. They’d definitely leave beavers to attend to their own affairs, every dam way they’d like. But no. We decided to destroy everything for a remote chance of a survival in an austere world.

3-     The machines cultivated the humans as the energy source the humans took from them. No pig, cow or hen ever took anything from a human being. And no, Babe or Chicken Little don’t count. We still breed and feed them, we keep them in animal farms much like the ones the machines kept the humans. Difference: the machines gave us an entertainment. In the Matrix, we get to play humans to pass the time. The pigs don’t get to play animals.

4-     The machines work as, well, a well-oiled machine. They act as a group and have a collective goal in mind. Obliterating humanity may not be the best goal, but it’s not the worse either. It’s a goal. Humans betray each other for what they know to be an illusion. At their best, they pull together for short bursts, waiting for a miracle to come.

5-     In the end, humans rely on divinity. The message is, no matter what you do, you have to rely on higher powers. You can only do so much. Neo is god. A flawed god who attains very little, but a god nonetheless. The machines

see also:

Hannibal is Mads

Beyond The Pines

Bukowski on Writing

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Hanibal is Mads

Hannibal How to cook a meal

Episode 9 and I’m finally married to Hannibal, the TV show. Almost.

The first episodes had some fine details but their structure was so flat, they became flattened as well.

The main character is not Hannibal, but Will. I almost had to google him, but I remembered Mads Mikkelsen’s voice calling for the sad basterd. I assume he’s a functioning sociopath, like Tony Soprano, without the gut or the guts. He is filled with characterization but lacks Continue reading “Hanibal is Mads”

Drive Meets Serpico

“if you ride like lightening, you’re gonna crash like thunder”

Gosling is the only actor that’d make me watch a movie. Male or female. He fills the screen without the need for a close-up. In The place Beyond the Pines he plays a daredevil bike rider that makes his living riding in a round metal cage. He’s seen as a cool guy. People stare at him, his bleached hair, puffed-up muscles and leather jacket. The announcer calls for Handsome Luke while he puts his helmet on. All but one of his numerous tattoos are now covered, the one bellow his left eye, a knife dripping a single blood droplet. I believe each droplet stands for a person killed, in gang language. Even if I’m mistaken, it still gives colour to his violent past without the need for words.

After this brilliant introduction, some flaws emerge. Handsome Luke becomes aware he’s a father too early to get an emotional response. He sticks around, despite the fact the mother of his child lives with another man. There’s a miraculous job waiting for him in an auto-shop, but he struggles to make enough money to support a family that was never truly his. The miraculous answer is to rob banks with his “boss” who miraculously has done so before.

The potential in this movie gets spoiled by lack of consistency. The plot leaps the gaping holes it opens. Most major events and plot twists seem to be Continue reading “Drive Meets Serpico”