That’s pretty much it.
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 Read the rest of this entry
1. “I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
2. “A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.”
3. “One should never use exclamation points in writing. It is like laughing at your own joke.”
4. “The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell together, as quickly as possible.”
5. “To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself…Anybody can have ideas–the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.” Read the rest of this entry
As I add misleading tags to this post, which will hopefully bring mislead people over among my fellow googlers, who entered (porn+naked) I realize that among my “most used tags” Bukowski pops up.
This man made me change a lot about myself. My writing: which is still bad, but more concise. My appreciation for prose and poetry. Especially poetry, which through him I understood it needn’t be dull. It needn’t be about the weather and how that reflected on the human condition. It could be about the human condition and how that reflected on the human condition. He made me see how drinking could be cool in a non-glamorous way, and how uncool a beershit is, the next day. He taught me about style, which made me give-up on the idea of hipster goggles. Bukowski had an intense desire to please people, which he tried hard to hide beneath layers of viciousness and chauvinism, but he never changed his art because of it; he showed me it’s ok to be an asshole. He also showed me I didn’t have to try so hard, because whatever I had coming would come (HERE). One of the few advice I ignored. He had the talent to be great, but a glimpse of modesty pointed me to the other direction.
He was hard on aspiring creators, because he told the truth. And now, as I try to convince myself that if I just remove my flat-screen, my ps3 and my sound-system from my room I’ll finally work hard, he is hard on me again:
Andre Bazin was a French film critic of the 50’s. One of his books (two volumes) is described as quintessential for film students, What is Cinema?, which made for the perfect bragabook (book you read to brag about). Your French accent and quirky moustache could only get him so far, it was his writing which established him as THE film critic to read. It has endured for 50 or 60 years, and will continue to endure, an extraordinary feat considering that cinema was only beginning to get credibility as an art, which makes him a pioneer.
Bazin was an admirer of Jean Renoir and Orson Welles. He wrote a book about each of them, but my library had only the latest – which was actually surprising considered its dimensions and the general lack of demand for fifties French film criticism on a director with only one recognizable work in my country.
I devoured the book in one day. It’s short and a particularly boring passage of Karamazov Brotherscombined with a particularly boring afternoon at the beach, made reading it in one sitting the most sensible course of action. It had pictures, too.
I learned quite a few things I didn’t know about the man and his upbringing, his difficulties to get a movie done and his personality. He said something worth quoting, that I couldn’t find on the web:
“Only the optimists are incapable of understanding what it means to love an ideal.”
(Unprecedented words from an interview in the Ritz, 27th of July of 1958)
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.” Read the rest of this entry
I watch so much TV and films I should list it on my résumé in the category of “Past Activities” instead of “Hobbies”. And I love them. A might watch twice a full TV series if I moderately like it. If I love it, there’s no limit to the amount of times I’ll re-watch it. If you tell me what Jerry did in an episode of Seinfeld, I’ll tell what Kramer, Elaine and George were up to in that same episode. If you chat with me, I can properly reply solely with GIF’s from Community. I’ll perfectly imitate the imitation of Sal from The Sopranos imitating Michael from The Godfather. I know the chicken dances from all characters in Arrested Development, and if you correct me in any of these I’ll say you’re making a huge mistake.
I fit most criteria to be a board certified fanboy but, in the same way Harry, sporting the Sorting Hat, was told he fit the criteria to be a Slytherin decided to be in Grynfindor, I decide to not be a fanboy. Here’s why:
1. “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”
2. “It’s the writing that teaches you.”
3. “Writing is a lonely job. Even if a writer socializes regularly, when he gets down to the real business of his life, it is he and his type writer or word processor. No one else is or can be involved in the matter.”
4. ” For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.”
5. “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”
6. “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” Read the rest of this entry