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Barry Hannah's Quotes

Barry Hannah profile photo

Born: 1942-04-23
Profession: Novelist
Nation: American
Biography of Barry Hannah

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Voice comes to you through a spell, a trance. The best voices are not you... they're a little away from you.

Tags: Away, Best, Voice

A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do what he can't.

Tags: Woman

I grew up when people seemed actually to be hurting themselves for their art. Of course, some of it was phony.

Tags: Art, Hurting, Themselves

I lost my second marriage because of drinking, and I loved the woman very much. But I thought I needed booze to write. I'm glad I was disabused.

Tags: Lost, Marriage, Woman

I wanted very much to be Miles Davis when I was a boy, but without the practice. It just looked like an endless road.

Tags: Practice, Road, Wanted

Love and despair go hand in hand.

Tags: Despair, Hand, Love

Most novels I come across have all the excitement of a long trip on a bus with a sensitive glee club. Yammer and chat.

Tags: Excitement, Sensitive, Trip

My best stories come out of nowhere, with no concern for form at all.

Tags: Best, Concern, Stories

Randomness I love. And I still love just a holler right in the middle of an ongoing narrative. Pain or joy, ecstasy.

Tags: Joy, Love, Pain

I distrust thought. The interior life is highly overrated. I don't like the wispy and the vague... or inductive logic in any kind of writing. I'm impatient with writers who make too much sense. The better things that I've done have come to me by instinct.

Tags: Done, Life, Writing

I don't write under the ghost of Faulkner. I live in the same town and find his life and work inspiring, but that's it. I have a motorcycle and tool along the country lanes. I travel at my own speed.

Tags: Life, Travel, Work

I found out about reviews early on. They're mostly written by sad men on bad afternoons. That's probably why I'm less angry than some writers, who are so narcissistic they consider every line of every review, even a thoughtful one, as major treason.

Tags: Angry, Men, Sad

I was always kind of florid. And full of rhetoric. That was my flaw. My whole time writing, I've had to work against that because it can be a wrecking posture.

Tags: Time, Work, Writing

I'll tell you why I like writing: it's just jumping into a pool. I get myself into a kind of trance. I engage the world, but it's also wonderful to just escape. I try to find the purities out of the confusion. It's pretty old-fashioned, but it's fun.

Tags: Fun, Pretty, Writing

Some writers are curiously unmusical. I don't get it. I don't get them. For me, music is essential. I always have music on when I'm doing well. Writing and music are two different mediums, but musical phrases can give you sentences that you didn't think you ever had.

Tags: Give, Music, Writing

When you're not involved, other people's unhappiness seems to be about the funniest damn thing on earth because you think you can solve it, that you are God, that you are above this, and that their unhappiness is just such useless toil and agony. If it's you, it ceases to be a comedy.

Tags: Comedy, Earth, God