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James Salter's Quotes

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Born: 1925-06-10
Profession: Novelist
Nation: American
Biography of James Salter

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My first book was published without any editorial advice. Nobody said, 'You might do this or that,' or 'Why don't we see more of this.' I merely took the book and published it.

Tags: Advice, Book, Why

My idea of writing is of unflinching and continual effort, somehow trying to find the right words until you reach a point where you can make no further progress and you either have something or you don't.

Tags: Trying, Words, Writing

The publishers, as I remember at the very beginning of my career, wrote letters with their fountain pens. A letter is different from a phone call or fax. It's a different kind of intimacy. That pervaded the entire business of writing and publishing.

Tags: Business, Career, Writing

The writing is really important in books that affect me. I read for the writing. The story is usually of less interest to me. It's the words that break your heart.

Tags: Heart, Words, Writing

The writing workshops and programs that are everywhere have encouraged writing. And if that produces more writing, it's also producing more readers of an elevated level. So all in all, a good thing.

Tags: Good, Level, Writing

There is no situation like the open road, and seeing things completely afresh. I'm used to traveling. It's not a question of meeting or seeing new faces particularly, or hearing new stories, but of looking at life in a different way. It's the curtain coming up on another act.

Tags: Another, Life, Used

You can write about other people and their ideas and life without having lived it, but even your perception of that is going to be colored by what you know and what you experience. And this is undeniable.

Tags: Experience, Life, Write

Your parents are the parents you know best. Your brother and sister, if you have them, are the brother and sister you know best. They may not be the ones you like the best. They may not be the most interesting, but they are the closest and probably the clearest to you.

Tags: Best, May, Parents

A name, of course is like a piece of clothing, isn't it? It gives you an impression right away.

Tags: Away, Impression, Name

Every nation feels itself to be superior, but in America it's a jaunty feeling, and in some cases a rather ominous one among the super-patriots.

Tags: America, Feeling, Rather

Happiness is often at its most intense when it is based on inequality.

Tags: Based, Happiness, Often

I always knew writing a novel was a great thing.

Tags: Great, Knew, Writing

I don't fear death. I'm not obsessed with it the way everybody else seems to be.

Tags: Death, Else, Fear

I like aristocracy. I like the beauty of aristocracy. I like the hierarchical feeling.

Tags: Beauty, Feeling

I wasted time writing films. I don't look back on those years as lost, but it wasn't what I should have been doing.

Tags: Lost, Time, Writing

I write in longhand. I am accustomed to that proximity, that feel of writing. Then I sit down and type.

Tags: Sit, Write, Writing

I've always said that I felt women are more heroic.

Tags: Felt, Said, Women

If you write enough, you begin to learn to do things. But in a way, you do start from zero each time.

Tags: Enough, Learn, Time

In 1957, I decided: write or perish.

Tags: Decided, Perish, Write

In a certain sense, a writer is an exile, an outsider, always reporting on things, and it is part of his life to keep on the move. Travel is natural.

Tags: Life, Sense, Travel

My ideal is a book that is perfect on every page, that gives you tremendous aesthetic joy on every page. I suppose I am trying to write such a book.

Tags: Book, Perfect, Trying

On the Internet, everyone is writing. There is a great flowering of writing.

Tags: Everyone, Great, Writing

The whole joy of writing comes from the opportunity to go over it and make it good, one way or another.

Tags: Good, Joy, Writing
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There came a time when I felt I was not going to be satisfied with life unless I could write.

Tags: Life, Time, Write

There comes a time when you realize that everything is a dream, and only those things preserved in writing have any possibility of being real.

Tags: Real, Time, Writing

West Pointers tend to be rigorously honest - more than necessary, in my view.

Tags: Honest, Necessary, View

A film writer is very much like a party girl. While you're good-looking and still unlined, the possibilities seem endless. But your appeal doesn't last long and you're quickly discarded.

Tags: Girl, Last, While

I don't hold myself dictated to by what everyone is saying, by the tabloids or popular opinion. I don't like bourgeois values. I say you find your own way to live.

Tags: Everyone, Opinion, Saying

I have said many times I don't want to be considered one who once flew fighters. That's not who I am. I devoted the subsequent 50 years - more - to writing.

Tags: Once, Said, Writing

I write down portions, maybe fragments, and perhaps an imperfect view of what I'm hoping to write. Out of that, I keep trying to find exactly what I want.

Tags: Keep, Trying, Write

It was not until I began to write a book called 'Light Years' that an editor really stepped in. The editor was Joe Fox at Random House, and he wound up editing a subsequent book.

Tags: Book, Light, Write

Like books you will never have the chance to read, there are languages you do not know, and you're not going to get a chance to learn, so you'll never really know what was written, only the approximation.

Tags: Chance, Learn, Read

Man was very fortunate to have invented the book. Without it, the past would completely vanish, and we would be left with nothing, we would be naked on earth.

Tags: Book, Earth, Past
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