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Theodore Sturgeon's Quotes

Theodore Sturgeon profile photo

Born: 1918-02-26
Profession: Writer
Nation: American
Biography of Theodore Sturgeon

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There are people who have tremendously important things to say, but they say it so poorly that nobody would ever want to read it.

Tags: Nobody, Poorly, Read

There is no way of writing stories that I haven't done.

Tags: Done, Stories, Writing

There was so much that you could do, instead of looking for things that you couldn't do.

Tags: Instead, Looking

When I can't do something, this always impels me to study it.

Tags: Study

When you combine something to say with the skill to say it properly, then you've got a good writer.

Tags: Good, Skill, Writer

Writing is a communication.

Tags: Communication, Writing

You must write to the people's expertise.

Tags: Expertise, Write

Create a world in which these things do or do not exist, or in which they are extended in some way. Test reality against this fiction. The reader will recognize the world that you're talking about, even though it may be another one altogether.

Tags: Another, May, Reality

I feel angry that I can't be hypnotized. I'm not putting it down, and I'm not saying that it doesn't exist. I have talked to a great many people who are very good at it, but so far nobody has ever been able to hypnotize me.

Tags: Angry, Good, Great

I sent The World Well Lost to one editor who rejected it on sight, and then wrote a letter to every other editor in the field warning them against the story, and urging them to reject it on sight without reading it.

Tags: Against, Lost, Story

Once I had all the facts in, I found I didn't have the immoral courage to pull the caper. So I wrote it as a story. As a teenager, I didn't have any skills for writing as such, so it came out in 1500 words.

Tags: Courage, Words, Writing

Some major writers have a huge impact, like Ayn Rand, who to my mind is a lousy fiction writer because her writing has no compassion and virtually no humor. She has a philosophical and economical message that she is passing off as fiction, but it really isn't fiction at all.

Tags: Humor, Mind, Writing

The story of my very first sale is the fact that I dreamed up a foolproof paper to cheat an insurance company out of several hundred thousand dollars.

Tags: Cheat, Fact, Story

You don't sit up in a cave and write the Great American Novel and know it is utterly superb, and then throw it page by page into the fire. You just don't do that. You send it out. You have to send it out.

Tags: American, Fire, Great

You have to study your field and you have to find out how other people do it, and you have to keep working and learning and practicing and ultimately, you would be able to do it.

Tags: Learning, Study, Working

You write a story about loneliness, and you grab them all because everybody's an expert on that one.

Tags: Loneliness, Story, Write

I've always written very tightly, and there's a good reason for that. There's no point in using words that you're not going to apply.

Tags: Good, Reason, Words

Inner space is so much more interesting, because outer space is so empty.

Tags: Empty, Inner, Space

As far as hypnosis is concerned, I had a very serious problem when I was in my twenties. I encountered a man who later became the president of the American Society of Medical Hypnosis. He couldn't hypnotize me.

Tags: Medical, Problem, Society

Anybody can do anything he wants to if he wants to do it badly enough.

Tags: Anybody, Enough, Wants

As far as I'm concerned, I didn't dream - ever.

Tags: Concerned, Dream, Far

Basically, fiction is people. You can't write fiction about ideas.

Tags: Fiction, Ideas, Write

Fiction is very important to me. It's what I do, it's what I do with my life.

Tags: Fiction, Life
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For years, I thought I simply didn't dream. I felt left out. Everybody else had a thing I didn't have.

Tags: Dream, Else, Thought

Here's the point to be made - there are no synonyms. There are no two words that mean exactly the same thing.

Tags: Here, Mean, Words

I find to my mixed astonishment that I do dream, but I didn't know it.

Tags: Dream, Mixed

I have lived most of my life with the conviction that I don't dream, because I never could retrieve a dream.

Tags: Dream, Life, Lived

I learned how to live on five and sometimes ten dollars a week.

Tags: Learned, Sometimes, Week

I quit my job, and went ashore to become a writer.

Tags: Become, Job, Writer

I teach writing courses and first of all, I teach my students what prosody is.

Tags: Students, Teach, Writing

I write a story as if it were a letter to someone and essentially, that's what you do.

Tags: Someone, Story, Write

I wrote the very first stories in science fiction which dealt with homosexuality, The World Well Lost and Affair With a Green Monkey.

Tags: Lost, Science, Stories

In science fiction, you can also test out your own realities.

Tags: Fiction, Science, Test

It should consist of short, sharply focused sentences, each of which is a whole scene in itself.

Tags: Focused, Short, Whole

My wife is beginning to instruct me on means to retrieve dreams, and bit by bit, it does seem to be working.

Tags: Dreams, Wife, Working

Ninety percent of everything is crap.

Tags: Crap, Ninety, Percent

Science fiction, outside of poetry, is the only literary field which has no limits, no parameters whatsoever.

Tags: Outside, Poetry, Science

The first writing I did was short short stories for a newspaper syndicate for which I was paid five dollars a piece on publication.

Tags: Short, Stories, Writing

The movers and shakers have always been obsessive nuts.

Tags: Nuts, Obsessive, Shakers

There are a lot of people who write very intensely about things they do not and cannot do.

Tags: Cannot, Intensely, Write

No two people take on the information of being admirable and being admired in the same way.

Tags: Admirable, Admired

That dichotomy between the public consumption of the work and my intent and practice in making it is an uneasy one for me, on occasion.

Tags: Between, Making, Work

That's my ambition: that you look at the pictures and realize what complex, fascinating, interesting people every single one of my subjects is.

Tags: Ambition, Realize, Single

The kids really enjoy what they do. I check with them constantly to make sure that they're really happy to be there.

Tags: Enjoy, Happy, Kids

The transactions between me and the people that I photograph are very, very collaborative.

Tags: Between, Photograph

The truth is that from birth on we are, to one extent or another, a fairly sensual species.

Tags: Another, Birth, Truth

There are photographs that I don't take now that I previously would have taken without any thought at all as to any misinterpretations.

Tags: Taken, Thought

There isn't a person alive who doesn't like being caressed.

Tags: Alive

They were without clothes before I got there, and they were without clothes when I left.

Tags: Clothes, Left

Virtually always I get my best pictures when everybody thinks the shoot's done.

Tags: Best, Done, Everybody

What I'm good at is making art.

Tags: Art, Good, Making

When I started doing my work years ago, I had doubts as to whether the informed-consent question was answerable.

Tags: Question, Whether, Work

A virulent, aggressive minority has decided that Americans don't know themselves what it is they should see, and need to be protected by people who are wiser than they are, even if they are only a tiny sliver of the population.

Tags: Aggressive, Themselves, Wiser

Every child is going to grow up. You can see it happen in the books: They get older and older and belong to themselves to a greater and greater extent.

Tags: Child, Happen, Themselves

I didn't think there was anything more or less obscene about any part of the body. Now, I recognize that there are certain postures and angles that make people see red, which are evidence of original sin or something, and I avoid that.

Tags: Avoid, Body, Less

I just yesterday returned from a trip where I photographed a woman with two children whom I photographed first when she was the age of the older of the two children.

Tags: Age, Children, Woman

In fact, I don't believe I'm guilty of any crimes, but I've always been drawn to and fascinated by physical, sexual and psychological change, and there's an erotic aspect to that.

Tags: Change, Fact, Guilty

Now, I recognize that there are certain postures and angles that make people see red, which are evidence of original sin or something, and I avoid that. I don't shoot that any more.

Tags: Avoid, Original, Sin

Some of the people that I photographed as sticks became much more voluptuous, much rounder, in some cases dramatically so, and I think they're even more beautiful.

Tags: Beautiful, Cases, Sticks

The images I like best are parts of series that I've started, in some cases, with the pregnancies of the mothers of the children in question, and I continue that series right on through the birth of children to the child that resulted from that first pregnancy.

Tags: Best, Child, Children

The world is shrinking as we see more and more of it in the media, and the more we see of the world, the smaller we are, the more aware we are of how insignificant any one of us is.

Tags: Aware, Media, Shrinking

There's no particular evidence that any of the lower mammals or any of the other animals have any interest in aesthetics at all. But Homo sapiens does, always has and always will.

Tags: Evidence, Homo, Interest

What pedophiles and people who have sexual desires on children lose sight of to a terrible, terrible degree - a devastating degree - is that their victims are real people who will suffer forever whatever abuses are perpetrated on them.

Tags: Children, Lose, Real

We live in an age where anonymity is growing in magnitude like a bomb going off.

Tags: Age, Growing, Off

As soon as you forbid something, you make it extraordinarily appealing. You also bring shame in as a phenomenon.

Tags: Bring, Shame, Soon

If somebody's pointing a trembling finger at your pants and saying you shouldn't be doing that, follow that finger back, go up the arm and look at the head that's behind it, because there's almost always something fairly woolly in there.

Tags: Almost, Saying, Somebody

I will always admit immediately to what's obvious, which is that Homo sapiens is inherently erotic or inherently sensual from birth.

Tags: Admit, Birth, Obvious

Physical beauty is such a strange thing.

Tags: Beauty, Physical, Strange

All my life I've taken photographs of people who are completely at peace being what they were in the situations I photographed them in.

Tags: Life, Peace, Taken

Any artist that's involved in their work is inevitably going to have a focus in what they do.

Tags: Artist, Focus, Work

Before, I'd photograph anything. I didn't think there was anything more or less obscene about any part of the body.

Tags: Body, Less, Photograph

But empirically I've come to understand that my photographs really don't do any harm.

Tags: Harm, Understand

But the truth is that Homo sapiens is a sensual species. I think all species are, to one degree or another.

Tags: Another, Degree, Truth

Different members of different cultures will think that some things are beautiful.

Tags: Beautiful, Cultures, Members

I am fascinated by the human body and all its evolutions.

Tags: Body, Fascinated, Human

I became good at defending myself, but as far as I was concerned, that was a transient skill.

Tags: Concerned, Far, Good

I don't photograph any two people who are remotely the same.

Tags: Photograph, Remotely

I found myself serving a sentence of public denial from the very second the raid on my apartment happened.

Tags: Denial, Found, Public

I know the families that I photograph extremely well, and I've known them for a very long time.

Tags: Known, Photograph, Time

I'd rather get back to making art than talk about it.

Tags: Art, Rather, Talk

I'm an artist that's attracted to a specific way of seeing and a way of being.

Tags: Artist, Attracted, Seeing

I'm guilty of extraordinary naivete, I suppose. But it's a naivete that I really don't want to abandon, not even now.

Tags: Abandon, Guilty, Naivete

I'm the last person who has any desire to instruct anybody in shame. That's no errand for me.

Tags: Anybody, Desire, Last

I've had to relearn how I work with people so that if and when I do avoid different things I don't send any messages in doing so.

Tags: Avoid, Messages, Work

If it gets to the Supreme Court, I'll have the directors of every museum in the country as expert testimony that my work is legitimate art.

Tags: Art, Country, Work

It's no small irony that the government inevitably and invariably ends up promoting precisely that which they would most like to repress.

Tags: Government, Irony, Small

It's really, really hard to make it as a fine-art photographer exclusively.

Tags: Hard
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