John Gardner | Quotations of a Novelist | #8

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“As a general rule, highly rational writers (like Nabokov) write most comfortably in the morning, and mainly intuitive writers write most comfortably at night.”
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“Theme is not imposed on the story but evoked from within it- initially an intuitive but finally an intellectual act on the part of a writer.”
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“One cannot judge in advance whether or not the idea of the story is worthwhile because until one has finished writing the story one does not know for sure what the idea is; and one cannot judge the style of a story on the basis of a first draft, because in a first draft the style of the finished story does not yet exist.” ― John Gardner
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John Gardner (1933–1982) was born in Batavia, New York. His critically acclaimed books include the novels Grendel, The Sunlight Dialogues, and October Light, for which he received the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as several works of nonfiction and criticism. including. On Becoming a Novelist. He was also a professor of medieval literature and a pioneering creative writing teacher whose students included Raymond Carver and Charles Johnson. When I worked at Bennington College in Southern VT I would often see him walking across the campus during the Summer Writing Workshops. Or when his white hair was flowing as he rode his beloved motorcycle on campus or away. – j.kiley

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