John Irving Quotes, Sayings, Remarks, Thoughts and Speeches

John Irving Quotes and Sayings

  • 1
    And I don't want to begin something, I don't want to write that first sentence until all the important connections in the novel are known to me. As if the story has already taken place, and it's my responsibility to put it in the right order to tell it to you. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 2
    And I find - I'm 63, and my capacity to be by myself and just spend time by myself hasn't diminished any. That's the necessary part of being a writer, you better like being alone. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 3
    Good habits are worth being fanatical about. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 4
    Half my life is an act of revision. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 5
    I don't begin a novel or a screenplay until I know the ending. And I don't mean only that I have to know what happens. I mean that I have to hear the actual sentences. I have to know what atmosphere the words convey. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 6
    I had been a student in Vienna, and one of the neat little things I had found out was about that zoo. It was a good debut novel for me to have published. I was 26 or 27 when it was published. I already had a kid and would soon have a second. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 7
    I have pretty thick skin, and I think if you're going to be in this business, if you're going to be an actor or a writer, you better have a thick skin. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 8
    I suppose I'm proudest of my novels for what's imagined in them. I think the world of my imagination is a richer and more interesting place than my personal biography. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 9
    I take people very seriously. People are all I take seriously, in fact. Therefore, I have nothing but sympathy for how people behave - and nothing but laughter to console them with. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 10
    I think the sport of wrestling, which I became involved with at the age of 14... I competed until I was 34, kind of old for a contact sport. I coached the sport until I was 47. I think the discipline of wrestling has given me the discipline I have to write. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 11
    I've always been a fan of the 19th century novel, of the novel that is plotted, character-driven, and where the passage of time is almost as central to the novel as a major minor character, the passage of time and its effect on the characters in the story. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 12
    If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 13
    More than a half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn't say I have a talent that's special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 14
    No adult in my family would ever tell me anything about who my father was. I knew from an older cousin - only four years older than I am - everything, or what little I could discover about him. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 15
    Sigmund Freud was a novelist with a scientific background. He just didn't know he was a novelist. All those damn psychiatrists after him, they didn't know he was a novelist either. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 16
    Sometimes that's a year, sometimes it's 18 months, where all I'm doing is taking notes. I'm reconstructing the story from the back to the front so that I know where the front is. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 17
    The building of the architecture of a novel - the craft of it - is something I never tire of. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 18
    There are few things as seemingly untouched by the real world as a child asleep. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 19
    There's no reason you should write any novel quickly. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 20
    There's no reason you shouldn't, as a writer, not be aware of the necessity to revise yourself constantly. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 21
    To each other, we were as normal and nice as the smell of bread. We were just a family. In a family even exaggerations make perfect sense. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 22
    When I was still in prep school - 14, 15 - I started keeping notebooks, journals. I started writing, almost like landscape drawing or life drawing. I never kept a diary, I never wrote about my day and what happened to me, but I described things. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 23
    Writing a novel is actually searching for victims. As I write I keep looking for casualties. The stories uncover the casualties. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 24
    You can't learn everything you need to know legally. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 25
    You don't want to dwell on your enemies, you know. I basically feel so superior to my critics for the simple reason that they haven't done what I do. Most book reviewers haven't written 11 novels. Many of them haven't written one. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 26
    You know, people think you have to be dumb to skip rope for 45 minutes. No, you have to be able to imagine something else. While you're skipping rope, you have to be able to see something else. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 27
    You've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. John Irving | Refcard PDF
  • 28
    Your memory is a monster; you forget - it doesn't. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you - and summons them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you! John Irving | Refcard PDF






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