„The good reader is one who has imagination, memory, a dictionary, and some artistic sense—which sense I propose to develop in myself and in others whenever I have the chance ("Good Readers and Good Writers", p. 3).“

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Vladimir Nabokov28
1899 - 1977
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George Henry Lewes photo

„There is no good Dictionary, not even a good Index, that is not in this sense priceless, for it has honestly furthered the work of the world, saving labour to others, setting an example to successors.“

—  George Henry Lewes British philosopher 1817 - 1878
Context: It is impossible to deny that dishonest men often grow rich and famous, becoming powerful in their parish or in parliament. Their portraits simper from shop windows; and they live and die respected. This success is theirs; yet it is not the success which a noble soul will envy. Apart from the risk of discovery and infamy, there is the certainty of a conscience ill at ease, or if at ease, so blunted in its sensibilities, so given over to lower lusts, that a healthy instinct recoils from such a state. Observe, moreover, that in Literature the possible rewards of dishonesty are small, and the probability of detection great. In Life a dishonest man is chiefly moved by desires towards some tangible result of money or power; if he get these he has got all. The man of letters has a higher aim: the very object of his toil is to secure the sympathy and respect of men; and the rewards of his toil may be paid in money, fame, or consciousness of earnest effort. The first of these may sometimes be gained without Sincerity. Fame may also, for a time, be erected on an unstable ground, though it will inevitably be destroyed again. But the last and not least reward is to be gained by every one without fear of failure, without risk of change. Sincere work is good work, be it never so humble; and sincere work is not only an indestructible delight to the worker by its very genuineness, but is immortal in the best sense, for it lives for ever in its influence. There is no good Dictionary, not even a good Index, that is not in this sense priceless, for it has honestly furthered the work of the world, saving labour to others, setting an example to successors.

Arthur C. Clarke photo

„I want to be remembered most as a writer — one who entertained readers, and, hopefully, stretched their imagination as well.“

—  Arthur C. Clarke British science fiction writer, science writer, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host 1917 - 2008
Context: I'm sometimes asked how I would like to be remembered. I've had a diverse career as a writer, underwater explorer, space promoter and science populariser. Of all these, I want to be remembered most as a writer — one who entertained readers, and, hopefully, stretched their imagination as well.

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L. Frank Baum photo

„Some of my youthful readers are developing wonderful imaginations. This pleases me.“

—  L. Frank Baum Children's writer, editor, journalist, screenwriter 1856 - 1919
Context: Some of my youthful readers are developing wonderful imaginations. This pleases me. Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams — day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing — are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young. I believe it. Introduction to The Lost Princess of Oz (1917)

Isaac Newton photo

„I have that honour for him as to believe that he wrote good sense; and therefore take that sense to be his which is the best.“

—  Isaac Newton British physicist and mathematician and founder of modern classical physics 1643 - 1727
Speaking of the apostle John’s writings. Cited in The Watchtower magazine, 1977, 4/15.

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Alberto Manguel photo
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„You have to recognize those writers who are artists in the same sense as the musicians.“

—  Clare Fischer American keyboardist, composer, arranger, and bandleader 1928 - 2012
As quoted in "Meet Clare Fischer" http://cdassassin.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/1999-interview-at-allaboutjazz-com/

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Giraut de Bornelh photo

„For I think that it's just as much good sense, if one can keep to the point, as to twist my words round each other.“

—  Giraut de Bornelh French writer 1138 - 1215
"A penas sai comensar", line 19; translation from Alan R. Press Anthology of Troubadour Lyric Poetry (1971) p. 129.

Далай-лама XIV photo

„I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.“

—  Далай-лама XIV spiritual leader of Tibet 1935
Context: I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed. The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger, and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share. Although I have found my own Buddhist religion helpful in generating love and compassion, even for those we consider our enemies, I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.

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Margaret Atwood photo

„I said "writer," not "poet;" I did have some common sense.“

—  Margaret Atwood Canadian writer 1939
Context: My English teacher from 1955, run to ground by some documentary crew trying to explain my life, said that in her class I had showed no particular promise. This was true. Until the descent of the giant thumb, I showed no particular promise. I also showed no particular promise for some time afterwards, but I did not know this. A lot of being a poet consists of willed ignorance. If you woke up from your trance and realized the nature of the life-threatening and dignity-destroying precipice you were walking along, you would switch into actuarial sciences immediately. If I had not been ignorant in this particular way, I would not have announced to an assortment of my high school female friends, in the cafeteria one brown-bag lunchtime, that I was going to be a writer. I said "writer," not "poet;" I did have some common sense. But my announcement was certainly a conversation-stopper. Sticks of celery were suspended in mid-crunch, peanut-butter sandwiches paused halfway between table and mouth; nobody said a word. One of those present reminded me of this incident recently — I had repressed it — and said she had been simply astounded. "Why?," I said. "Because I wanted to be a writer?" "No," she said. "Because you had the guts to say it out loud."

Ralph Ellison photo

„By and large, the critics and readers gave me an affirmed sense of my identity as a writer. You might know this within yourself, but to have it affirmed by others is of utmost importance. Writing is, after all, a form of communication.“

—  Ralph Ellison American novelist, literary critic, scholar and writer 1914 - 1994
"The Art of Fiction: An Interview" (The Paris Review, Spring 1955), in The Collected Essays, ed. John F. Callahan (New York: Modern Library, 1995), p. 218.

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