The world may be full of fourth-rate writers but it’s also full of fourth-rate readers.
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- As writers become more numerous, it is natural for readers to become more indolent; whence must necessarily arise a desire of attaining knowledge with the greatest possible ease.
- No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
- Readers are less and less seen as mere non-writers, the subhuman other or flawed derivative of the author; the lack of a pen is no longer a shameful mark of secondary status but a positively enabling space, just as within every writer can be seen to lurk, as a repressed but contaminating antithesis, a reader.
- The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.
- Only a generation of readers will span a generation of writers.
- After all, the world is not a stage — not to me: nor a theatre: nor a show-house of any sort. And art, especially novels, are not little theatres where the reader sits aloft and watches… and sighs, commiserates, condones and smiles. That’s what you want a book to be: because it leaves you so safe and superior, with your two-dollar ticket to the show. And that’s what my books are not and never will be. Whoever reads me will be in the thick of the scrimmage, and if he doesn’t like it — if he wants a safe seat in the audience — let him read someone else.