“Rowling wrote Hermione to eschew stereotypes. She doesn’t end up with the hero; she is never there to function as Harry’s love interest. She prefers Arithmancy to Divination in school. Hermione is also a total badass, despite her prim and proper reputation. (…) So often, female characters are allowed to be aggressive or rebellious, but in exchange are stripped of any traditionally feminine qualities and instead are forced to pick up traditionally masculine traits. However, Hermione is never made to do that. Most notably, she is written to be highly logical AND emotionally expressive, a combination not commonly afforded to most of today’s leading ladies.”—Liz Feuerbach, The Women of The Harry Potter Universe (via writingadvice)
“When you’re young, you always feel that life hasn’t yet begun — that “life” is always scheduled to begin next week, next month, next year, after the holidays — whenever. But then suddenly you’re old and the scheduled life didn’t arrive. You find yourself asking, ‘Well then, exactly what was it I was having — that interlude — the scrambly madness — all that time I had before?”—Life After God by Douglas Coupland (via thechocolatebrigade)
Capote would supposedly write supine, with a glass of sherry in one hand and a pencil in another. In a 1957 Paris Review interview with Pati Hill, Capote explains: “I am a completely horizontal author. I can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I’ve got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis. No, I don’t use a typewriter. Not in the beginning. I write my first version in longhand (pencil). Then I do a complete revision, also in longhand.”
In a 1978 Newsweek essay, Cheever writes, “To publish a definitive collection of short stories in one’s late 60s seems to me, as an American writer, a traditional and a dignified occasion, eclipsed in no way by the fact that a great many of the stories in my current collection were written in my underwear.” Since the author of The Wapshot Chronicle had but one suit at the time, why rumple and wrinkle it when you can do the same thing in your skivvies? It’s sound reasoning from an impassioned man who was once known as the “Chekov of the suburbs.”
Hemingway famously said he wrote 500 words a day, mostly in the mornings, to avoid the heat. Though a prolific writer, he also knew when to stop. In a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934, he wrote, “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.”
Faulkner drank a lot of whiskey when he was writing. It all started when he met Sherwood Anderson when they were both living in New Orleans (Faulkner was working for a bootlegger). In a 1957 Q&A, Faulkner explains their relationship: “We’d meet in the evenings, and we’d go to a drinking place and we’d sit around till one or two o’clock drinking, and still me listening and him talking. Then in the morning he would be in seclusion working, and the next time I’d see him, the same thing, we would spend the afternoon and evening together, the next morning he’d be working. And I thought then, if that was the life it took to be a writer, that was the life for me.”
Lyndall Gordon writes in T.S. Eliot: A Modern Life that in the early 1920s, the author answered to “Captain Eliot” in his hideaway above Chatto & Windus, a publishing house on St Martin’s Lane; however, at another hideaway on Charing Cross Road, visitors were asked to inquire at the porter’s lodge for a man known only as “The Captain.” Upstairs, Eliot’s face was “tinted green with powder to look cadaverous.” What can we say? The man was an eccentric genius for good reason.
In The Habit of Being, St. Flannery explains, “I write only about two hours every day because that’s all the energy I have, but I don’t let anything interfere with those two hours, at the same time and the same place.” Since she had lupus, any activity was incredibly taxing for her during the end of her life, so she sat facing the blank surface of her wood dresser, which provided no distractions.
Index cards — the man loved them. Most of his novels were written on handy 3 x 5 inch cards, which would be paper-clipped and stored in slim boxes. In a 1967 Paris Review interview with Herbert Gold, Nabokov says, “My schedule is flexible, but I am rather particular about my instruments: lined Bristol cards and well sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers.”
“You have to resign yourself to the fact that you waste a lot of trees before you write anything you really like, and that’s just the way it is. It’s like learning an instrument, you’ve got to be prepared for hitting wrong notes occasionally, or quite a lot, cause I wrote an awful lot before I wrote anything I was really happy with. And read a lot. Reading really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.”—J.K. Rowling (via blakehamilton)
“Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.”—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling (via drinkingbleach)
“That’s the whole trouble. You can’t ever find a place that’s nice and peaceful, because there isn’t any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you’re not looking, somebody’ll sneak up and write “Fuck you” right under your nose. I think, even, if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetery, and I have a tombstone and all, it’ll say “Holden Caulfield” on it, and then what year I was born and what year I died, and then right under that it’ll say “Fuck you.” I’m positive.”—Catcher In The Rye (via idratherlivebythesea)
“And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.”—A Man Without a Country | Kurt Vonnegut (via lifeofliterature)
There’s nothing more we love around here than a real long list of books, and for our Food issue we decided to take it to the next level with this list of all the books the editors of LQ used in our Summer issue. How many have you read?
So, I finished Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card around 1am last night. Starting the book, I didn’t intent to read the entire book in a day. Approximately 320 pages, the intricacy and desperation in the novel propelled me through each chapter caring more and more about what happened to the main character, Ender, and what he was going to do next.
I think that my favorite part of the novel was, in fact, Ender. You follow him from 6 years old to almost 11 and metaphorically watch him grow and take on responsibilities one could only think of would fit a seasoned commander. Through parts of the novel, I even forgot that he was so young, but as a skilled writer, Card, reminds the reader that he is so young and that is one of his major obstacles but also one of his major strengths. The complexity of the character keeps the reader intrigued through the novel. His relationship with his siblings is as puzzling as a real life relationship would be, his courage is insurmountable, and his compassion is just as great. His internal struggle is depicted again and again whether he is like his ‘evil’ brother whom he hates but at the same time also loves. You feel bad and you sympathize with Ender as he’s thrust into greatness and into difficult situations, no child should have to deal with. He is truly a great character filled with compassion for life, but also the initiative and genius to get things done. He doesn’t flinch at what he has to do but silently amends in his mind what could have or should have been.
As you can see, I deeply admire Ender as he has become one of my favorite characters in any novel. The book itself was a little confusing at the beginning and endings especially. Card begins most chapters (if not all) with a discreet dialogue between two characters who don’t become known to the reader until later in the book. At first, I didn’t know what was going on except that the dialogue was clearly important. Being in a different font than the rest of the text/story, I began to piece together that they were overseeing the events in the story. Knowing that going into the novel is great help. Also, some dialogue between children/soldiers is choppy probably due to the fact that they are not trained in language, but strategy as well as the futuristic aspect of the novel where some articles and words may have been eradicated. But this is simply speculation.
Because I am such a fan of dystopian novels, I absolutely loved the book and would probably read it again. It was full of psychological play, themes of compassion, obligation, humanity, and war as a game, reality v. game play, and ruthlessness.
I would definitely recommend this book and I thank my friends who recommended it to me :)
Some of my favorite quotes from Ender’s Game:
“Perhaps it’s impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be”
“His accent made him exotic and interesting; his broken arm made him a martyr; his sadism made him a natural focus for all those who loved pain in others”
“Two sides of the same coin, but which side is which?”
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Just started to read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
It was recommended to me by a few friends who said it was an amazing book, so I’m giving it a try :)
So far, it’s pretty interesting. As far as I can tell (and I’m only 26 pages in), there is a war between Humans and “Buggers” that the humans almost lost several decades ago. Set in the future, there is a specific selection process to recruit soldiers from the time they are around six. The main character has been chosen to enter the training process and has left his family.
"Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth." -p. 2
"We’re the wicked witch. We promise gingerbread, but we eat the little bastards alive." -p.10