So yesterday I posted a quote a from Colum McCann that I found in a Q&A at the back of his book Let the Great Word Spin.
Slightly remiss of me was to leave out the question from Nathan Englander that actually prompted this response, which is a brilliant quote in-of-itself:
Authorial intent doesn’t much matter once the book is out there. If I write a funny, happy story, and all it ever does is make people cry – well then it’s a sad story, whether I agree or not. What the reader sees on the page is what’s there.
So I’ve just finished the astounding book Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, and while this is not a book review, I shall take second to advise anyone to read it:
Go read this book. It’s brilliant.
Anyway, at the back of this novel is a Q&A session with the author where he says this about his readers:
“As writers we have to respect and like our readers. I want to acknowledge that they have taken a chance and that, more than likely they’re smarter than me, or more courageous, or at the very least they will continue the book further than I can. They can complete the story.”
This is wonderful quote that I think any writer should take note of. Hence the reason I stuck it in a post.
Thanks for reading.
Author quotes. Who doesn’t love ‘em, eh? After all, who better to write a quote, than a writer? As natural wordsmiths, authors no doubt find it effortless to pen a short, profound, funny, or even disturbing quote – a quote that may spend the next few decades, or even centuries, being repeated in polite, intellectual conversation, or perhaps gracing Twitter and the blogoshpere with its concise ingenuity.
But the thing is (I’ve often wondered), where do these quotes originate from? Are they utterances from writers who strike literary gold when asked a question, or are they simply small chunks of text taken from their papers, journals and novels?
I suspect it’s the latter.