Friday, December 01, 2006

Class Participation...Sort Of....


Claudia posted this comment to the post just before this one:

While reading some pieces on the decline of Western civilizations, I came across a GREAT phrase:
WORDS ARE THE CURRENCY OF THOUGHTS
(just thought I'd share!)


This got me thinking (a dangerous proposition, I know): given that I've already told you that I collect language, I'm wondering who else has great quotes about words or writing or communication or language that they'd be willing to share. I'm thinking in terms of using them as prompts for the composition classes, and for adding to my own personal (cough*geeky!*cough) collection.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF YOU WRITE ONE STORY,IT MAY BE BAD;IF YOU WRITE A HUNDRED,YOU HAVE INCREASED THE ODDS IN YOUR FAVOR.
Edgar Rice Burroughs

THERE IS NO MISTAKING THE DISMAY ON THE FACE OF A WRITER WHO HAS JUST HEARD THAT HIS BRAIN CHILD IS A DEFORMED IDIOT.
L Sprague de Camp

December 01, 2006 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Tense Teacher said...

"Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” - Shakespeare

December 01, 2006 10:55 PM  
Blogger feather said...

Hmmm. I have a huge collection of quotes and snippets from literature, but most of them are about the human and societal importance of art, or writing-as-art, or the problems of translation, or the philosophy of aesthetics -- mostly all abstract, and mostly all long. As soon as I get home I'll check the workbook that my composition professor put together for us, but here are some that I have on my computer.

"The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug."
-Mark Twain

"Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know."
-Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on the skull, then why do we read it? Such books as make us happy we could write ourselves. But what we must have are those books which come upon us like ill-fortune, and distress us deeply, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be like an ice-axe to break the frozen sea inside us."
-Franz Kafka

"Writing, for me, is a search for God."
-Carson McCullers


"To change words is to change being."
-Sartre, St. Genet

This last one is very long, but I LOVE the definition of style at the end:

"The trouble with translations, the reason so many Gides and Goethes find them galling, is that they erase a writer's every careful choice, and replace a burnished surface with a second-rate surrogate--and still manage to reveal a universe. We hate translations because they succeed despite their failures, and in so doing they reveal our easy ignorance. For we have misunderstood the true nature of great literary style. Fetishizing surface, we have missed substance. For style is not the conspicuous effect--the easy alliteration, the calculated repetition, the deliberate echo. These pleasures--and they are no less enjoyable for being, ultimately, incidental--are merely pleasures of the flesh. And style, however much its appealing skin suggests it, is not flesh. Flesh can be destroyed by a single, critical parasite. But bone endures, no matter the nature of its burial. And style, it turns out, is bone."
-Wyatt Mason

December 02, 2006 10:52 AM  

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