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Tobias Wolff Quotes

I hope you find these Motivational Tobias Wolff Quotes useful in achieving your personal and career goals in life.

The reader really has to step up to the plate and read a short story.
- Tobias Wolff

Work for most people is really very social,
and the actual thinking is often done in community.
- Tobias Wolff

Because I don't have to be careful of people's feelings when I teach literature,
and I do when I'm teaching writing.
- Tobias Wolff

You have to be kind of clued into them,
they are a world of their own, and most people find
them disappointing because the best short stories are
not constructed like novels.
- Tobias Wolff

 

But a lot of writers - and I'm one of them -
do tend to feel dissatisfied.
It makes you a little hard to live with,
but it's a goad and does keep you alert and restless.
- Tobias Wolff

I love Chekhov.
I could go on all day about him.
- Tobias Wolff

When I was about 14 or 15 I decided to become a writer
and never for a moment since have I wanted to do anything else.
- Tobias Wolff


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I believe that the short story is as different a form
from the novel as poetry is,
and the best stories seem to me to be perhaps closer
in spirit to poetry than to novels.
- Tobias Wolff

One of the last courses I taught was on the Russian short story,
which I love.
- Tobias Wolff

Of course it's why you want to become a writer -
because you have the liberty to do that,
but once you have the liberty you also have the obligation to do it.
- Tobias Wolff

And you can tell the writers who do it -
Robert Stone,
for example, who with each new novel is doing something new.
I appreciate that in other writers.
- Tobias Wolff

There's a joy in writing short stories,
a wonderful sense of reward when you pull certain things off.
- Tobias Wolff

Like so many writers I started writing stories because
I didn't have much time for anything else.
- Tobias Wolff

Memory is funny.
Once you hit a vein the problem is not how to remember
but how to control the flow.
- Tobias Wolff

That, for me, is a very important test of a young writer's
commitment because most of them are going to have to
continue doing that when they've finished the program.
- Tobias Wolff

It's probably why I'm a short story writer.
I tend to remember things in the past in narrative form,
in story form, and I grew up around people who told stories all the time.
- Tobias Wolff

The short story, on the other hand, is the perfect American form.
- Tobias Wolff

There are writers who do start doing the same thing
again and again and almost inevitably fall into self-parody.
- Tobias Wolff

Because the more you write the more you're aware of
the weight of your tradition and the difficulties of
the form and the more you have already done that you do not want to do again.
- Tobias Wolff

Everything has to be pulling weight in a short story
for it to be really of the first order.
- Tobias Wolff

Most of us don't live lives that lend themselves to novelistic expression,
because our lives are so fragmented.
- Tobias Wolff

You don't teach information in a writing workshop.
- Tobias Wolff

Perhaps that is why the novel flourished in England.
You had these communities that would stay put and people
would see one another all the time and cause one another
to change and have the opportunity to observe the changes over time.
- Tobias Wolff

I try to help people become the best possible editors of their own work,
to help them become conscious of the things they do well,
of the things they need to look at again,
of the wells of material they have not even begun to dip their buckets into.
- Tobias Wolff

Anybody can be very destructive in that position without at all meaning to be,
and I know that I have been inadvertently destructive
in the past for certain people on certain occasions.
- Tobias Wolff

But as my brother was doing his research for a book about my father,
it became his opinion that the most influential anti-semitism
my father encountered when he was growing up was from Jews,
because his relatives were German Jews,
and doctors.
- Tobias Wolff

I teach one semester a year, and this year I'm just
teaching one course during that semester,
a writing workshop for older students in their late 20s and early 30s,
people in our graduate program who are already working
on a manuscript and trying to bring it to completion.
- Tobias Wolff

No poem is easily grasped; so why should any reader expect fast results?
- John Barton

O Day of days when we can read!
The reader and the book, either without the other is naught.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.
- Margaret Fuller

Poetry should...
should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts,
and appear almost a remembrance.
- John Keats

Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet
believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.
- Salvatore Quasimodo

Some readers allow their prejudices to blind them.
A good reader knows how to disregard inappropriate responses.
- John Barton

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader -
not the fact that it is raining,
but the feeling of being rained upon.
- E. L. Doctorow

At the same time, as you know, unless you are a comic book reader,
Daredevil is not a known thing.
- Avi Arad

Perhaps first and foremost is the challenge of taking
what I find as a reader and making it into a poem that,
primarily, has to be a plausible poem in English.
- Marilyn Hacker

The reader's challenge is to replicate the experiment
by reading the poem and to draw their own conclusions.
- John Barton

But we talk about issues, we talk about people,
we talk about personalities.
George is a very good reader of people,
and he's very perceptive about people,
and you know, that's fine.
- Laura Bush

I'm an avid biography reader.
- Brent Spiner

Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity,
it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts,
and appear almost a remembrance.
- John Keats

I read while the kids play.
I can see them from the kitchen window.
And I'm a fast reader.
- Reese Witherspoon

It can become an exercise in trying to get the reader
to like and admire you instead of an exercise in creative art.
- David Foster Wallace

In a manner of speaking, the poem is its own knower,
neither poet nor reader knowing anything that the poem
says apart from the words of the poem.
- Allen Tate

All literature consists of whatever the writer thinks is cool.
The reader will like the book to the degree that he
agrees with the writer about what's cool.
- Steven Brust

In a sense, there's a great truth to that,
but, also I was a great reader.
- A. E. van Vogt

When I write, I enjoy myself so much that what is being
written really needs no reader.
- Guillermo Cabrera Infante

While the spoken word can travel faster,
you can't take it home in your hand.
Only the written word can be absorbed wholly at the
convenience of the reader.
- Kingman Brewster, Jr.

Almost anything is too much.
I am trying in my poems to have the reader be the experiencer.
I do not want to be there.
It is not even a walk we take together.
- Mary Oliver

The most important function of a bibliographic entry
is to help the reader obtain a copy of the cited work.
- Daniel J. Bernstein

When I read, I'm purely a reader.
- Anne Tyler

I get to show the reader the essence of the book without giving anything away.
- Mary Grandpre

I go to great lengths to make certain situations feel right to the reader.
- Sidney Sheldon

Aphorisms are bad for novels.
They stick in the reader's teeth.
- Anatole Broyard

Whatever I do is done out of sheer joy;
I drop my fruits like a ripe tree.
What the general reader or the critic makes of them is not my concern.
- Henry Miller

To be misunderstood can be the writer's punishment
for having disturbed the reader's peace.
The greater the disturbance, the greater the possibility of misunderstanding.
- Anatole Broyard

The difficulty of literature is not to write,
but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader,
but to affect him precisely as you wish.
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Journalism's ultimate purpose is to inform the reader,
to bring him each day a letter from home and never
to permit the serving of special interests.
- Arthur Ochs Sulzberger

One must be a wise reader to quote wisely and well.
- Amos Bronson Alcott

A writer's ambition should be to trade a hundred contemporary
readers for ten readers in ten years' time and for
one reader in a hundred years' time.
- Arthur Koestler

Naturally, the reader has access only to the events
I show and the way I show them,
but as has been said, there's generally a good deal
of ambiguity in that presentation.
- John M. Ford

It's a responsibility of the writer to get the reader
out of the story somehow.
- Michael Ondaatje

A critic is a reader who ruminates.
Thus, he should have more than one stomach.
- Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

I can't write without a reader.
It's precisely like a kiss - you can't do it alone.
- John Cheever

Before I'm a writer, I'm definitely a reader and when I read memoir,
I really want it to be true.
- Augusten Burroughs

The things I keep going back to, rereading,
maybe they say more about me as a reader than about the books.
Love in the Time of Cholera, Pale Fire.
- Michael Chabon

The Bible - it's sort of the other person in the room.
There's this book, the reader, and the Bible.
- Anita Diament

From the reader's view, a poem is more demanding than prose.
- Mark Strand

When a writer becomes a reader of his or her own work,
a lot can go wrong.
It's like do-it-yourself dentistry.
- William Collins

An experienced reader uses the poem as an agent of inquiry.
This makes poetry very exciting, unstable,
and interactive.
- John Barton

The headline is the most important element of an ad.
It must offer a promise to the reader of a believable benefit.
And it must be phrased in a way to give it memory value.
- Morris Hite

I write for somebody who has my own limitations.
My reader has a certain difficulty with concentrating,
which in my case comes from being a film viewer.
- Manuel Puig


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