Aubrey Malone

Paperback 6" X 9" 184 pp  -

ISBN 978-1-913144-45-6 Published March 2023

Do we need another dictionary of literary quotations? Let’s remember Reginald Hill’s apothegm: ‘Like underpants in the Urals, you can never have enough of them.’

Philip Larkin (wisely?) liked to say books were ‘a load of crap.’ So why did he write so many of them? Like Larkin, many of the quoters featured in these pages have a love-hate relationship to what they do. Maybe all writers have. Writing can be a cathartic experience but it can also be a pulverising one, at least when it’s not going well. Or not going at all with Writer’s Block. We don’t hear of ‘electrician’s block’ or ‘plumber’s block’ - unless it’s in the sink.

The personages featured in these pages are more often than not insecure, vengeful, jealous and embittered – in other words ideal for quotation.

Lillian Hellman might not agree. ‘If I had to give young writers advice,’ she once remarked, ‘I’d say don’t listen to writers talking about writing.’  If you’re not a writer, then, you’ll probably be the most suitable reader for this book.

            ‘A writer should write what he has to say,’ Ernest Hemingway advised, ‘not talk about it.’ But Hemingway never stopped talking about it. That’s another thing you should know about writers. They contradict themselves a lot.

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