Happy Birthday, Cynthia Ozick, born 17 April 1928
10 Cynthia Ozick Quotes
- All writing is presumption of course, since no one knows what it is like to be another human being.
- What we remember from childhood we remember forever – permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.
- Because if I don’t start, I won’t get going. And sometimes starting is so difficult. Because it’s all chaos… It could be a scene in your mind or it could be some kind of tendril that you can barely define. So I have to force it. And then after – and this is real compulsion, real self-flagellation – it kind of takes off. But there’s a lot of agony before. And sometimes during. And sometimes all through. But just before the end and revelations start coming, that’s the joy. But mostly its hell.
- Advice to aspiring poets: Poetry is not letter-writing cut up into lines. Become familiar with the poets that are the infrastructure of literature; read, read, read.
- After a certain number of years, our faces become our biographies.
- If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it essentially as an act of courage.
- Writers’ invisibility has little or nothing to do with Fame, just as Fame has little or nothing to do with Literature. (Fame merits its capital F for its fickleness, Literature its capital L for its lastingness.)
- To imagine the unimaginable is the highest use of the imagination.
- Writers are very dangerous people. You shouldn’t know them.
- If I could do it again, I would step out of the furnace now and then. I’d run around and find reviews to write, articles; I’d scurry and scrounge. I’d try to build a little platform from which to send out a voice. I’d do, in short, what I see so many writers of your generation doing: Chasing a bit of work here, a bit there, publishing, getting acquainted.
Cynthia Ozick is a Jewish-American short story writer, novelist, and essayist. She received the O. Henry Award for The Shawl in 1981.
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