William Goyen was born 24 April 1915, and died 30 August 1983
William Goyen Quotes
- I always carry paper with me . . . something to write on, always. And I keep not so much a formal diary any longer, but, well, it’s a notebook, and in it I keep most things.
- There’s nothing better than an elegant cry of despair.
- It was a melancholy childhood. It was a childhood that was searching for—or that needed—every kind of compensation it could get. I think that’s what makes an artist.
- I am a regional writer. In that my writing begins by being of a region, of a real place. It begins with real people talking like people from that place, and looking like them. Very often regional reality ends there and these people become other people, and this place becomes another place.
- I can’t imagine not writing. Writing simply is a way of life for me. The older I get, the more a way of life it is. At the beginning, it was totally a way of life excluding everything else. Now it’s gathered to it marriage and children and other responsibilities. But still, it is simply a way of life before all other ways, a way to observe the world and to move through life, among human beings, and to record it all above all and to shape it, to give it sense, and to express something of myself in it. Writing is something I cannot imagine living without, nor scarcely would want to. Not to live daily as a writing person is inconceivable to me.
- For me, environment is all. Place is absolutely essential.
- It’s amazing how quickly something gets written. Now, when it comes, it can be on a bus, or in a store. I’ve stopped in Macy’s and written on a dry-goods counter and then suddenly had a whole piece of writing for myself that was accomplished, where earlier in my life I felt I had to spend a week in a house somewhere in the country in order to get that. Conditions change.
- Maybe solitude is best had in the midst of multitudes.
- I believe that everybody can write. And in believing and teaching this, what happens, of course, is enormous productivity on the part of many students.
- It takes a lot of discipline for a writer to teach writing, though. But in the end, leading writing seminars and workshops is refreshing and exhilarating and creative and in touch with life. I consider teaching one of my callings.
- I plan quite a bit. But I’m not too aware of it. That is, I’ve not got it all down, but I’ve got a good deal of it thought through or felt through, before I begin writing.
Charles William Goyen was an American novelist, short story writer, playwright, poet, editor, and teacher. Born in a small town in East Texas, these roots would influence his work for his entire life. He is the author of The House of Breath.
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