Monday, 26 August 2013

Quotes: Mavis Gallant

"There is no such a thing as a writer who has escaped being influenced. I have never heard a professional writer of any quality or standing talk about 'pure' style, or say he would not read this or that for fear of corrupting or affecting his own; but I have heard it from would-be writers and amateurs. Corruption–if that is the word–sets in from the moment a child learns to speak and to hear language used and misused. A young person who does not read, and read widely, will never write anything-at least, nothing of interest. [...] The beginning writer has to choose, tear to pieces, spit out, chew up and assimilate as naturally as a young animal–as naturally and as ruthlessly. Style cannot be copied, except by the untalented. It is, finally, the distillation of a lifetime of reading and listening, of selection and rejection. But if it is not a true voice, it is nothing." – Mavis Gallant, from "What Is Style?"