„A reader told me recently, in London, said that 'well, I read that you write the last sentence first, so I always read your last sentence first.' And I said, 'oh, no, you're not supposed to do that.“

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John Irving Foto
John Irving7
US-amerikanischer Romanautor 1942

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„It takes me six months to do a story. I think it out and then write it sentence by sentence—no first draft. I can’t write five words but that I change seven.“

—  Dorothy Parker American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist 1893 - 1967

Interview, The Paris Review (Summer 1956)

Spider Robinson Foto
John Irving Foto
Joan Didion Foto
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Laurence Sterne Foto

„I begin with writing the first
sentence—and trusting to Almighty
God for the second.“

—  Laurence Sterne, buch The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

Quelle: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

James Thurber Foto

„I always begin at the left with the opening word of the sentence and read toward the right and I recommend this method.“

—  James Thurber American cartoonist, author, journalist, playwright 1894 - 1961

Memo to The New Yorker (1959); reprinted in New York Times Book Review (4 December 1988)
Letters and interviews

Wisława Szymborska Foto
Jason Biggs Foto
David Lynch Foto

„I read a sentence. And I closed the Bible, because that was it. And then I saw the thing as a whole. And it fulfilled this vision for me, 100 percent.
I don't think I'll ever say what that sentence was.“

—  David Lynch, buch Catching the Big Fish

Eraserhead, p. 33
Catching the Big Fish (2006)
Kontext: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie. No one understands when I say that, but it is.
Eraserhead was growing in a certain way, and I didn't know what it meant. I was looking for a key to unlock what these sequences were saying. Of course, I understood some of it; but I didn't know the thing that just pulled it all together. And it was a struggle. So I got out my Bible and I started reading. And one day, I read a sentence. And I closed the Bible, because that was it. And then I saw the thing as a whole. And it fulfilled this vision for me, 100 percent.
I don't think I'll ever say what that sentence was.

Albert Speer Foto

„20 years. Well … that's fair enough. They couldn't have given me a lighter sentence, considering the facts, and I can't complain. I said the sentences must be severe, and I admitted my share of the guilt, so it would be ridiculous if I complained about the punishment.“

—  Albert Speer German architect, Minister of Armaments and War Production for Nazi Germany 1905 - 1981

To Dr. G. M. Gilbert, after receiving his sentence. Quoted in "Nuremberg Diary" by G. M. Gilbert - History - (1995)

Sam Cooke Foto
Joss Whedon Foto
Germaine Greer Foto
Jasper Fforde Foto

„I try to write every day. I used to try to write four times a day, minimum of three sentences each time. It doesn't sound like much but it's kinda like the hare and the tortoise. If you try that several times a day you're going to do more than three sentences, one of them is going to catch on. You're going to say "Oh boy!"“

—  Roger Zelazny American speculative fiction writer 1937 - 1995

and then you just write. You fill up the page and the next page. But you have a certain minimum so that at the end of the day, you can say "Hey I wrote four times today, three sentences, a dozen sentences. Each sentence is maybe twenty word long. That's 240 words which is a page of copy, so at least I didn't goof off completely today. I got a page for my efforts and tomorrow it might be easier because I've moved as far as I have".
Phlogiston interview (1995)

„A few months ago I read an interview with a critic; a well-known critic; an unusually humane and intelligent critic. The interviewer had just said that the critic “sounded like a happy man”, and the interview was drawing to a close; the critic said, ending it all: “I read, but I don’t get any time to read at whim. All the reading I do is in order to write or teach, and I resent it. We have no TV, and I don’t listen to the radio or records, or go to art galleries or the theater. I’m a completely negative personality.”
As I thought of that busy, artless life—no records, no paintings, no plays, no books except those you lecture on or write articles about—I was so depressed that I went back over the interview looking for some bright spot, and I found it, one beautiful sentence: for a moment I had left the gray, dutiful world of the professional critic, and was back in the sunlight and shadow, the unconsidered joys, the unreasoned sorrows, of ordinary readers and writers, amateurishly reading and writing “at whim”. The critic said that once a year he read Kim, it was plain, at whim: not to teach, not to criticize, just for love—he read it, as Kipling wrote it, just because he liked to, wanted to, couldn’t help himself. To him it wasn’t a means to a lecture or an article, it was an end; he read it not for anything he could get out of it, but for itself. And isn’t this what the work of art demands of us? The work of art, Rilke said, says to us always: You must change your life. It demands of us that we too see things as ends, not as means—that we too know them and love them for their own sake. This change is beyond us, perhaps, during the active, greedy, and powerful hours of our lives, but during the contemplative and sympathetic hours of our reading, our listening, our looking, it is surely within our power, if we choose to make it so, if we choose to let one part of our nature follow its natural desires. So I say to you, for a closing sentence: Read at whim! read at whim!“

—  Randall Jarrell poet, critic, novelist, essayist 1914 - 1965

“Poets, Critics, and Readers”, pp. 112–113
A Sad Heart at the Supermarket: Essays & Fables (1962)

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