„For me, research is very important. But I do not begin with research. I begin with writing the story, which for me is the relationship between the characters. It is after I have written or pretty much have a sense of the story that I go and do research. I am conscious that I am writing about poor people for the most part. They don’t have much other than their space or dirt. I want to do my best to represent that well. I am also conscious that I am writing about other countries. I want to make sure I understand those cultures as best as possible and represent them well…“

—  Uwem Akpan

On the secondary nature of historical research in his writing process in “UWEM AKPAN | INTERVIEW” https://granta.com/interview-uwem-akpan/ in Granta (2008 Nov 14)

Übernommen aus Wikiquote. Letzte Aktualisierung 3. Juni 2021. Geschichte
Uwem Akpan Foto
Uwem Akpan4
Nigerian Jesuit priest and writer 1971

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Walker Percy Foto
Peter Greenaway Foto

„This is where I begin to do the writing. I am now going to be the pen and not the paper.“

—  Peter Greenaway British film director 1942

The Pillow Book

Tayari Jones Foto

„When I first started writing, I was thinking of it as a book about mass incarceration, and mass incarceration is not a plot. It’s not a story. It’s not a character. I was at Harvard doing research on this subject, and I felt like I had a lot of information, but I had not yet found my story because I had to realize that I am a novelist. I’m not a sociologist. I’m not a documentarian. I’m not an ethnographer. And I found the story, actually, through eavesdropping…“

—  Tayari Jones American writer 1970

Quelle: On how she chose the topic of mass incarceration for her novel An American Marriage in “If I Can’t Cry, Nobody Cries: An Interview with Tayari Jones” https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2018/02/08/cant-cry-nobody-cries-interview-tayari-jones/ in The Paris Review (2018 Feb 8)

Fiona Oakes Foto

„F. Shaw: As prolific as you are, how long did it take you to research and write this book?
A. Axelrod: Well over a year. I do my research for one book while I write another—that way I get to read as well as write.“

—  Alan Axelrod American historian 1952

Alan Axelrod in an interview with Frank R. Shaw, Aug 23, 2007 http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/frank/axelrod.htm.

Orhan Pamuk Foto

„The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is: Why do you write? I write because I have an innate need to write. I write because I can’t do normal work as other people do. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. I write because I want others, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen, and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion. I write because I am afraid of being forgotten. I write because I like the glory and interest that writing brings. I write to be alone. Perhaps I write because I hope to understand why I am so very, very angry at everyone. I write because I like to be read. I write because once I have begun a novel, an essay, a page I want to finish it. I write because everyone expects me to write. I write because I have a childish belief in the immortality of libraries, and in the way my books sit on the shelf. I write because it is exciting to turn all life’s beauties and riches into words. I write not to tell a story but to compose a story. I write because I wish to escape from the foreboding that there is a place I must go but—as in a dream—can’t quite get to. I write because I have never managed to be happy. I write to be happy.“

—  Orhan Pamuk Turkish novelist, screenwriter, and Nobel Prize in Literature recipient 1952

" My Father's Suitcase", Nobel Prize for Literature lecture http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2006/pamuk-lecture_en.html (December 7, 2006).

Octavio Paz Foto

„I am a man: little do I last
and the night is enormous.
But I look up:
the stars write.
Unknowing I understand:
I too am written,
and at this very moment
someone spells me out.“

—  Octavio Paz Mexican writer laureated with the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature 1914 - 1998

"Brotherhood: Homage to Claudius Ptolemy"

William S. Burroughs Foto
Dorothy Allison Foto

„I do not write about nice people. I am not nice people. Neither is anyone I have ever cared deeply about.“

—  Dorothy Allison poet, novelist, critic 1949

Skin: Talking About Sex, Class And Literature

Shakira Foto
Jamaica Kincaid Foto

„Everything I do is because of writing. If I go for a walk, it’s because I’m thinking of writing. I go look at flowers, I go look at the garden, I go look at a museum, but it’s all coming back to writing. I don’t really do anything that isn’t about writing, and I don’t really know who I am if I’m not thinking about writing.“

—  Jamaica Kincaid Antiguan-American novelist, essayist, gardener, and gardening writer 1949

On her obsession with writing in “Jamaica Kincaid: Does Truth Have a Tone?” https://www.guernicamag.com/does-truth-have-a-tone/ in Guernica (2013 Jun 17)

„When I write I am attempting to do justice to something I have glimpsed about the world.“

—  Jan Zwicky Canadian philosopher 1955

Griffin Prize Questionnaire June 2012
Griffin Poetry Prize Questionnaire

Wernher von Braun Foto

„Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing.“

—  Wernher von Braun German, later an American, aerospace engineer and space architect 1912 - 1977

In an interview in the New York Times (16 December 1957), cited in a footnote on page 32 of "Work, Society, and Culture" by Yves Reni Marie Simon, and also in a footnote (in German) on page 360 of "Vita activa oder Vom taetigen Leben" by Hannah Arend (1981)


Basic research is when I'm doing what I don't know I'm doing.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.

Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing.

Samuel Butler Foto
Meena Kandasamy Foto

„Who does the novel belong to? I am writing about a different reality, so I need to shape it to fit my reality. You don’t want to do the same. You don’t want to do the done thing. To take a risk, you still need to be absolutely on the margins. I am doing what I want to do.“

—  Meena Kandasamy Indian poet 1984

On how she defines herself as a writer in “Meena Kandasamy: ‘If I was going to write my life story, I would condense that marriage to a footnote’” https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/25/meena-kandasamy-interview-exquisite-cadavers in The Guardian (2019 Nov 25)

Carl Panzram Foto
Murray Walker Foto

„I wouldn't want to stop making those gaffes, even if I could. People realise I am flesh and blood. I am not sensitive about it. It's just my enthusiasm. I want to say so much more than I have time for.“

—  Murray Walker Motorsport commentator and journalist 1923

Byron Young (November 9, 1997) "Schu dirty rats! - Motor racing", News of the World, Section: Sport, p. 63.

V. V. Giri Foto

„I am conscious of my shortcomings, but I have always tried as an honest worker to a do a job to the best of my ability and judgment.“

—  V. V. Giri Indian politician and 4th president of India 1894 - 1980

Presidents of India, 1950-2003

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