Thursday, May 11, 2023

Quote of the Day (Willa Cather, on When a Writer ‘Begins to Work With His Own Material’)

“When a writer once begins to work with his own material he realizes that, no matter what his literary excursions may have been, he has been working with it from the beginning—by living it. He has less and less power of choice about the moulding of it. It seems to be there of itself, already moulded. In working with this material, he finds that he need have little to do with literary devices; he comes to depend more and more on something else—the thing by which our feet find the road home on a dark night, accounting of themselves for roots and stones which we had never noticed by day. This guide is not always with him, of course, he loses it and wanders, but when it is with him corresponds to what…is called the wisdom of intuition, as opposed to that of intellect.”— American novelist Willa Cather (1873-1947), Preface to “Alexander’s Bridge,” in Stories, Poems, and Other Writings (Library of America, 1992) 

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