Saturday, August 31, 2019

Quote of the Day (Roddy Doyle, on the Duty of the Writer)

“I don’t think writing, or the duty of the writer, should be too tightly defined. The duty of the writer is to write—as simple as that. If more comes out of the writing—an image that demands scrutiny, a story that promotes guilt, joy, rage, impatience—good. I’ve been lucky. I’ve written words that have caused controversy here in Ireland, and have provoked people to examine the way we live. But if this is to be the only purpose of writing, we’ll be left with a lot of very worthy, but dull, work. Writers can never anticipate the reaction of a reader. That’s the magic, and the danger, of the experience …. Language has always been abused but the practice seems to have become routine. Deny, deny, deny: only the stupid tell the truth….The duty of the writer is to be stupid—and tell the truth. It’s how we tell the truth, how we tell the story—that’s where the writing, the hard work, comes in.”—Irish novelist-screenwriter Roddy Doyle (The Commitments), in Tom Grimes, “An Interview With Roddy Doyle,” Tin House, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Summer 2006)

(Photo of Roddy Doyle taken by Christoph Rieger in the festival garden at Haus der Berliner Festspiele on September 14th, 2015, during his participation in the Children´s and Young Adult Program of the 15th International Literature Festival, Berlin.)

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