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The stories that you tell, the words that you use and refine, the characters you try to give life to are merely tools with which you circle around the elusive, unnamed, shapeless thing that belongs to you alone, and which nevertheless is a sort of key to all the doors, the real reason that you spend so much of your life sitting at a table tapping away, filing pages. The question in every story is the same: is this the right story to seize what lies silent in my depths, that living thing which if captured, spreads through all the pages and gives them life?

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The most important thing is to write in your own blood. I bare intimate feelings because people should know how other people feel.

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It is nothing to me that what I write should find immediate or general acceptance: it is much to know that on the whole it has won for me the right to address this dedication and inscribe this edition to you.

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For me, writing is a way of struggling through the intricacies of an anti-empirical sensibility. And there must be words other than fiction and nonfiction. I see fiction not as the construction of an alternate world but as what your imagination gives you from the real world.

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If I want to write well, I have to work hard at it. I have disciplined myself by clearing other things out of my life that would make me busy. If I was going to fail in being a writer, I didn’t want to have any excuses. My excuse was going to be that I had given myself my best shot and I wasn’t good enough. It’s kind of an imposed desperation.

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I try, through writing, to convey my passionate awareness that we live intertwined on this planet and that our future depends upon our caring more, and doing more, for one another.

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In the deepest hour of the night,

Confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write.

And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer,

and ask yourself, must I write?

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Within the world of books there is no censure

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This book will perhaps only be understood by those who have themselves already thought the thoughts which are expressed in it–or similar thoughts. It is therefore not a textbook. Its object would be attained if there were one person who read it with understanding and to whom it afforded pleasure

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The joy of writing.
The power of preserving.
Revenge of a mortal hand.

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