Leslie Fiedler Quotes

/Leslie Fiedler Quotes

Leslie Fiedler Quotes

  • All good criticism should be judged the way art is. You shouldn’t read it the way you read history or science.

  • Anybody in the next centuries wanting to know what it was like to be a poet in the middle of the 20th century should read Kaddish.

  • Cooper wrote a novel which is absolutely indistinguishable from Austen, completely from a female point of view, completely English, no sense that he was an American.

  • Critics? How do they happen? I know how it happened to me. I would send a poem or story to a magazine and they would say this doesn’t suit our needs precisely but on the other hand you sound interesting. Would you be interested in doing a review?

  • DeLillo never seems committed to me to what he is writing. Very nice surfaces, but he’s got nothing underneath.

  • Faulkner sat in our living room and read from Light in August. That was incredible.

  • Faulkner turned out to be a great teacher. When a student asked a question ineptly, he answered the question with what the student had really wanted to know.

  • Foucault was the one person I met in France that I could talk to. He was a mensch. You know whether you agree with him or not because you know what he is saying.

  • Gertrude Stein really thought of Hemingway as frail. He almost married Stein.

  • Hemingway seems to be in a funny position. People nowadays can’t identify with him closely as a member of their own generation, and he isn’t yet historical.

  • Henry Miller wrote novels, but he calls his protagonist Henry, often Henry Miller, and his books are in this gray area between memoir and novel.

  • I admire Ginsberg as a poet, despite the fact that he seems not to know when he is being good and when he is bad. But he will last, or at least those poems will last.

  • I gave up writing blurbs because you make one friend and 200 enemies.

  • I have, I admit, a low tolerance for detached chronicling and cool analysis.

  • I like that people who are not experts can not only understand but get engaged by my work. I like that Joe Paterno can read me. Bill Bradley.

  • I liked Camille Paglia. I liked her even better when I heard her talk.

  • I long for the raised voice, the howl of rage or love.

  • I love it now that a large minority of people who are handicapped prefer to call themselves crippled. This is all part of the game, like queer theory.

  • I never met anybody in my life who says, I want to be a critic. People want to be a fireman, poet, novelist.

  • I think Henry Miller has had huge influence not because he wrote about sex, but because the memoir or the nonfiction novel has become such a monumental force in American publishing, if not in literature.

  • I think the pattern of my essays is, A funny thing happened to me on my way through Finnegans Wake.

  • I used to be fond of Indian arm wrestling.

  • I’ve been writing about James Fenimore Cooper. He was not a writer. Here was a man who was 30 years old and had never put anything more than his signature on paper.

  • I’ve had a tough time with Pynchon. I liked him very much when I first read him. I liked him less with each book. He got denser and more complex in a way that didn’t really pay off.

  • If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s somebody doing something because I pushed them in that direction.

  • It’s funny to be a critic.

  • It’s so wrong when I pick up a new edition of Huckleberry Finn and I look at the last page and it doesn’t say, Yours truly, at the end.

  • Jane Austen is at the end of the line that begins with Samuel Richardson, which takes wonder and magic out of the novel, treats not the past but the present.

  • Kafka is still unrecognized. He thought he was a comic writer.

  • My assignment is what every writer’s assignment is: tell the truth of his own time.

  • Of the female black authors, I really like Morrison’s early books a lot. But she’s really become so much a clone of Faulkner. He did it better.

  • One more recent novelist to come along is Cormac McCarthy. Him, I like.

  • Raymond Carver is good. I think he’ll be appreciated more and more. He’s an easy writer to imitate.

  • Saul Bellow never took my advice when he was my friend.

  • The black situation has changed. They finally realized they’re Americans.

  • The middlebrow, I hate.

  • The novel doesn’t come into existence until certain methods of reproducing fiction come along.

  • The novel is always pop art, and the novel is always dying. That’s the only way it stays alive. It does really die. I’ve been thinking about that a lot.

  • The novel is the first art form that is an honest-to-god commodity. That’s what makes it different from both high art and folk art.

  • The reason Saul Bellow doesn’t talk to me anymore is because he knows his new novels are not worth reading.

  • There are things in American culture that want to wipe the class distinction. Blue jeans. Ready-made clothes. Coca-Cola.

  • What I really dream of is that somebody would blow everything I’ve done out of the water in a beautiful way, which would clear the way for something better to come along.

  • When all of us are forgotten, people will still be remembering Stephen King.

  • When I was 12 years old, someone took me to see Martha Graham. It was nothing like what I thought of as serious dancing and even then I knew I was having a great experience. It was as if somebody was moving through space like no one ever did before.

  • When somebody asks me what I do, I don’t think I’d say critic. I say writer.

  • Writers always know whether you like them or not.
  • By | 2010-11-22T17:41:34+00:00 November 6th, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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