Aug 21, 2005

All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery.
--George Orwell

I don't know if he actually said it or not. The problem with finding quotes online is that they've often been diluted and/or misattributed so many times that you're really just getting the quote people want to repeat, not anything someone actually said. In this case, it's me who wants to repeat it.

I found it while taking a break from the screenplay to see if I could find out if this quote...

Write the story, take out all the good lines, and see if it still works

...was ever actually uttered by Hemingway. I've loved this quote since high school, but I've never found a footnote to actually tell me where it came from. I have a suspicion it's simply the stuff of legend, a pithy masterpiece that Hemingway probably would have said, had he gotten the chance, but never did.

Then again, does it matter?

5 comments:

Mark Zilch Newvillage said...

i love the works of e.m.hemingway and i believe i must have read that phrase somewhere in my books.

regarding the supposed quote by george orwell, i completely agree with it.

if u have time,tell me what u think about my articles by posting a comment.thank u

markthevillain.blogspot.com

Bryan said...

what in the fuck happened with the Spam? Does that happen often?

Here's a paraphrased David Mamet quote for you:

"Adapting a stage play to the screen is like raping your children to teach them about sex."

K said...

Man, thank God I stopped by here - I was wondering where I could find a loan.

Elias said...

George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" has become the ultimate blueprint to almost anything I committ to paper. I also find it influencing the words I select in everyday conversation. An amazingly simple and inspiring work. It has also served as a great cure for writers block when masturbating and playing video games just won't cut it.

Paraphrasing Kurt Vonnegut for no good reason:
"If you really want to hurt your parents and you don't have the gumption to turn gay, then go into the arts."

geoff said...

The Orwell quote comes from Why I Write.