Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Writer's Technique ...

"Anyone intending to embark on a major work should be lenient with himself and, having completed a stint, deny himself nothing that will not prejudice the next."

"In your working conditions avoid everyday mediocrity. Semi-relaxation, to a background of insipid sounds, is degrading. On the other hand, accompaniment by an etude or a cacophony of voices can become as significant for work as the perceptible silence of the night. If the latter sharpens the inner ear, the former acts as a touchstone for a diction ample enough to bury even the most wayward sounds."

"Keep your pen aloof from inspiration, which it will then attract with magnetic power. The more circumspectly you delay writing down an idea, the more maturely developed it will be on surrendering itself. Speech conquers thought, but writing commands it."

"Consider no work perfect over which you have not once sat from evening to broad daylight."

"Do not write the conclusion of a work in your familiar study. You would not find the necessary courage there. "

"Stages of composition: idea – style – writing…. The idea kills inspiration, style fetters the idea, writing pays off style."

"The work is the death mask of its conception."

(Walter Benjamin, “Post No Bills: The Writer's Technique in Thirteen Theses,” One-Way Street. Trans. Edmund Jephcott)

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