Quotes

C.S. Forester quotes in alphabetical order :

 

A man who writes for a living does not have to go anywhere in particular, and he could rarely afford to if he wanted.

A whim, a passing mood, readily induces the novelist to move hearth and home elsewhere. He can always plead work as an excuse to get him out of the clutches of bothersome hosts.

Everything was in stark and dreadful contrast with the trivial crises and counterfeit emotions of Hollywood, and I returned to England deeply moved and emotionally worn out. (John Forester’s comment : This refers to CSF’s feelings when he returned from being a war correspondent to the Spanish Civil War, possibly for The Telegraph. The political nastinesses on both sides produced horrors. No story was published under CSF’s name).

His self-respect was at its lowest ebb.

I formed a resolution to never write a word I did not want to write; to think only of my own tastes and ideals, without a thought of those of editors or publishers.

I have heard of novels started in the middle, at the end, written in patches to be joined together later, but I have never felt the slightest desire to do this.

I must be like the princess who felt the pea through seven mattresses; each book is a pea.

I thank God daily for the good fortune of my birth, for I am certain I would have made a miserable peasant (Mr. Midshipman Hornblower).

Novel writing is far and away the most exhausting work I know.

Novel writing wrecks homes.

Perhaps that suspicion of fraud enhances the flavor.

The doctor who applied a stethoscope to my heart was not satisfied. I was told to get my papers with the clerk in the outer hall. I was medically rejected.

The fools ran after me and I ran after the whores, foolish though I realized such a proceeding to be.

The lucky man is he who knows how much to leave to chance.

The material came bubbling up inside like a geyser or an oil gusher. It streamed up of its own accord, down my arm and out of my fountain pen in a torrent of six thousand words a day.

The work is with me when I wake up in the morning; it is with me while I eat my breakfast in bed and run through the newspaper, while I shave and bathe and dress.

There is no other way of writing a novel than to begin at the beginning at to continue to the end.

There is still need to think and plan, but on a different scale, and along different lines.

They managed to find time… to tell me that there was no chance of my being accepted for service and that really I should be surprised to still be alive.

When a man who is drinking neat gin starts talking about his mother he is past all argument. (The African Queen).

When I die there may be a paragraph or two in the newspapers. My name will linger in the British Museum Reading Room catalogue for a space at the head of a long list of books for which no one will ever ask.

With two people and luggage on board she draws four inches of water. Two canoe paddles will move her along at a speed reasonable enough in moderate currents. (John Forester’s comment : Short description of the outboard cruiser, named Annie Marble, in which CSF and Kitty toured France and Germany).

 

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