The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the moment – to put things down without deliberation – without worrying about their style – without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote – wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught.
But novels are never about what they are about; that is, there is always deeper, or more general, significance. The author may not be aware of this till she is pretty far along with it. A novel’s whole pattern is rarely apparent at the outset of writing, or even at the end; that is when the writer finds out what a novel is about, and the job becomes one of understanding and deepening or sharpening what is already written. That is finding the theme.
Only amateurs say that they write for their own amusement. Writing is not an amusing occupation. It is a combination of ditch-digging, mountain-climbing, treadmill and childbirth. Writing may be interesting, absorbing, exhilarating, racking, relieving. But amusing? Never!
Pornography is rather like trying to find out about a Beethoven symphony by having somebody tell you about it and perhaps hum a few bars.
A widespread taste for pornography means that nature is alerting us to some threat of extinction.
Nine-tenths of the appeal of pornography is due to the indecent feelings concerning sex which moralists inculcate in the young; the other tenth is physiological, and will occur in one way or another whatever the state of the law may be.
The undraped figure in nature has a beautiful outlook. It is the important task of the artist to save the world. To defend art from pornography means to defend art model from offensive image. Pornography offends the model; art – never. Art respects, arises, loves model.
Many of the laws that pornography runs afoul of need to be tested, as they are often written broadly enough that they can affect other expressions that we do care about.
Pornography tells lies about women. But pornography tells the truth about men.
Women, for centuries not having access to pornography and now unable to bear looking at the muck on the supermarket shelves, are astonished. Women do not believe that men believe what pornography says about women. But they do. From the worst to the best of them, they do.
Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself.
Justice Potter Stewart
The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.
Henry Steele Commager
The spectacle of a judge pouring over the picture of some nude, trying to ascertain the extent to which she arouses prurient interests, and then attempting to write an opinion which explains the difference between that nude and some other nude has elements of low comedy.
The Puritan often will brood
On how horrid it is to be nude;
The absence of clothing
He views with such loathing
That the naked truth strikes him as lewd.
The nakedness of woman is the work of God.
Something about the nude figure brings out the philosopher in me. Sometimes I'll add text as I'm drawing the figure at open studio... I find myself writing thoughts from a different perspective that never would have occurred to me alone at home.
He who does not master the nude, cannot understand the principles of architecture.
Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress.
The undressed is vulgar - the nude is pure.
Robert Green Ingersoll
No nude, however abstract, should fail to arouse in the spectator some vestige of erotic feeling, even if it be only the faintest shadow - and if it does not do so it is bad art and false morals.
Grace is in garments, in movements, in manners; beauty in the nude, and in forms. This is true of bodies; but when we speak of feelings, beauty is in their spirituality, and grace in their moderation.
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
Leonardo da Vinci
Painting is a blind man's profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen.
Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public opinion.
Vincent Van Gogh
For me, painting is a way to forget life. It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh.
Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do.
Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.
Painting is the most magical of mediums. The transcendence is truly amazing to me every time I go to a museum and I see how somebody figured another way to rub colored dirt on a flat surface and make space where there is no space or make you think of a life experience.
I have never felt like I was creating anything. For me, writing is like walking through a desert and all at once, poking up through the hardpan, I see the top of a chimney. I know there’s a house under there, and I’m pretty sure that I can dig it up if I want. That’s how I feel. It’s like the stories are already there. What they pay me for is the leap of faith that says: ‘If I sit down and do this, everything will come out OK.'
It comes back to the question, whom are you writing for? Who are the readers you want? Who are the people you want to engage with the things that matter most to you? And for me, it's people who don't need it all spelled out because they know it, they understand it. That's why there's so much I can't read because I get so exasperated. Someone starts describing the character boarding the plane and pulling the seat back. And I just want to say, Babe, I have been downtown. I have been up in a plane. Give me some credit.
The novel was forbidden in the Spanish colonies by the Inquisition. The inquisitors considered this literary genre, the novel, to be as dangerous for the spiritual faith of the Indians as for the moral and political behavior of society and, of course, they were absolutely right. We novelists must be grateful to the Spanish Inquisition for having discovered before any critic did the inevitable subversive nature of fiction. The prohibition included reading and publishing novels in the colonies. There was no way naturally to avoid a great number of novels being smuggled into our countries; and we know, for example, that the first copies of Don Quixote entered America hidden in barrels of wine. We can only dream with envy about what kind of experience it was in those times in Spanish America to read a novel—a sinful adventure in which in order to abandon yourself to an imaginary world you had to be prepared to face prison and humiliation.