Literary Birthday – 10 June – James Salter

James Salter was born 10 June 1925, and died 19 June 2015.

10 James Salter Quotes

  1. Man was very fortunate to have invented the book. Without it, the past would completely vanish, and we would be left with nothing, we would be naked on earth.
  2. Your parents are the parents you know best. Your brother and sister, if you have them, are the brother and sister you know best. They may not be the ones you like the best. They may not be the most interesting, but they are the closest and probably the clearest to you.
  3. As I look back, I see that life is like a game of solitaire and every once in a while there is a move.
  4. A letter is like a poem, it leaps into life and shows very clearly the marks, perhaps I should say thumbprints, of an unwilling or unready composer.
  5. I always knew writing a novel was a great thing.
  6. Age doesn’t arrive slowly, it comes in a rush. One day nothing has changed, a week later, everything has. A week may be too long a time, it can happen overnight. You are the same and still the same and suddenly one morning two distinct lines, ineradicable, have appeared at the corners of your mouth.
  7. A name, of course is like a piece of clothing, isn’t it? It gives you an impression right away.
  8. The writing is really important in books that affect me. I read for the writing. The story is usually of less interest to me. It’s the words that break your heart.
  9. There comes a time when you realise that everything is a dream, and only those things preserved in writing have any possibility of being real.
  10. Why is it so difficult to assemble those things that really matter in life and to dwell among them only? I am referring to certain landscapes, persons, beasts, books, rooms, meteorological conditions, fruits.

James Salter was an American novelist and short-story writer. His books include The HuntersAll That Is, and his memoir, Burning the Days: Recollection.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 10th June 2014