Camilo José Cela

Literary Birthday – 11 May – Camilo José Cela

Camilo José Cela was born 11 May 1916, and died 17 January 2002.

Camilo José Cela Quotes

  1. Literature is the denunciation of the times in which one lives.
  2. I begin to write. If nothing occurs to me, I remain seated at the writing table until something finally does come to mind. You must surrender yourself to a discipline.
  3. There is more than enough time for everything. The important thing is not to waste it.
  4. Ideas? My head is full of them, one after the other, but they serve no purpose there. They must be put down on paper, one after the other.
  5. There are two kinds of men: the ones who make history and the ones who endure it.
  6. No, absolutely not. [The muses are] nothing more than a subterfuge used by lyric poets. It’s just so convenient. It’s a lie. The excuse is used not when a good piece of writing is being turned out but when a good piece is not forthcoming.
  7. In order to write books, all one needs to have is something to say, a stack of blank papers and a pen with which to say it; everything else is extraneous and nothing more than an attempt to add theatrics to the trade.
  8. I think inspiration is a refuge for poets. All poets are generally very lazy. They’re loafers!
  9. There is nothing as frightening as a stack of blank pieces of paper and the thought that I have to fill them from top to bottom, placing letters one after the other.
  10. The case is that when I write I do it aloud. Many faults and cacophonies that the ear is able to catch cannot be seen on the written page. So, if it sounds poorly to my ear I can catch the error.
  11. You must learn how to foment your enemies. It is good for a writer to foster his enemies.
  12. [A writer’s] lack of quality is unpardonable, because then he should have dedicated himself to some other trade.

Camilo José Cela was a Spanish novelist, short story writer, and essayist. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1989. He is the author of Journey to the Alcarria: Travels Through the Spanish Countryside.

Source for Image

See page for author, CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 11th May 2014