Literary Birthday – 13 January – Edmund White

Happy Birthday, Edmund White, born 13 January 1940.

Five Quotes

  1. The most important things in our intimate lives can’t be discussed with strangers, except in books.
  2. Modern readers are responsive to Proust’s tireless and brilliant analyses of love because we, too, no longer take love for granted. Readers today are always making the personal public, the intimate political, the instinctual philosophical. Proust may have attacked love, but he did know a lot about it. Like us, he took nothing for granted. He was not on smug, cosy terms with his own experience.
  3. As a young teenager I looked desperately for things to read that might excuse me or assure me I wasn’t the only one, that might confirm an identity I was unhappily piecing together.
  4. Whereas fiction is a continual discovery of what one wants to say, what one feels, what one means, and is, in that sense, a performance art, biography requires different skills – research and organisation.
  5. Biography can be the most middle-class of all forms, the judgement of little people avenging themselves on the great.

Edmund White is an American novelist, as well as a writer of memoirs and an essayist on literary and social topics. His best-known books are his trio of autobiographic novels, A Boy’s Own StoryThe Beautiful Room Is Empty and The Farewell Symphony.

Source for Image: David Shankbone, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 13th January 2015