Literary Birthday – 13 October – Richard Howard

Happy Birthday, Richard Howard, born 13 October 1929.

Seven Quotes

  1. Folly is so human that it has common roots with poetry and tragedy; it is revealed as much in the insane asylum as in the writings of a Cervantes or a Shakespeare, or in the deep psychological insights and cries of revolt of a Nietzsche.
  2. I hope that my mannerism doesn’t get in the way of my matter. I’m a fancy writer. One writes the way one has to, but I think in recent years… the manner of my prose has simplified and become a little stronger and more direct, and I’m please with that.
  3. History and high culture were indeed my real home, and I found them right there in our house—in the library which became, indeed, my precocious playroom. Reading was an interior exile, so that I didn’t have to look away from home, as you put it, just further in.
  4. Give your teachers the respect they deserve, because they are the ones who can help you get where you need to go.
  5. What I want to enforce on these children is what it takes to get this job, which is education.
  6. I must acknowledge an interest, or rather a dismay, in discussing this ‘family memoir’, for from experience and observation I have come to regard the American Nuclear Family in the last 50 years as the enemy of individual determination, of personal autonomy—in short, as a disease.
  7. I know I’m a readier writer now than I was 20 years ago. The process of confronting a new poem from the beginning is not quite so arduous. It seems to come with a certain sense of ‘I’ve been here, I know what I’m going to do’.

Richard Howard is an American poet, literary critic, essayist, teacher, and translator. His works include Bonaparte’s Sons and Without Saying.

Link to picture

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 13th October 2014