Harry Mathews

Literary Birthday – 14 February – Harry Mathews

Harry Mathews was born 14 February 1930, and died 25 January 2017.

Seven Quotes
  1. Write about the things that attract you. Choose your subjects the way you used to choose your toys: out of desire.
  2. I started writing when I was eleven, writing poetry. I was passionately addicted to it; it was my great refuge through adolescence.
  3. I think situations are more important than plot and character.
  4. Syntax and vocabulary are overwhelming constraints –the rules that run us. Language is using us to talk –we think we’re using the language, but language is doing the thinking, we’re its slavish agents.
  5. You make something. You give up expressing and start inventing.
  6. I’ve always said that my ideal reader would be someone who after finishing one of my novels would throw it out the window, presumably from an upper floor of an apartment building in New York, and by the time it had landed would be taking the elevator down to retrieve it.
  7. There are many things I’ve written that I didn’t really understand until a long time later.

Harry Mathews was an American author. He wrote novels, volumes of poetry, short fiction, and essays. His works include The Journalist, Cigarettes, and My Life in CIA: A Chronicle of 1973.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 14th February 2017