Literary Birthday – 16 July – Tony Kushner

Happy Birthday, Tony Kushnerborn 16 July 1956.

Nine Quotes

  1. In this world, there is a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind, and dreaming ahead.
  2. Here’s another piece of advice, only date people who have read a different set of books than you have read, it will save you lots of time in the library.
  3. As a playwright, you are a torturer of actors and of the audience as well. You inflict things on people.
  4. People shouldn’t trust artists and they shouldn’t trust art. Part of the fun of art is that it invites you to interpret it.
  5. If you’re a playwright, unless you’re really lacking in get-up-and-go, you can always get your play up somewhere. You can’t necessarily make a living doing it, but theatre is about meeting an audience. Plays are not easier to write necessarily, they take less time to write. If you get them up, it’s a much more rough-and-tumble kind of existence. I think it’s, from my perspective, easier than novel writing.
  6. Torture yourself about your failures. And then get back to work.
  7. The smallest indivisible human unit is two people, not one; one is a fiction. From such nets of souls societies, the social world, human life springs.
  8. While you’re writing your plays, you’re also writing the playwright. You’re developing yourself as a persona, as a public persona. It’s going to be partly exposed through the writing itself and partly created by all the paraphernalia that attaches itself to writing. But you aren’t simply an invisible being or your own private being at work. You’re kind of a public figure, as well.
  9. A play should have barely been rescued from the mess it might just as easily have been.

Tony Kushner is an American playwright and screenwriter. He is most famous for his play Angels in America, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He is also co-author of the screenplay of the 2005 film Munich, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Source for image of the author: The Laura Flanders Show, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 16th July 2017