Literary Birthday – 23 June – David Leavitt

Happy Birthday, David Leavitt, born 23 June 1961.

Five Quotes

  1. Obviously any fiction is going to be a combination of what is invented, what is overheard, what is experienced, what is experienced by people close to you, what you are told, what you have read, all mixed together into this kind of soup which, like any good soup, at the end you cannot really distinguish the ingredients.
  2. Novels are forged in passion, demand fidelity and commitment, often drive you to boredom or rage, sleep with you at night. They are the long haul. They are marriage. Stories, on the other hand, you can lose yourself in for a few weeks and then wrap up, or grow tired of and abandon and (maybe) return to later. They can cuddle you sweetly, or make you get on your knees and beg.
  3. When one writer tries to silence another, he silences every writer-and in the end he also silences himself.
  4. We all spend so much time worrying about the future that the present moment slips right out of our hands. And so all we have left is retrospection and anticipation, retrospection and anticipation.
  5. In a memoir, I think, the contract implies a certain degree of truth. I think you have to be as true to your memory and your experience as you possibly can.

David Leavitt is an American writer of novels, short stories, and non-fiction. He is a professor at the University of Florida, where he is the co-director of the creative writing program. He is also the editor of Subtropics magazine, The University of Florida’s literary review. His first novel was The Lost Language of Cranes.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 23rd June 2014