Caitlín R. Kiernan

Literary Birthday – 26 May – Caitlín R. Kiernan

Happy Birthday, Caitlín R. Kiernan, born 26 May 1964.


  1. Language is a poor enough means of communication as it is. So we should use all the words we have.
  2. No story has a beginning, and no story has an end. Beginnings and endings may be conceived to serve a purpose, to serve a momentary and transient intent, but they are, in their fundamental nature, arbitrary and exist solely as a convenient construct in the minds of man. Lives are messy, and when we set out to relate them, or parts of them, we cannot ever discern precise and objective moments when any given event began. All beginnings are arbitrary.
  3. Art should never be a slave to commerce, but for all working artists that’s exactly what it must be.
  4. It is not the task of a writer to ‘tell all’, or even to decide what to leave in, but to decide what to leave out. Whatever remains, that meagre sum of this profane division, that’s the bastard chimera we call a ‘story.’ I am not building, but cutting away. And all stories, whether advertised as truth or admitted falsehoods, are fictions, cleft from the objective facts by the aforementioned action of cutting away. A pound of flesh. A pile of sawdust. Discarded chips of Carrara marble. And what’s left over.
  5. The writing of a novel or short story or poem or whatever should elevate the audience, not drag the writer down to some level beneath herself. And she – the author – should fight always to prevent that dragging down, especially when the only possible benefit of allowing it to happen is monetary.
  6. A book may only be judged for what it is, not what you’d like it to be.

Caitlín R. Kiernan is an Irish-born American author of science fiction and dark fantasy works, including Agents of Dreamland, many comic books, and more than two hundred published short stories, novellas, and vignettes. They are also the author of scientific papers in the field of paleontology. Kiernan is a two-time recipient of both the World Fantasy and Bram Stoker awards.

Source for image

Kyle Cassidy, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

and quotes

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 25th May 2020