Literary Birthday – 27 February – Peter De Vries

Peter De Vries was born 27 February 1910, and died 28 September 1993.


  1. I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.
  2. I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.
  3. We must love one another, yes, yes, that’s all true enough, but nothing says we have to like each other.
  4. Words fashioned with somewhat over precise diction are like shapes turned out by a cookie cutter.
  5. The satirist shoots to kill while the humourist brings his prey back alive and eventually releases him again for another chance.
  6. Human nature is pretty shabby stuff, as you may know from introspection.
  7. Confession is good for the soul only in the sense that a tweed coat is good for dandruff – it is a palliative rather than a remedy.
  8. Life is a zoo in a jungle.
  9. The greatest experience open to man then is the recovery of the commonplace. Coffee in the morning and whiskeys in the evening again without fear. Books to read without that shadow falling across the page.
  10. Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us.

Peter De Vries was an American editor and novelist, who worked for The New Yorker magazine from 1944 to 1987. He wrote short stories, reviews, poetry, essays, a play, novellas, and 23 novels. Kingsley Amis said that he was “the funniest serious writer to be found on either side of the Atlantic.” He is the author of The Blood of the Lamb.

Source for image

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 27th February 2014