Literary Birthday – 30 July – Patrick Modiano

Happy Birthday, Patrick Modiano, born 30 July 1945.

Nine Quotes

  1. As a writer, one is always a little blind to what one writes.
  2. When I was younger, I just put off the writing until later in the day, but now I write early every morning to get it done. I can only write for a few hours at a time; after that, my attention fades.
  3. A man without scenery is completely disarmed.
  4. I quickly realised that it is difficult to get started when writing a novel. You have this dream of what you want to create, but it is like walking around a swimming pool and hesitating to jump in because the water is too cold.
  5. Encourage aspiring writers to continue writing when things are going against them, when it feels hard. Explain the typical obstacles that occur, and encourage and reassure them to continue, never to give up.
  6. The doctor used to tell me that every person about to die becomes a music box playing the melody that best describes his life, his character, and his hopes. For some, it’s a popular waltz; for others, a march.
  7. In the end, we are all determined by the place and the time in which we were born.
  8. Writing is a strange and solitary activity. There are dispiriting times when you start working on the first few pages of a novel. Every day, you have the feeling you are on the wrong track. This creates a strong urge to go back and follow a different path. It is important not to give in to this urge but to keep going.
  9. Because I find writing painful, I try to get it over with as fast as possible. But I write every day, or I lose the thread.

Jean Patrick Modiano is a French novelist and recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature. He is the author of In the Café of Lost Youth and Dora Bruder.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 29th July 2017