Literary Birthday – 5 June – Geoff Dyer

Happy Birthday, Geoff Dyer, born 5 June 1958.


  1. My motto is always, “If you’re not overprepared you’re underprepared.” I’m a grammar-school boy, I do my homework. Likewise, in the fiction, so much of the stuff is drawn from real life. But that’s not the point really. The point is that the techniques are pretty much the same in fiction and nonfiction.
  2. Life is bearable even when it’s unbearable: that is what’s so terrible, that is the unbearable thing about it.
  3. To be interested in something is to be involved in what is essentially a stressful relationship with that thing, to suffer anxiety on its behalf.
  4. I always like to be in the presence of people who are good at and love their jobs, Irrespective of their jobs.
  5. Sometimes I think my ability to concentrate is being nibbled away by the internet; other times I think it’s being gulped down in huge, Jaws-shaped chunks. In those quaint days before the internet, once you made it to your desk there wasn’t much to distract you. You could sit there working or you could just sit there. Now you sit down and there’s a universe of possibilities – many of them obscurely relevant to the work you should be getting on with – to tempt you.
  6. Nine times out of 10, the most charming thing to say in any given situation will be the exact opposite of what one really feels.
  7. One’s happiness is very largely a question of state of mind rather than the world you are looking at.
  8. I would hope that nothing that I write would ever seem earnest because I subscribe absolutely to Nietzsche‘s claim when he says, ‘Ah, earnestness, the sure sign of a slow mind.’ Earnest people are always a bit on the thick side in my experience.
  9. All the best essays are epistemological journeys from ignorance or curiosity to knowledge.

Read: Geoff Dyer’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction

Geoff Dyer is a British writer and novelist. His published work includes four novels and several books of non-fiction, which have won a number of literary awards. He is the author of four novels: Paris Trance, The Search, The Colour of Memory, and Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi.

Source for Image: Author’s Website (Photograph by Marzena Pogorzaly)

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 5th June 2013