Charles Jackson

Literary Birthday – 6 April – Charles Jackson

Charles Jackson was born 6 April 1903, and died 21 September 1968.


  1. If, for example, you should happen to decide arbitrarily that you didn’t like books written in the first person, or books about whaling, or patricide, or prostitution, or war, or wretched poverty, or divorce, or madness, or adultery, or homosexuality, or cripples, or the most erotic kind of fornication for fornication’s sake, and thus should rule them off your list, you’d be doing yourself out of some of the greatest works of literature in the world’s history- in fact, nearly all of them. What counts, it seems to me, is what the writer brings to his story, not the subject itself.
  2. The writer knows his own worth, and to be overvalued can confuse and destroy him as an artist.
  3. [The writer] must essentially draw from life as he sees it, lives it, overhears it or steals it, and the truer the writer, perhaps the bigger the blackguard. He lives by biting the hand that feeds him.
  4. Like all his attempts at fiction it would be as personal as a letter—painful to those who knew him, of no interest to those who didn’t; precious or self-pitying in spots, in others too clever for its own good; so packed with Shakespeare that it looked as if he worked with a concordance in his lap; so narcissistic that its final effect would be that of the mirrored room which gives back the same image times without count.
  5. Delirium is a disease of the night.
  6. I know they’re always disappointed; that is, they have some preconceived idea about you and expect you to be ‘interesting’ or intense or drunk or something different from just the normal average guy like anybody else.

Charles Jackson was an American author. He is best known for his 1944 novel The Lost Weekend. It was adapted for film and won four Oscars.

Source for photo: Carl Van Vechten, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 6th April 2017