P. L Travers

Literary Birthday – 9 August – P.L. Travers

P.L. Travers was born 9 August 1899, and died 23 April 1996.

Nine Quotes

  1. A writer is, after all, only half his book. The other half is the reader and from the reader the writer learns.
  2. Tears ran down my cheek because it was all so distorted… . I was so shocked that I felt I would never write–let alone smile–again!
  3. In a way I’m never not doing it. When I’m going to buy, let us say, a tube of toothpaste, I have it in me. The story or lecture or article is moving. And I make a point of writing, if only a little, every day, as a kind of discipline so that it is not a whim but a piece of work.
  4. You can ask me anything you like about my work, but I’ll never talk about myself.
  5. A great friend of mine at the beginning of our friendship (he was himself a poet) said to me very defiantly, ‘I have to tell you that I loathe children’s books.’ And I said to him, ‘Well, won’t you just read this just for my sake?’ And he said grumpily, ‘Oh, very well, send it to me.’ I did, and I got a letter back saying: ‘Why didn’t you tell me? Mary Poppins with her cool green core of sex has me enthralled forever.’
  6. You do not chop off a section of your imaginative substance and make a book specifically for children, for — if you are honest — you have no idea where childhood ends and maturity begins. It is all endless and all one.
  7. Once we have accepted the story we cannot escape the story’s fate.
  8. Could it be … that the hero is one who is willing to set out, take the first step, shoulder something? Perhaps the hero is one who puts his foot upon a path not knowing what he may expect from life but in some way feeling in his bones that life expects something of him.
  9. For me there are no answers, only questions, and I am grateful that the questions go on and on. I don’t look for an answer, because I don’t think there is one. I’m very glad to be the bearer of a question.

P. L Travers, born Helen Lyndon Goff, was an Australian-British novelist, actress and journalist. She is best known for her series of children’s novels about the magical English nanny, Mary Poppins.

Source for Image


State Library of New South Wales, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 9th August 2014