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E. L. Doctorow quotes

I'm not the sort of writer who can walk into a party and take a look around, see who's sleeping with whom and go home and write a novel about society. It's not the way I work.

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

Each book tends to have its own identity rather than the author's. It speaks from itself rather than you. Each book is unlike the others because you are not bringing the same voice to every book. I think that keeps you alive as a writer.

I began to ask two questions while I was reading a book that excited me: not only what was going to happen next, but how is this done? How is it that these words on the page make me feel the way I'm feeling? This is the line of inquiry that I think happens in a child's mind, without him even knowing he has aspirations as a writer.

One of the things I had to learn as a writer was to trust the act of writing. To put myself in the position of writing to find out what I was writing.

It's like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.

There is no longer any such thing as fiction or nonfiction; there's only narrative.

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.

In the twentieth century one of the most personal relationships to have developed is that of the person and the state. It's become a fact of life that governments have become very intimate with people, most always to their detriment.

A new reader shouldn't be able to find you in your work, though someone who's read more may begin to.

History is the present. That's why every generation writes it anew. But what most people think of as history is its end product, myth.

I can walk into a bookstore and hand over my credit card and they don't know who the hell I am. Maybe that says something about bookstore clerks.

I did have a feeling then that the culture of factuality was so dominating that storytelling had lost all its authority.

I thought I would lose, so I didn't prepare a speech.

I try to avoid experience if I can. Most experience is bad.

Movies are too literal.

Somewhere along the line the rhythms and tonalities of music elided in my brain with the sounds that words make and the rhythm that sentences have.

The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.

Things that appear on the front page of the newspaper as 'fact' are far more dangerous than the games played by a novelist, and can lead to wars.