Saturday, September 19, 2009

"They are just writers, no matter how great."

A quote, unsourced alas, from the great Liam O'Flaherty I read last night:

There are some writers whom one immediately recognises, bookish fellows whose drawing-room civilisation obtrudes unpleasantly on the senses. They are just writers, no matter how great. But there are others who are great men, because they are men and who write because chance turns their energies towards writing as a means of creation. These are the men I love. Out of their speech, out of their eyes, out of the movements of their bodies, joyousness and exuberance flow and they make you feel it is good to be alive.

I'm sure O'Flaherty, a progressive fellow, would have intended women writers to be included in that equation too. That oversight aside, it's as good an observation on the whole writing thing as one could wish.