Literary Birthday - 17 May
Happy Birthday, Peter Høeg, born 17 May 1957
- I start every day with meditation and then I write and then I meditate again and then I do the second writing stretch.
- A novel is like a wave of tension that travels over a very long time … I think it is important not to carry with you the tension that you created in one work into the next.
- Each new book, it’s a game for me. It’s like going to a carnival and dressing up.
- It’s a mistake that we divide art into popular art and fine, highbrow, high-quality art. It has no basis in reality. And it is a way to keep other people and other people’s taste at a distance. It is a way of closing oneself towards some kinds of reality.
- I like to play with genres and to experience the thriller and the love story and to play with reality.
- There is a day of change in the life of most authors… That is the day they go from writing poems and short stories to working on a novel and writing for several hours every day… I must have been about twenty-four or twenty-five when I reached that turning point. I’d written for years before that but had never sent anything to a publisher.
- My first novel took four years to write, but that doesn’t say anything about the quality or the size of the novel. It was a learning piece, an apprentice book, because writing is not just a talent but a skill. It’s something you have to learn and develop. It’s a slow process.
- The book is the slowest art/media form. Everything else is very fast, but a book is very slow.
- To describe what you’ve read is like explaining music in writing.
- There are no fearless people, only fearless moments.
Peter Hoeg, a Danish fiction writer, published his first novel, A History of Danish Dreams, in 1988 but it was Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow (1992) that earned him international literary celebrity. His books have been published in more than 30 countries.
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Writing is sacred to me. It is, at times perhaps, a rapture, but not an easy one. I sometimes will question a writer who says, “I love what I do,” because “love” is not exactly the word I would use. Writing is what I know how to do, but it’s also a necessity. To me, there is not much more than the thrill of a well-told story. That’s how I make sense of my world.
It was a day thirty years ago—during tenth-grade English—when my passion for stories became hitched to a more particular ambition. It was winter, through the windows we could see snow falling outside, and our teacher, Mr. Rossiter, was talking about a poem by T.S. Eliot. I don’t remember which poem it was. I don’t remember exactly what he said about it. But I will never forget the look on his face, how his eyes lit up as he spoke about that poem with such fire that I understood that reading that poem had changed him.
I remember thinking to myself: I want to write something that makes someone feel that.
You know what makes me angry.
That people when they talk to me go “oh you’re a writer.”
“You wanna be a writer?”
But they don’t say it like they’re interested, but like they are literally baffled that I wanna write for a career.
“You won’t make any money that way. No one appreciates writing. Everyone wants to write. Why would you want to be a writer? What a half-assed, lazy career choice.”
Bitch please, I’m more than that.
I’m a fucking storyteller. I am continuing a ten-thousand year old tradition that dates back to when we were still figuring out fire. People used to (and some still do) love people like me. As a storyteller I’m a fucking keeper of history and the imagination. We make life a little easier to bear, teach people lessons and entertain them. We used to travel all the fuck over, bringing that little bit of joy into people’s lives. It contributed to not just the fuckin’ arts, but to all of fuckin’ society.
But that’s okay, just make it out like continuing one of the most bad-ass traditions in history that hugely contributed to, well, a lot, is just not awesome or good enough.
sunshineboi94 asked: How important is location to a story? I’m asking about specific location, not setting. I know landscape, climate, and environment can all be important details but is it necessary to give an exact location to your story? Personally, I feel like it makes it…