Notable Quotes
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American novelist (1937- )

If you haven't fought for your life for something you want, you don't know what's life all about.

ROBERT STONE, Dog Soldiers

What you're trying to do when you write is to crowd the reader out of his own space and occupy it with yours, in a good cause. You're trying to take over his sensibility and deliver an experience that moves from mere information.

ROBERT STONE, The Paris Review, winter 1985

The process of creating is related to the process of dreaming although when you are writing you're doing it and when you're dreaming, it's doing you.

ROBERT STONE, attributed, A Writer's Book of Days

There's always been, in my stories, something more abrasive and just harder on the characters, holding them at a distance and making fun of them, making their mistakes and their obsessions comical in one aspect. But I think the joke that I'm after when I do that is really on me.

ROBERT STONE, SFGate interview, Feb. 21, 2010

Everybody's after a new morning. What do we have to run up and salute tomorrow.

ROBERT STONE, attributed, Conversations with American Writers

If you couldn't tell the difference between what hurt and what didn't, you had no business being alive. You can't have any good times if you can't tell.

ROBERT STONE, Dog Soldiers

You construct characters and set them going in their own interior landscape, and what they find to talk about and what confronts them are, of course, things that concern you most.

ROBERT STONE, The Paris Review, winter 1985

What is worst about America was acted out. What is best in America doesn't export.

ROBERT STONE, New York Times Saturday Review of Books and Art, 1981

I'm not much crazier than anybody else, but I'm not much saner.

ROBERT STONE, attributed, Conversations with American Writers

There’s only one subject for fiction or poetry or even a joke: how it is. In all the arts, the payoff is always the same: recognition. If it works, you say that’s real, that’s truth, that’s life.

ROBERT STONE, The Paris Review, winter 1985

I've always remembered. This fellow said to me - if you think someones'doing you wrong, it's not for you to judge. Kill them first and then God can do the judging.

ROBERT STONE, Dog Soldiers

On a typewriter or word processor you can rush something that shouldn’t be rushed—you can lose nuance, richness, lucidity. The pen compels lucidity.

ROBERT STONE, The Paris Review, winter 1985

Life is a means of extracting fiction.

ROBERT STONE, attributed, Writers at Work

I could probably have gotten six books out of my three if I’d wanted to do smaller themes. Twice as many books and they would have been half as good. Six so-so books. I don’t need that. I like big novels; I really admire the grand slam.

ROBERT STONE, The Paris Review, winter 1985


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