Quotations About / On: NARRATIVE

  • 1.
    There is no longer any such thing as fiction or nonfiction; there's only narrative.
    (E.L. (Edgar Lawrence) Doctorow (b. 1931), U.S. novelist. New York Times Book Review (Jan. 27, 1988).)
  • 2.
    The narrative impulse is always with us; we couldn't imagine ourselves through a day without it.
    (Robert Coover (b. 1932), U.S. writer. Time Out (London, May 7, 1986).)
  • 3.
    Narrative prose is a legal wife, while drama is a posturing, boisterous, cheeky and wearisome mistress.
    (Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Letter, January 15, 1889, to A.N. Pleshcheev. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Letters, vol. 3, p. 139, "Nauka" (1976).)
  • 4.
    Nostalgia keeps dissolving the ironic narratives in which I have contained my past.
    (Mason Cooley (b. 1927), U.S. aphorist. City Aphorisms, Twelfth Selection, New York (1993).)
  • 5.
    To have frequent recourse to narrative betrays great want of imagination.
    (Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, October 19, 1748. The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 1, no. 166, ed. Charles Strachey (1901).)
  • 6.
    “There is no master narrative nor realist perspective to provide a background of social and historical facts.”
    ( King of the Pirates)
  • 7.
    Truth, naked, unblushing truth, the first virtue of all serious history, must be the sole recommendation of this personal narrative.
    (Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), British historian. repr. As Autobiography (1971). Memoirs of my Life, introduction (1796).)
  • 8.
    The ninety percent of human experience that does not fit into established narrative patterns falls into oblivion.
    (Mason Cooley (b. 1927), U.S. aphorist. City Aphorisms, Fifth Selection, New York (1988).)
  • 9.
    We construct a narrative for ourselves, and that's the thread that we follow from one day to the next. People who disintegrate as personalities are the ones who lose that thread.
    (Paul Auster (b. 1947), U.S. author, translator. Sunday Times (London, April 16, 1989).)
  • 10.
    Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
    (Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Huckleberry Finn, "Notice—By Order of the Author," (1884).)
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