Writers who inspire me

A friend asked, in her blog, who inspired us… She gave examples of people who inspired her, and gave quotations from their speeches or writing.

So here are a few of the people who inspire me. They are all authors, two fantasy writers and a poet.

J.R.R.Tolkien British scholar & fantasy novelist (1892 – 1973)

“A dragon is no idle fancy. Even today (despite critics) you may find men not ignorant of tragic legend and history, who have heard of heroes and indeed seen them, who have yet been caught by the fascination of the worm.”

“One writes such a story not out of the leaves of trees still to be observed, nor by means of botany and soil-science; but it grows like a seed in the dark out of the leaf-mould of mind: out of all that has been seen or thought or read, that has long ago been forgotten, descending into the deeps. No doubt there is much selection, as with a gardener: what one throws on one’s personal compost-heap; and my mould is evidently made largely of linguistic matter.” (On the creation of LotR)

“What really happens is that the story-maker proves a successful ‘sub-creator’. He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is ‘true’: it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed. You are then out in the Primary World again, looking at the little abortive Secondary World from outside. …… Every writer making a secondary world wishes in some measure to be a real maker, or hopes that he is drawing on reality: hopes that the peculiar quality of this secondary world (if not all the details) are derived from Reality, or are flowing into it.”

“I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of the reader. I think that many confuse ‘applicability’ with ‘allegory’; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.”

 Guy Gavriel Kay (Canadian fantasy writer !954 – )

“…it also needs to be remarked that sagas and idylls are constructed, that someone has composed their elements, selected and balanced them, bringing whatever art and inclination they have, as a offering.”

Robert Frost (American poet 1874-1963)

In Neglect (published 1915)

“They leave us so to the way we took,
As two in whom they were proved mistaken.
That we sit sometimes in the wayside nook,
With mischievous, vagrant, seraphic look,
And try if we cannot feel forsaken.”

Who inspires your writing? Can you share any of your favourite quotations?

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