Barry Hannah Quotes

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Barry Hannah
Born (1942-04-23)April 23, 1942
Meridian, Mississippi, United States
Died March 1, 2010(2010-03-01) (aged 67)
Oxford, Mississippi, United States
Occupation Short story writer, novelist, professor
Period 1965–2010
Genre Short story, novel

My best stories come out of nowhere, with no concern for form at all.
Honestly, I envy painters, who can have a masterpiece in one morning. Or musicians, who can write something in 30 minutes and arrange it in an hour, sometimes. 'Cause with this, with writing, you can occasionally feel like a caveman, like you've been working with pitch and tar on this brush.
Barry Hannah
I lost my second marriage because of drinking, and I loved the woman very much. But I thought I needed booze to write. I'm glad I was disabused.
Barry Hannah
I grew up when people seemed actually to be hurting themselves for their art. Of course, some of it was phony.
Barry Hannah
When you're not involved, other people's unhappiness seems to be about the funniest damn thing on earth because you think you can solve it, that you are God, that you are above this, and that their unhappiness is just such useless toil and agony. If it's you, it ceases to be a comedy.
Barry Hannah
I wanted very much to be Miles Davis when I was a boy, but without the practice. It just looked like an endless road.
Barry Hannah
Some writers are curiously unmusical. I don't get it. I don't get them. For me, music is essential. I always have music on when I'm doing well. Writing and music are two different mediums, but musical phrases can give you sentences that you didn't think you ever had.
Barry Hannah
I had absolute freedom to create things on my own and in silence. No rush, the artificial rush by media. Certainly no rush to grow up. We had plenty of boyhood, plenty of girlhood.
Barry Hannah
Randomness I love. And I still love just a holler right in the middle of an ongoing narrative. Pain or joy, ecstasy.
Barry Hannah
I'll tell you why I like writing: it's just jumping into a pool. I get myself into a kind of trance. I engage the world, but it's also wonderful to just escape. I try to find the purities out of the confusion. It's pretty old-fashioned, but it's fun.
Barry Hannah
Most novels I come across have all the excitement of a long trip on a bus with a sensitive glee club. Yammer and chat.
Barry Hannah
I don't write under the ghost of Faulkner. I live in the same town and find his life and work inspiring, but that's it. I have a motorcycle and tool along the country lanes. I travel at my own speed.
Barry Hannah
Voice comes to you through a spell, a trance. The best voices are not you… they're a little away from you.
Barry Hannah
A writer's job is to destroy and then to build the thing back up again by a chosen means.
Barry Hannah
I was always kind of florid. And full of rhetoric. That was my flaw. My whole time writing, I've had to work against that because it can be a wrecking posture.
Barry Hannah
I don't go around thinking about regret; regret doesn't consume me as a person… I'm not certain about whether any writer, any artist, any musician, can write without regret, so I don't think perhaps it's even particularly Southern.
Barry Hannah
I wouldn't be happy had I only been a teacher, if all I had done was help young people, frankly. I don't get nearly the joy teaching as I do out of creation.
Barry Hannah
My dad read history, about a book a day, but only after he retired as a successful bank and insurance man.
Barry Hannah
I hate editing. I love to write, but I hate to reread my stuff. To revise.
My aunts told wonderful stories. Not to me, but to each other. We had a very strong family. My mother's sisters loved each other intensely. The uncles loved each other intensely.
Barry Hannah
Love and despair go hand in hand.
A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do what he can't.
Barry Hannah
I distrust thought. The interior life is highly overrated. I don't like the wispy and the vague… or inductive logic in any kind of writing. I'm impatient with writers who make too much sense. The better things that I've done have come to me by instinct.
Barry Hannah
I was born in Clinton, Mississippi, which had 1,500-2,500 people when I was growing up – a village.
Barry Hannah
I found out about reviews early on. They're mostly written by sad men on bad afternoons. That's probably why I'm less angry than some writers, who are so narcissistic they consider every line of every review, even a thoughtful one, as major treason.
Barry Hannah