Quotes by: E. L. Doctorow
The important thing is not to be too comfortable when you're writing. Noise in the street? That's good. The computer goes down? That's good. All these things are good. It has to be a little bit of a struggle.
One of the things I had to learn as a writer was to trust the act of writing. To put myself in the position of writing to find out what I was writing.
Washington is designed not to solve problems. Congress is so beholden to the money that any solution in the general interest will be frustrated and subverted by the corporate interests who feel they will be damaged by progress, fair play and justice.
Obama is a great man who's just beginning to understand the realities. And I'm not just saying that because he reads my books. I would have voted for him anyway.
Like art and politics, gangsterism is a very important avenue of assimilation into society.
Each book tends to have its own identity rather than the author's. It speaks from itself rather than you. Each book is unlike the others because you are not bringing the same voice to every book. I think that keeps you alive as a writer.
I did have a feeling then that the culture of factuality was so dominating that storytelling had lost all its authority.
I don't think anything I've written has been done in under six or eight drafts. Usually it takes me a few years to write a book. 'World's Fair' was an exception. It seemed to be a particularly fluent book as it came. I did it in seven months. I think what happened in that case is that God gave me a bonus book.
We're always attracted to the edges of what we are, out by the edges where it's a little raw and nervy.
I got married very early, and in no time at all, we had three children. And it seemed to me I had an obligation to support them.
I like to think of myself as an unmediated novelist - or perhaps a national novelist.
From my undergraduate days, I've always been interested in the major philosophical questions that don't seem to have an answer that everyone agrees on.
Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.
I discovered Einstein said the same thing about his celebrated theories of relativity that writers say about their work when he said he didn't have any feelings of personal possession of these ideas. Once they were out there, they came from somewhere else. And that's exactly the feeling when you write. You don't feel possessive about it.
People come out of the mid-west and go to the Ivy League. I kind of reversed the direction.
Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
My books start almost before I realise it. Once in a while, some accident causes an idea to rise to the surface and say: 'now.'
When I'm writing, I like to seal everything off and face the wall, not to look outside the window. The only way out is through the sentences.
It seems to me that in literature, books have always been answers to other books.
It's like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
Congress is so beholden to the money that any solution in the general interest will be frustrated and subverted by the corporate interests who feel they will be damaged by progress, fair play and justice.
There are two books that impressed me when I was very young. One was 'The Adventures of Augie March' - the idea of having something so generous, and so adventurous and improvisatory. The other was 'The U.S.A. Trilogy,' by John Dos Passos.
If we ever find out how the brain works, with all its complexity, then we will be able to build a machine that has consciousness. And if that happens, that is a road to planetary disaster because everything we've thought about ourselves, since the Bronze Age, the Bible, all of that will be gone.