Quotes by: Samuel R. Delany
|Samuel R. Delany
at Kelly Writers House (2016)
||Samuel Ray Delany, Jr.
April 1, 1942
New York City, New York, USA
||K. Leslie Steiner, S. L. Kermit
||Writer, editor, professor, literary critic
||Dalton School; Bronx High School of Science
||City College of New York
||Science fiction, fantasy, autobiography, creative nonfiction, erotic literature, literary criticism
||Science fiction, Lesbian and gay studies
||Nova, Babel-17, Dhalgren, Hogg, The Einstein Intersection
Nebula Award (4)
Hugo Award (2)
Stonewall Book Award (1)
Lambda Award (2)
||Marilyn Hacker (1961–1980)
||Dennis Rickett (1991–present)
I think a 23-page ordinary comic is an investment for the artist, but if you're doing something 60 to 104 pages, that's a really big investment for an artist. So unless you've got someone who wants to pay you while you're doing it or up front, it's kind hard to get someone to do that with you, unless you're the artist yourself.
I spend a lot of time thinking, if not daydreaming. People think of me as a genre writer, and a genre writer is supposed to be prolific. Since that's how people perceive me, they have to say I'm prolific. But I don't find that either complimentary or accurate.
A number of things in 'Dhalgren' are just meant to function as mysteries. They're mysteries when the book begins, and they're mysteries when the book ends.
Linguistics is very much a science. It's a human science, one of the human sciences. And it's one of the more interesting human sciences.
All too often, when creative people pick out someone else's creative work as an inspiration, what they end up with is very, very far from the original.
One of the more depressing things about reading your fiction 25 years later, or 10 years later, is you realize the only things going on are things you made go on. Strange and interesting and new and wonderful things don't happen. It's the book you wrote; that's all.
How we treat our invalids - our mad, our physically or mentally compromised family members - does tell you something about who we are politically, historically, culturally.
The reason for privacy is not so that people will not know you go to the bathroom. It's to allow certain things to go on that you don't want other people to know about, when all is said and done. But the things I don't want other people to know about are not my sex life.
I grew up in Harlem, a block away from what was then the most crowded block in New York City, according to the 1950 census. Something like ten thousand people lived in one city block.
I want to read about a character doing something fairly quiet where I can picture who the character is, and what their attitude towards the world is - which I'm a lot more interested in than what they do under the pressure of a gunfight.
'Dhalgren' is the kind of book in which you can look for pretty much anything you want. I tried to put as much into it as I could at the time.
The idea that certain things in life - and in the universe - don't yield up their secrets is something that requires a slightly more mature reader to accept.
It looks like the writer is telling you a story. What the writer is actually doing, however, is using words to evoke a series of micromemories from your own experience that inmix, join, and connect in your mind in an order the writer controls, so that, in effect, you have a sustained memory of something that never happened to you.
However much, as readers, we lose ourselves in a novel or story, fiction itself is an experience on the order of memory -not on the order of actual occurrence.
I'm not about either entertaining or instructing. The entertaining and instructing are secondary fallout from the fundamental thing, which is basically to create an aesthetic object.
My family trained me to be polite to people I had just met, and that included strangers. You speak when you're spoken to. You look people in the eye when they address you and when you address them back.
I think of myself as someone who thinks largely through writing. Thus I write more than most people, and I write in many different forms. I think of myself as the kind of person who writes, rather than as one kind of writer or another.
I think of myself as a very lazy writer, though other people see it differently.
Science fiction isn't just thinking about the world out there. It's also thinking about how that world might be - a particularly important exercise for those who are oppressed, because if they're going to change the world we live in, they - and all of us - have to be able to think about a world that works differently.
I shall always be able to come up with new fantasies. As long as there are people walking around in the street, as long as I have books to read and windows to look out of, I'm not going to use them up.