“Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”—Flannery O’Connor
“Over the past several weeks I’ve had the opportunity to see nearly all of the big December titles, and I’m still bewildered at the fact that each and every one was, at best, little more than an exercise in mediocrity and awards whoring. Not a single one of them required even the slightest brain power, nor did they leave anything to interpret. Australia, Milk, Nixon, Button, Torino, Reader, Road, etc. — films not without merit, but examples of Indie- and Hollywood at their populist, spoon-fed worst.”—Filmbrain’s Top 10 of 2008
“I am a completely horizontal author. I can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I’ve got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis.”—Truman Capote
So apparently Roman Polanski has decided to continue his ongoing quest to make it damn near impossible for cineastes to discuss him on the basis of his directorial work alone by asking a California court to forget about that whole “statutory rape” thing a while back. Not because he didn’t drug and rape a 13-year-old girl, mind you (he admitted it before, and isn’t denying it now), but because it’s possible he might be able to exploit a technicality and return from his self-imposed, incarceration-avoiding European exile. Gah.
“Freedom to write, freedom to read, freedom to own material that you believe is worth defending means you’re going to have to stand up for stuff you don’t believe is worth defending, because laws are big blunt instruments that do not differentiate between what you like and what you don’t, because prosecutors are humans and bear grudges and fight for re-election, because one person’s obscenity is another person’s art.”—Neil Gaiman, Why defend freedom of icky speech?