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In the theater, characters have to cut the umbilical
by Irwin Shaw

In the theater, characters have to cut the umbilical
cord from the writer and talk in their own voices.
- Irwin Shaw

Writing is finally play, and there's no reason why
you should get paid for playing.
- Irwin Shaw

My favorite short-story writer is John Cheever.
- Irwin Shaw

A writer has to live with a sense of honor.
- Irwin Shaw

 

If you're young enough, any kind of writing you do
for a short period of time is a marvelous apprenticeship.
- Irwin Shaw

Writing is like a contact sport, like football.
You can get hurt, but you enjoy it.
- Irwin Shaw

There are too many books I haven't read,
too many places I haven't seen, too many memories I
haven't kept long enough.
- Irwin Shaw

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I never show anything to anybody until I've finished it.
- Irwin Shaw

Kennedy was a man who liked writers and even I got
invited to the White House.
- Irwin Shaw

You have to expect the raps when you have achieved popularity as a writer.
- Irwin Shaw

My views naturally have mellowed.
Most of the critics have been more or less nice to me.
- Irwin Shaw

Curiously, the United States is full of writers who
have one big work in their life and that's all.
- Irwin Shaw

In America, we have the feeling of the doomed young artist.
Fitzgerald was the great example of that.
- Irwin Shaw

The last paragraph, in which you tell what the story is about,
is almost always best left out.
- Irwin Shaw

I haven't stuck to any formula.
Most great writers stick to the same style,
but I wanted to be more various.
- Irwin Shaw

All writers are the same - they forget a thousand good
reviews and remember one bad one.
- Irwin Shaw

I imagine that my characters have become much more
complicated than when I first began,
which would be normal.
- Irwin Shaw

I've gone on the wagon, but my body doesn't believe it.
- Irwin Shaw

The writer works in a lonely way.
- Irwin Shaw

Ernest Hemingway did a great deal toward making the
writer an acceptable public figure;
obviously,
he was no sissy.
- Irwin Shaw

The great writers just kept bringing them out.
They didn't care if they repeated themselves.
- Irwin Shaw

When I started out in the early 1930s,
there were a great many magazines that published short stories.
Unfortunately, the short-story market has dwindled to almost nothing.
- Irwin Shaw

I am forced to say that I have many fiercer critics than myself.
- Irwin Shaw

My attitudes have changed, but somebody would have
to read all my books to find out how they have.
- Irwin Shaw

A writer is a human being.
He has to live with a sense of honor.
- Irwin Shaw

I never drink while I'm working, but after a few glasses
I get ideas that would never have occurred to me dead sober.
- Irwin Shaw

Every novelist has a different purpose -
and often several purposes which might even be contradictory.
- Irwin Shaw

I cringe when critics say I'm a master of the popular novel.
What's an unpopular novel?
- Irwin Shaw

It's those damn critics again.
- Irwin Shaw

No writer need feel sorry for himself if he writes and enjoys it,
even if he doesn't get paid.
- Irwin Shaw

At the height of the McCarthy period,
writers were being hounded.
- Irwin Shaw

Posterity makes the judgments.
There are going to be a lot of surprises in store for everybody.
- Irwin Shaw

I don't think that the writer is regarded as a freak by Americans.
- Irwin Shaw

I reach my readers regardless of what the critics have written.
- Irwin Shaw

Writing for the theater, you find yourself living a nocturnal life.
- Irwin Shaw

A good editor understands what you're talking and writing
about and doesn't meddle too much.
- Irwin Shaw

In a novel, it's hard to keep track of everybody.
- Irwin Shaw

Writers of fiction, when they begin,
are more likely to try the short form.
- Irwin Shaw

I'm not as hopeful as I was when I was young.
- Irwin Shaw

Isaac Singer was born in Poland and doesn't write in English.
Still, he's an American.
- Irwin Shaw

In Europe, a writer is supposed to improve up until he's about 75.
- Irwin Shaw

People who light up like Roman candles come down in the dark very quickly.
- Irwin Shaw

The romantic idea is that everybody around a writer
must suffer for his talent.
I think a writer is a citizen of humanity,
part of his nation, part of his family.
He may have to make some compromises.
- Irwin Shaw

An absolutely necessary part of a writer's equipment,
almost as necessary as talent, is the ability to stand up under punishment,
both the punishment the world hands out and the punishment
he inflicts upon himself.
- Irwin Shaw

Special-interest magazines are dangerous places for
writers to start out in because the writing quickly
falls into a routine and people are likely to find
themselves artistically exhausted when they want to
work on something of their own.
- Irwin Shaw

You must avoid giving hostages to fortune,
like getting an expensive wife, an expensive house,
and a style of living that never lets you aford the
time to take the chance to write what you wish.
- Irwin Shaw

People who are powerless make an open theater of violence.
- Don DeLillo

Boxing has become America's tragic theater.
- Joyce Carol Oates

I was obsessed with romance.
When I was in high school, I saw 'Doctor Zhivago' every
day from the day it opened until the day it left the theater.
- John Hughes

I'm married to the theater but my mistress is the films.
- Oskar Werner

Unless an entire row of people got up in the middle
of a performance and left the theater in disgust,
I felt as though I hadn't done my job.
- Jeremy Piven

I don't think about going back to the theater.
- Angela Lansbury

The perfection in theater is that it's over the second it's done.
- William Hurt

What the American public wants in the theater is a
tragedy with a happy ending.
- William Dean Howells

The theater is so endlessly fascinating because it's so accidental.
It's so much like life.
- Arthur Miller

I started acting when I was 10, doing musical theater.
I was a brunette at that time.
I was always cast in all the exotic parts.
- Loni Anderson

Music, art, theater.
I'm just a big fan of beauty.
- Jerry Hall

In the theater, you go from point A to point Z,
building your performance as the evening progresses.
You have to relinquish that control on a film.
- Gwyneth Paltrow

The theater is magical and addictive.
- Angela Lansbury

If an American audience is given a serious musical
theater piece that is well produced,
dramatically gripping and wonderfully acted,
they'll respond to it.
- Carlisle Floyd

I joined Tommy Dorsey at the Paramount Theater in New York as a singer.
I replaced Frank Sinatra.
- Ken Curtis

I grew up in the theater and danced ballet atrociously.
- Maureen O'Hara

Charity in the theater begins and ends with those who
have a play opening within a week of one's own.
- Moss Hart

Socrates didn't care to visit the theater,
as a rule, except when the plays of Euripides (which some think,
he himself had helped to compose), were performed.
- Moses Mendelssohn

I'm someone who believes the only way to see a movie is in a big theater,
on a big screen, with a big bag of popcorn.
- Dan Glickman

When I first started acting, I started in opera and
had a great desire to play grand,
tragic characters.
I got sidetracked in musical theater and ended up doing a lot of comedy.
- Leslie Easterbrook

When you end a successful sitcom, the most sensible
thing to do is go back to the theater.
- John Lithgow

I see only defects because I'm not following the scene as it were.
I'm not following the other person.
It's like the best thing to clarify this is the theater.
- Omar Sharif

In the commercial theater, I've been pretty fortunate.
The producers that I've worked with have allowed me
to define the artistic integrity,
the artistic limits of the work.
- Trevor Nunn

I love theater.
- Kristin Davis

The adrenaline of a live performance is unlike anything in film or theater.
I can see why it's so addictive.
- Gwyneth Paltrow


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