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Zola: Famous writers from A to Z on writing

Writers often have unusual ways of viewing the world. We look at life in ways that may seem weird to others. Often, we try to make sense of it. Or we attempt to describe it with words that point to fuller understanding, deeper meaning, enjoyment, artistry, or entertainment.

French novelist and playwright Emile Edouard Charles Antoine Zola (1840-1902) might have meant something along such lines when he said this:

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, I will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”

If living out loud meant practicing political activism, bending societal boundaries of the time, and publishing plenty of attention-getting works, then Zola fulfilled his self-declared ambition. Books by Emile Zola include Germinal, Nana, Pot Luck, The Beast Within, The Belly of Paris, The Flood, The Fortune of the Rougons, The Ladies' Paradise, and The Masterpiece.

Clearly, Emile Zola was a gifted writer, although he pointed to the importance of effort:

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”

Gifted talent and hard work only pay off with practice, at least according to this third Emile Zola quotation for writers:

“There are two men inside the artist: the poet and the craftsman. One is born a poet. One becomes a craftsman.”

Even today, writing teachers almost unanimously trumpet the importance of melding natural talent with training, practice, purpose, and plenty of hard work – whether it all becomes published or not.

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1 comment:

  1. Wonderful quotes. I know I've read parts of Germinal, but for the life of me I can't remember any of it. Yet another "must read" to add to my list.
    @RhondaGilmour from
    Late Blooming Rose


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