Walter Benjamin on translation

"It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work." -Walter Benjamin This is such a perfect and insightful quote about translation. Once I read it, I had to… Continue reading Walter Benjamin on translation

Happy vs. bittersweet – an insightful quote by George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin is all over the media these days, because of the success of A Song of Ice and Fire, and the TV-show the books spawned: Game of Thrones. I know he is sometimes viewed as the "anti-Tolkien", but I believe that is a misunderstanding. Tolkien and Martin set out to write totally different kinds… Continue reading Happy vs. bittersweet – an insightful quote by George R.R. Martin

Bernard Cornwell & George R.R. Martin discuss historical fiction & fantasy

Bernard Cornwell & George R.R. Martin discussing writing, fantasy, history, and more. I just found this talk between two of my favourite writers yesterday. The writers are George R.R. Martin (the writer of A Song of Ice and Fire), and Bernard Cornwell (the writer of the Sharpe novels, and the Arthur-chronicles I mentioned in my… Continue reading Bernard Cornwell & George R.R. Martin discuss historical fiction & fantasy

George Orwell on writing

George Orwell is one of my favourite writers. If you, like me, originally studied English as a second language, you probably encountered his book "Animal Farm" at least once during your studies, and probably more than once. It's just one of those books that foreign students of English seem to stumble over in the curriculum… Continue reading George Orwell on writing

A quote from “The Hobbit”

I'm currently reading Tolkien's "The Hobbit" to my 6-year old daughter, and though she loves all the stuff about goblins and dragons and trolls, this exchange between Gandalf and Bilbo is so far her favourite part of the book. She just really likes Gandalf's somewhat grumpy and acerbic style, I think. “Good Morning!" said Bilbo,… Continue reading A quote from “The Hobbit”


Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. - Harriet Braiker I don't think I've always realized that there's a difference between these two things. Part of my brain still almost refuses to accept that there is a difference. Surely, brain says, surely the only real excellence is to be perfect? But... no.… Continue reading Perfection

Ernest Hemingway, quotes, and an excess of words

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." "Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." "When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature." "There is no friend as loyal… Continue reading Ernest Hemingway, quotes, and an excess of words

Words to live by, for writers and others

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. --- Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow (inadvertently,… Continue reading Words to live by, for writers and others