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6 advices for young writers by Isaac Babel

Short Bio

Isaac Emmanuilovich Babel (1894 –1940) was a Russian writer, journalist, playwright, and literary translator. He is best known as the author of Red Cavalry and Odessa Stories, and has been acclaimed as "the greatest prose writer of Russian Jewry."[1] Babel was arrested by the NKVD on 15 May 1939 on fabricated charges of terrorism and espionage, and executed on 27 January 1940 by the Stalinist regime. (Via Wikipedia)


Thoughts to reflect on

1. "A well-thought-out story doesn't need to resemble real life. Life itself tries with all its might to resemble a well-crafted story."

2. "When a phrase is born, it is both good and bad at the same time. The secret of its success rests in a crux that is barely discernible. One's fingertips must grasp the key, gently warming it. And then the key must be turned once, not twice."

3. "If the world could write itself, it would write like Tolstoy."

4. "No iron spike can pierce a human heart as icily as a period in the right place."

5. "Just forget for a minute that you have spectacles on your nose and autumn in your heart. Stop being tough at your desk and stammering with timidity in the presence of people. Imagine for one second that you raise hell in public and stammer on paper. You're a tiger, a lion, a cat. You spend a night with a Russian woman and leave her satisfied. You're twenty-five. If rings had been fastened to the earth and sky, you'd have seized them and pulled the sky down to earth"

6. "Youth isn't the problem—it'll pass with the years…"

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