Literary Birthday - 27 November
Happy Birthday, James Agee, born 27 November 1909, died 16 May 1955
James Agee: Three Quotes
- Isn’t every human being both a scientist and an artist; and in writing of human experience, isn’t there a good deal to be said for recognizing that fact and for using both methods?
- I’m very anxious not to fall into archaism or “literary” diction. I want my vocabulary to have a very large range, but the words must be alive.
- If I could do it, I’d do no writing at all here. It would be photographs; the rest would be fragments of cloth, bits of cotton, lumps of earth, records of speech, pieces of wood and iron, phials of odors, plates of food and of excrement. Booksellers would consider it quite a novelty; critics would murmur, yes, but is it art; and I could trust a majority of you to use it as you would a parlor game. A piece of the body torn out by the roots might be more to the point. As it is, though, I’ll do what little I can in writing. Only it will be very little. I’m not capable of it; and if I were, you would not go near it at all. For if you did, you would hardly bear to live.
Agee was an American author, journalist, poet, screenwriter and film critic. His autobiographical novel, A Death in the Family won the author a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.
by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write