E. L. Doctorow Quotes

Most popular E. L. Doctorow Quotes

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.


Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.


Books are acts of composition: you compose them. You make music: the music is called fiction.


Longing, the hope for fulfillment, is the is the one unwavering passion of the world's commerce.
The three most important documents a free society gives are a birth certificate, a passport, and a library card.


I make books for people to live in, as architects make houses. I lived in it by writing it. Now it's the reader's turn.

why I write books

It's like driving a car at night: you never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.


Writing is like driving at night.  You can see only as far as the headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
— E. L. Doctorow Vogue


Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
— E. L. Doctorow


Satire's nature is to be one-sided, contemptuous of ambiguity, and so unfairly selective as to find in the purity of ridicule an inarguable moral truth.


When you see a manuscript as an editor...you're at ease in the book the way a surgeon is at ease in a human chest, with all the blood and the guts and everything.