Words matter. These are the best Lydia Davis Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
Ordering is difficult. It’s like arranging pieces of music in a concert: What do you put first? What do you put after the intermission? I want the reader to be sort of surprised, to come to each story freshly.
I find teaching – I like it, but I find just walking into the classroom and facing the students very difficult.
Often, the idea that there can be a wide range of translations of one text doesn’t occur to people – or that a translation could be bad, very bad, and unfaithful to the original.
The existence of another, competing translation is a good thing, in general, and only immediately discouraging to one person – the translator who, after one, two, or three years of more or less careful work, sees another, and perhaps superior, version appear as if overnight.
I think I have a sense right in the beginning of how big an idea it is and how much room it needs, and, almost more importantly, how long it would sustain anybody’s interest.
My stories are sometimes closer to poems or meditations, but often there is at least a little narrative in them.
I think the close work I do as a translator pays off in my writing – I’m always searching for multiple ways to say things.
I see people sometimes who remind me of my narrators.
I am basically the sort of person who has stage-fright teaching. I kind of creep into a classroom. I’m not an anecdote-teller, either, although I often wish I were.
If I was writing about an academic or a more difficult person, I would use the Latinate vocabulary more, but I do think Anglo-saxon is the language of emotion.
Collections aren’t really planned. I just keep writing short pieces until I have enough for a collection.
I do see an interest in writing for Twitter. While publishers still do love the novel and people do still like to sink into one, the very quick form is appealing because of the pace of life.
If a translation doesn’t have obvious writing problems, it may seem quite all right at first glance. We readers, after all, quickly adapt to the style of a translator, stop noticing it, and get caught up in the story.
All of the little entries in ‘The Cows’ were written in an irregular way. There might be one or two done one day, and then two weeks might go by or four weeks, and then they were put in an order or sequence.
I’ve gotten very alert not just to mixed metaphor but to any writing mistake.
Even though I believe a superlative translation can achieve timelessness, that doesn’t mean I think other translators shouldn’t attempt other versions. The more the better, in the end.
I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, and I don’t like to knock other writers as a matter of principle.
I wrote the first draft of ‘Madame Bovary’ without studying the previous translations, although I gathered them and took the occasional peek.
I do see an interest in writing for Twitter.