Tag Archives: autobiographies

Thomas Hardy Advises Robert Graves

gravesAs we walked around the garden, Hardy paused at a spot near the greenhouse. He had once been pruning a tree here when an idea for a story suddenly entered his head. The best story he had ever conceived, and it came complete with characters, setting, and even some of the dialogue. But not having pencil or paper with him, and wanting to finish his pruning before the weather broke, he took no notes. By the time he sat down at his table to recall the story, all was utterly gone. ‘Always carry a pencil and paper,’ he said, adding: ‘Of course, even if I remembered that story now, I couldn’t write it. I’m past novel-writing. But I often wonder what it can have been.’
~ Good-bye to All That, Chapter XXVIII


Thomas Hardy: Novelist, poet, playwright, author of short stories. (Source: Library of Congress.)


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Robert Graves Weighs in: Manuscript Revision

gravesMy last memory is the Headmaster’s parting shot: ‘Well, good-bye, Graves, and remember that your best friend is the waste-paper basket.’ This has proved good advice, though not perhaps in the sense he intended: few writers seem to send their work through as many drafts as I do.
~ Good-bye to All That, Chapter VIII

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