Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory.
A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.
A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it or offer your own version in return.
When thought becomes excessively painful, action is the finest remedy
What distinguishes a great artist from a weak one is first their sensibility and tenderness; second, their imagination, and third, their industry.
It is very, very easy not to be offended by a book. You just have to shut it.
What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist
Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart.
Rock and roll music - the music of freedom frightens people and unleashes all manner of conservative defense mechanisms
Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems -but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible.
Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.
Vertigo is the conflict between the fear of falling and the desire to fall.
What one writer can make in the solitude of one room is something no power can easily destroy.
The liveliness of literature lies in its exceptionality, in being the individual, idiosyncratic vision of one human being, in which, to our delight and great surprise, we may find our own vision reflected.
I hate admitting that my enemies have a point.