Guillermo Cabrera Infantewas a Cuban novelist, essayist, translator, screenwriter, and critic; in the 1950s he used the pseudonym G. Caín...
You are just in the middle of a struggle with words which are really very stubborn things, with a blank page, with the damn thing that you use to write with, a pen or a typewriter, and you forget all about the reader when you are doing that
American literature had always considered writing a very serious matter
It means that no matter what you write, be it a biography, an autobiography, a detective novel, or a conversation on the street, it all becomes fiction as soon as you write it down.
Watching a movie from beginning to end is like reading, because even though what you see are images, they are telling you a story
My mother had been educated at a convent, and she had been converted to communism by my father during Stalin's most rampant period, at the beginning of the 1930s. So she had two gods, God in heaven and god on earth.
I read the Odyssey because it was the story of a man who returned home after being absent for more than twenty years and was recognized only by his dog.
My parents were founders of the Cuban Communist Party, and I grew up extremely poor.
If you look closely, there is no book more visual than Three Trapped Tigers, in that it is filled with blank pages, dark pages, it has stars made of words, the famous magical cube made of numbers, and there is even a page which is a mirror.
Puns are a form of humor with words.
Well, I write in exile because I cannot return to my country, so I have no choice but to see myself as an exiled writer.
I believe that writers, unless they consider themselves terribly exquisite, are at heart people who live by night, a little bit outside society, moving between delinquency and conformity
No, absolutely not, writing doesn't have to be like a jigsaw puzzle, it can be a very linear undertaking.
I think writers rush in where everybody is very frightened to tread
For me, literature is a complex game, both mental and concrete, which is acted out in a physical manner on the page.
I think that I've tried many times to get Cuba in my writings, especially Havana, which was once a great and fascinating city.
I was able to read a movie before I was able to read a book
I do not consider myself a Hispanic writer.
I have one main reader, Miriam Gomez, my wife. She reads everything I write - I have not finished writing something and she is already reading it.
I was an avid radio fan when I was a boy, as well as a great lover of comic strips
I don't much believe in the idea of characters. I write with words, that is all. Whether those words are put in the mouth of this or that character does not matter to me
I know that many writers have had to write under censorship and yet produced good novels; for instance, Cervantes wrote Don Quixote under Catholic censorship.
That is what I define as a novel: something that has a beginning, a middle and an end, with characters and a plot that sustain interest from the first sentence to the last. But that is not what I do at all.
I describe my works as books, but my publishers in Spain, in the United States, and elsewhere insist on calling them novels
I first came out against Castro in June 1968, fifteen months after my book had been published, and you cannot imagine how quickly a void was created around me
I do not believe in inspiration, but I must have a title in order to work, otherwise I am lost
For me, words are just words, nothing else
I am against the notion of style in itself
I have assiduously avoided calling my books novels
I am the only British writer who writes in Spanish
I left my country because I was forced to, and I do not think that I am going to lose my language because I live in England
I live in London and I am a British subject, although I do write in Spanish, of course
I wrote for a weekly magazine and then edited a literary magazine, but I did not really feel comfortable with the profession of journalism itself
So I do not consider myself a chronicler of my fatherland or even a chronicler of Havana
A very wise author once said that a writer writes for himself, and then publishes for money. I write for myself and publish just for the reader
But I do not have the reader in mind when I write. No true writer does that
There were influences in my life that were more important than journalism, such as comic strips and radio.
Many of my books have begun with the title, because naming a work already in progress makes no sense to me.
I was never a true journalist, I was a movie critic.
The relationship between reader and characters is very difficult. It is even more peculiar than the relationship between the writer and his characters.
I don't have any style.
I am a writer of fragments.
Titles are not only important, they are essential for me. I cannot write without a title
Dialogue in fiction is always written to be read in silence. The page is the limit. Dialogue on stage and on the screen is meant to be spoken. The voice is the limit.
Tobacco is the opiate of the gentleman, the religion of the rich.
Writers rush in where publishers fear to tread and where translators fear to tread
If the sleep of reason produces monsters, what does the sleep of unreason produce?
When I write, I enjoy myself so much that what is being written really needs no reader
I think that like all writers - and if any writer disagrees with this, then he is not a writer - I write primarily for myself
I think all writing is done through memory
Cigars must be smoked one at a time, peaceably, with all the leisure in the world. Cigarettes are of the instant, Cigars are for eternity.
A good smoker, like a good lover, always takes his time with a cigar.
What I do believe is that there is always a relationship between writing and reading, a constant interplay between the writer on the one hand and the reader on the other
Writing for me, even what you call serious writing, is play.
When I write, the first blank page, or any blank page, means nothing to me. What means something is a page that has been filled with words.