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C. S. Forester

  • English novelist
  • Born July 27, 1899
  • Died April 2, 1966

Cecil Louis Troughton Smith (27 August 1899 – 2 April 1966), known by his pen name Cecil Scott "C. S." Forester, was an English novelist known for writing tales of naval warfare, such as the 12-book Horatio Hornblower series depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic wars. The Hornblower novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction in 1938. His other works include The African Queen (1935, filmed in 1951 by John Huston).


Novel writing is far and away the most exhausting work I know.




A whim, a passing mood, readily induces the novelist to move hearth and home elsewhere. He can always plead work as an excuse to get him out of the clutches of bothersome hosts.




With two people and luggage on board she draws four inches of water. Two canoe paddles will move her along at a speed reasonable enough in moderate currents.




Perhaps that suspicion of fraud enhances the flavor.




I must be like the princess who felt the pea through seven mattresses; each book is a pea.




The doctor who applied a stethoscope to my heart was not satisfied. I was told to get my papers with the clerk in the outer hall. I was medically rejected.




I formed a resolution to never write a word I did not want to write; to think only of my own tastes and ideals, without a thought of those of editors or publishers.




The work is with me when I wake up in the morning; it is with me while I eat my breakfast in bed and run through the newspaper, while I shave and bathe and dress.




The material came bubbling up inside like a geyser or an oil gusher. It streamed up of its own accord, down my arm and out of my fountain pen in a torrent of six thousand words a day.




When I die there may be a paragraph or two in the newspapers. My name will linger in the British Museum Reading Room catalogue for a space at the head of a long list of books for which no one will ever ask.




There is no other way of writing a novel than to begin at the beginning at to continue to the end.




A man who writes for a living does not have to go anywhere in particular, and he could rarely afford to if he wanted.




They managed to find time... to tell me that there was no chance of my being accepted for service and that really I should be surprised to still be alive.




I have heard of novels started in the middle, at the end, written in patches to be joined together later, but I have never felt the slightest desire to do this.




Everything was in stark and dreadful contrast with the trivial crises and counterfeit emotions of Hollywood, and I returned to England deeply moved and emotionally worn out.




Novel writing wrecks homes.




There is still need to think and plan, but on a different scale, and along different lines.



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