I think theatre must be an event, an experience, not compete with cinema. When people are able to download stories on Netflix, you need to give them a good reason to jump into the car and drive two hours. It has to be something you can only see in the theatre, and it has to be worth it.
I was able to sit at Lincoln's side and see how he thought and how he acted, and how he felt about what was going on around him. I felt the pressures that were on him. You can see what people were writing to him, how they were nudging him.
To be able to write a play a man must be sensitive, imaginative, naive, gullible, passionate; he must be something of an imbecile, something of a poet, something of a liar, something of a damn fool.
In the World Wars, people were perfectly able to shoot other people just because they belonged to the wrong country, without ever asking what their opinions were. Faith too is like that.
You might not be able to operate your own Learjet and have an unlimited expense account, but if you have a reasonable expectation for a print-based product, whether it's a newspaper or a magazine, you can certainly exist.
And that's actually the brunt of what we do is, people going straight from their workplace, straight from home, straight into the classroom and working directly with the students. So then we're able to work with thousands and thousands more students.
In many ways, a song-writing partnership is like a marriage. Apart from just liking each other, a lyricist and a composer should be able to spend long periods of time together - around the clock if need be - without getting on each other's nerves. Their goals, outlooks, and basic philosophies should be similar.
I didn't think that college math was for me. I didn't think I'd be able to hack it. And that perception of math not being for girls, not being for girls who see themselves as socially well adjusted has got to change.
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I often will write a scene from three different points of view to find out which has the most tension and which way I'm able to conceal the information I'm trying to conceal. And that is, at the end of the day, what writing suspense is all about.
If I'm in a political argument, I think I can, with reasonable accuracy and without boasting, put the other person's side of the case at least as well as they could. One has to be able to say that in any well-conducted argument.
A good day is one where I can not just read a book, but write a review of it. Maybe today I'll be able to do that. I get for some reason somewhat stronger when the sun starts to go down. Dusk is a good time for me. I'm crepuscular.
I feel good about being able to take bluegrass on to television like 'Letterman' and 'The View,' and I've heard nice things about being able to do that. I really haven't felt any negativity toward me or my music.
Many writers can't make a living. So to be able to teach how to write is valuable to them. But I don't really know about its value to the student. I don't mean it's useless. But I wouldn't have wanted anyone to teach me how to write.
As far as expense, I think if 'Twilight' does well enough, then we should be able to do the big expensive stuff for the sequels. I mean, we have to have werewolves, there's no way around it. They have to be there.
Nobody just leaves medical school, especially given it's fiercely competitive to get in. But I had a sister who was a doctor, another who was a pharmacist, a brother who was an engineer. So my parents already had sensible children who would be able to make an actual living, and I think they felt comfortable sacrificing their one strange child.
I can't stand being late. I try to be professional. I try not to let people down. But people let me down. That's why I don't rely on anyone to call me. That's why I have clocks as well as people. I have to be able to call myself; it's the only way to be sure.
Is the modern social pattern of unending change and movement the cause of two modern diseases, insecurity and dissatisfaction? How lucky Thomas Hood was to be able to write, 'I remember, I remember the house where I was born.' I don't even know what mine looked like!
Science fiction isn't just thinking about the world out there. It's also thinking about how that world might be - a particularly important exercise for those who are oppressed, because if they're going to change the world we live in, they - and all of us - have to be able to think about a world that works differently.
God saw fit, for wise reasons to allow the people of Israel thus to make and possess slaves; but is this any license to us to enslave any of our fellow-men, to kill any of our fellow-men whom we please and are able to destroy, and take possession of their estates?
Certainly, poverty and economic decline have a lot to do with the so-called rage of Islam. You've got all these young men in countries which are economically in bad shape. The idea that they might be able to make a good living and get married and have a family, a decent life, seems very remote to a lot of people in a lot of the world.
It is right that he too should have his little chronicle, his memories, his reason, and be able to recognize the good in the bad, the bad in the worst, and so grow gently old down all the unchanging days, and die one day like any other day, only shorter.
I am certainly not a good Muslim. But I am able now to say that I am Muslim; in fact it is a source of happiness to say that I am now inside, and a part of the community whose values have always been closest to my heart.
I'm all for poetry catching up with technology, and just as there are iTunes, I think we should have iPoems. I mean, people should be able to walk around with their earbuds in and listening to poems on their iPod.
I haven't read a book in a very, very long time because, when I'm writing, I don't like to see other people's work. I don't want to see something great and not be able to use it, and I don't want to have any subconscious influences.
What I've been able to do with my character, Madea, and the other characters, with the jokes, is use it as an anesthetic to get to the heart and soul of real issues. And what I've found on stage over the years is that, while making people laugh, I can drop in pearls of wisdom.
If any philosopher had been asked for a definition of infinity, he might have produced some unintelligible rigmarole, but he would certainly not have been able to give a definition that had any meaning at all.
Although I wasn't able to get a visa for Vietnam, I was able to talk with swift boat veterans to get a feel for the time and place, and I visited a tropical prison in the Philippines to get a sense of what a Vietnamese prison might have been like.
What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.
As Cuvier could correctly describe a whole animal by the contemplation of a single bone, so the observer who has thoroughly understood one link in a series of incidents should be able to accurately state all the other ones, both before and after.
I feel angry that I can't be hypnotized. I'm not putting it down, and I'm not saying that it doesn't exist. I have talked to a great many people who are very good at it, but so far nobody has ever been able to hypnotize me.
I myself spent nine years in an insane asylum and I never had the obsession of suicide, but I know that each conversation with a psychiatrist, every morning at the time of his visit, made me want to hang myself, realizing that I would not be able to cut his throat.
Stephen King in many respects is a wonderful writer. He has made a contribution. People in the future will be able to pick up Stephen King's books and learn a lot about who we were by reading those books.
We must have our say, not through violence, aggression or fear. We must speak out calmly and forcefully. We shall only be able to enter the new world era if we agree to engage in dialogue with the other side.
Ideas are only lethal if you suppress and don't discuss them. Ignorance is not bliss, it's stupid. Banning books shows you don't trust your kids to think and you don't trust yourself to be able to talk to them.
We would like doctors to listen, but the fact is, we better be ready to be able to talk to them. You're going to have to be an active participant in that conversation, so I'd say the American people are going to need ways of stepping up to the conversation.
I never learnt Hebrew because my health was fragile, and it was thought that learning Hebrew would be an added burden. I regret it, because I would like to be able to join in fully. Not that I am a believer, but I would like to be.
I wish I'd been better able to resist the sense of obligation to write some of the poems I did. It's in the nature of commissioned work to be written too much from the side of your mind that knows what it's doing, which dries up the poetry.
We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.
My dream scenario would be that you could go into a bookshop, examine copies of every book in print that they're able to offer, then for a fee have them produce in a minute or two a beautiful finished copy in a dust jacket that you would pay for and take home.
I was afraid to watch 'Blade Runner' in the theater because I was afraid the movie would be better than what I myself had been able to imagine. In a way, I was right to be afraid, because even the first few minutes were better.
At a certain stage in his evolution, man himself had been able to lay hold upon a higher order of things, which raised him above the level of the beasts that perish, and enabled him to see, at least in the distance, the shining towers of the City of God.
Fiction is able to encompass books that are bleak and which dwell on the manifold and terrible problems of our times. But I don't think that all books need to have that particular focus.
To the best of my knowledge and of my effort, every lineage statement within 'Roots' is from either my African or American families' carefully preserved oral history, much of which I have been able conventionally to corroborate with documents.
One of the great attractions of patriotism - it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what's more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous.
I have a lot of respect for people who are great at ad-libbing and for writers and directors who are able to create a scene in which that works. Judd Apatow is fantastic at it. But as an audience member, I like the sound of something that's been written - I like it to sound written.
A person who can't pay gets another person who can't pay to guarantee that he can pay. Like a person with two wooden legs getting another person with two wooden legs to guarantee that he has got two natural legs. It don't make either of them able to do a walking-match.
I always like to break out and address the audience. In 'The History Boys', for instance, without any ado, the boys will suddenly turn and talk to the audience and then go back into the action. I find it more adventurous doing it in prose than on the stage, but I like being able to make the reader suddenly sit up.
Not all paintings are abstract; they're not all Jackson Pollock. There's value in a photograph of a man alone on a boat at sea, and there is value in painting of a man alone on a boat at sea. In the painting, the painting has more freedom to express an idea, more latitude in being able to elicit certain emotion.