Shelby Foote Quotes
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Before the war it was always the United States *are*, after the war it was the United States is... it made us an is.
The Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things... It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads.
If you want to study writing, read Dickens. That's how to study writing, or Faulkner, or D.H. Lawrence, or John Keats. They can teach you everything you need to know about writing.
People make a grievous error thinking that a list of facts is the truth. Facts are just the bare bones out of which truth is made.
When you grow up in a totally segregated society, where everybody around you believes that segregation is proper, you have a hard time. You can't believe how much it's a part of your thinking.
A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.
As a Southerner I would have to say that one of the main importances of the War is that Southerners have a sense of defeat which none of the rest of the country has.
I think making mistakes and discovering them for yourself is of great value, but to have someone else to point out your mistakes is a shortcut of the process.
I abhor the idea of a perfect world. It would bore me to tears.
Longevity conquers scandal every time.
North was only a direction indicated by a compass--if a man had one, that is, for otherwise there was no north or south or east or west; there was only the brooding desolation.
I used to write sonnets and various things, and moved from there into writing prose, which, incidentally, is a lot more interesting than poetry, including the rhythms of prose.
A rich man's war and a poor man's fight.
A fact is not a truth until you love it.
I don't want anything to do with anything mechanical between me and the paper, including a typewriter, and I don't even want a fountain pen between me and the paper.
Most of my inspiration, if that's the word, came from books themselves.
Grant was something rare in that or any war. He could learn from experience.
Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.
A combination of all that was best in the gladdest days of the departing year.
And I really do think that the difficulty of research makes it more real to you than punching a thing to find out how many men were killed at this particular action.
Of all the passions of mankind, the love of novelty most rules the mind. In search of this, from realm to realm we roam. Our fleets come loaded with every folly home.
I never cared what kind of grade I got.
I took five years on the first volume, five years on the second volume, and ten years on the third volume.
My second book, Follow Me Down had some success, got good critical notices, went into a second printing and things like that, but Shiloh was by far the most successful of those first five novels.
Getting close to books, and spending time by myself, I was obliged to think about things I would never have thought about if I was busy romping around with a brother and sister.
And I'm a slow writer: five, six hundred words is a good day. That's the reason it took me 20 years to write those million and a half words of the Civil War.
I've never known, at least a modern historical instance, where the truth wasn't superior to distortion in every way.
I prize the Depression, for instance, because I learned the value of things in the Depression that a way people who don't have to worry about such things never learned to prize it really, I believe.
If you want to study writing, read Dickens
I began the way nearly everybody I ever heard of - I began writing poetry. And I find that to be quite usual with writers, their trying their hand at poetry.
I've never shown anybody a draft of anything.
We have more to fear from the opinions of our friends than the bayonets of our enemies." Politician turned Union General Nathaniel Banks, in plea he couldn't abandon an untenable position.
On Lee as commander: "He had a cheerful dignity and could praise them (his men) without seeming to court their favor.