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Elizabeth A. Drew

  • No age is the Law and the Prophets. We are eternally sowing our future and reaping our past ...

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • introduction, The Modern Novel ()
  • The world is not run by thought, nor by imagination, but by opinion ...

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • "Sex Simplexes and Complexes," The Modern Novel ()
  • The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it ...

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • "Is There a 'Feminine' Fiction?" The Modern Novel ()
  • ... the problem of language, of the use of the medium in all its aspects, is the basic problem of any work of literature.

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • "A Note on Technique," The Modern Novel ()
  • The poet is neither an intellectual nor an emotional being alone; he feels his thoughts and thinks his sensations.

  • The raw material of poetry is human experience: all poetry is made from that.

  • How poetry comes to the poet is a mystery.

  • It is not by telling us about life that poetry enriches it; it is by being life.

  • Poetry can only be judged by the standard of the personality that is judging it. We cannot escape our own limitations. Each reader gets the poetry he deserves.

  • ... one of the unconscious functions of poetry, and the chief conscious function of the interpreter of poetry, is to waken the dead.

  • Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation.

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • in Reader's Digest ()
  • Each age, like each person, has its own likes and dislikes, and the idols of one generation often turn into the skittles of the next.

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • foreword, Poetry: A Modern Guide to Its Understanding and Enjoyment ()
  • The pain of loss, moreover, however agonizing, however haunting in memory, quiets imperceptibly into acceptance as the currents of active living and of fresh emotions flow over it.

  • The poet is first and foremost an individual with a personal vision. His poem is not an event in social history nor a symptom of a literary movement; it is an assertion of the poet's singular identity.

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • "Social Satire," Poetry ()
  • Propaganda has a bad name, but its root meaning is simply to disseminate through a medium, and all writing therefore is propaganda for something. It's a seeding of the self in the consciousness of others.

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • "Social Satire," Poetry ()
  • ... no artist is so close to his raw material as the novelist.

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • "Life and Art in the Novel," The Novel ()
  • ... books are exactly what their authors make them. We have the illusion that stories are in themselves delightful or dull, but it is not so. There are no dull stories, only dull people who write books ...

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • "Life and Art in the Novel," The Novel ()
  • Art is selection and symmetry: it creates the illusion of wholeness within its own strictly imposed outlines.

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • "Life and Art in the Novel," The Novel ()
  • It takes two to write a letter as much as it takes two to make a quarrel.

    • Elizabeth A. Drew,
    • title essay, The Literature of Gossip ()

Elizabeth A. Drew, Singapore-born English-U.S. writer, critic, lecturer

(1887 - 1965)