Quotes to Write By: Yannick Murphy

by ajanefountas

“I studied for years with Gordon Lish and he said, You know you’ve got to put your stink on the page. It just means that there are a million ways of being on the page, the same as there’s a million ways of being with another person, and in writing there’s so many writers who have found only one way to express emotions on the page that it’s limiting them and it’s limiting the reader so that when I say, ‘Put your stink on the page,’ it means make it so that when somebody picks up your book and looks at one sentence they can recognize that that’s a Michael Silverblatt sentence, you know, that’s a Yannick Murphy sentence because no one else does it the way you do it. Just in terms of what you may choose to write about could be the stink of it…it’s your signature and if you can get that stink on the page, then you’ve succeeded in being like no other person out there, like no other writer out there, and that’s the aim of all good writers to not be like anyone else.”

Yannick Murphy, Bookworm (listen now)
June 15, 2006

The above interview, by the beloved Michael Silverblatt of Bookworm, took place on the occasion of the publication of Here They Come, which you should read, if you haven’t already, or reread if you have.