Pinching Art

To paraphrase Picasso, mediocre artists borrow, great artists steal. I love this quite from British writer Lawrence Durrell when asked in a 1960 Paris Review interview to name writers who had “influenced” him:
“But I read not only for pleasure, but as a journeyman, and where I see a good effect I study it, and try to reproduce it. So I am probably the biggest thief imaginable. I steal from people—my seniors, I mean. And in fact, Panic Spring, which you said was a respectable book, seemed to me dreadful, because it was an anthology, you see, with five pages of Huxley, three pages of Aldington, two pages of Robert Graves, and so on—in fact all the writers I admire. But they didn’t influence me. I pinched effects, I was learning the game.”

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