Pithy posters for writers


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Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner once said, ‘Civilization begins with distillation,’ and now you can have that on a poster. It’s one of several pithy sayings by authors that have been given visual representation by New York-based artist Evan Robertson.

Robertson has created 15 illustrations to go along with literary quotations. There are novelists, poets, a philosopher, quippers and criticizers. One poster has Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from the end of ‘Ulysses’ (spoiler alert!). Here is a selection of quotes:


All truths wait in all things. -- Walt Whitman That’s not writing, that’s typing. -- Truman Capote Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form. -- Vladimir Nabokov Poets are always taking the weather so seriously. -- J.D. Salinger Have you ever heard the earth breathe? -- Kate Chopin How embarrassing to be human. -- Kurt Vonnegut How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless. -- Paul Bowles I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. -- Edgar Allan Poe In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile. -- Hunter S. Thompson The appropriate response to reality is to go insane. -- Philip K. Dick Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do. -- Jean-Paul Sartre Write drunk. Edit sober. -- Ernest Hemingway

Robertson has done his homework; he describes the literary context of each quote on the sales pages of his Etsy shop, Obvious State. For example, Capote had some specific writing (or was it typing?) in mind: He was criticizing the work of Jack Kerouac. Which gives his quote a little extra edge.

Previously, Robertson also had posters with quotes from Mark Twain and Kerouac, but those aren’t currently being offered for sale. These are. The digitally created illustrations are, by turns, witty and elegant. Each poster comes as a 13-by-19-inch giclée print with a white border. They’re for sale, unframed, for $24 each.


Visions of scripturience (say what?)

Here’s a dictionary for warped minds

Considering tweeting about working on your novel? Think twice.


-- Carolyn Kellogg

Images: Posters created by Evan Robertson. Credit: Obvious State shop on Etsy