Prayers said by good people are always good prayers.
This mesa plain had an appearance of great antiquity, and of incompleteness; as if, with all the materials for world-making assembled, the Creator had desisted, gone away and left everything on the point of being brought together, on the eve of being arranged into mountain, plain, plateau. The country was still waiting to be made into a landscape.
The irregular and intimate quality of things made entirely by the human hand.
Wherever humanity has made that hardest of all starts and lifted itself out of mere brutality is a sacred spot.
Alcohol is perfectly consistent in its effects upon man. Drunkenness is merely an exaggeration. A foolish man drunk becomes maudlin; a bloody man, vicious; a coarse man, vulgar.
The condition every art requires is, not so much freedom from restriction, as freedom from adulteration and from the intrusion of foreign matter.
Where there is great love, there are always miracles.
Sometimes a neighbor whom we have disliked a lifetime for his arrogance and conceit lets fall a single commonplace remark that shows us another side, another man, really; a man uncertain, and puzzled, and in the dark like ourselves.
Hunger is a powerful incentive to introspection.
What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining, elusive element which is life itself.
Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
Topics: Belief, Art
Nearly all the Escapists in the long past have managed their own budget and their social relations so unsuccessfully that I wouldn’t want them for my landlords, or my bankers, or my neighbors. They were valuable, like powerful stimulants, only when they were left out of the social and industrial routine.
Topics: Ideals, Idealism
The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor.
Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family —but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything.
Topics: Friendship, Solitude, Friends and Friendship
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand—a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods—or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.
Topics: Writing, Writers, Authors & Writing
To note an artist’s limitations is but to define his talent. A reporter can write equally well about everything that is presented to his view, but a creative writer can do his best only with what lies within the range and character of his deepest sympathies.
Topics: Writers, Authors & Writing, Writing
Money is a protection, a cloak; it can buy one quiet and some sort of dignity.
If youth did not matter so much to itself it would never have the heart to go on
The forest stretched no living man knew how far. That was the dead, sealed world of the vegetable kingdom, and uncharted continent with interlocking trees, living, dead, half-dead, their roots in bogs and swamps, strangling each other in a slow agony that had lasted for centuries. The forest was suffocation, annihilation.
Art, it seems to me, should simplify finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole—so that all that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader’s consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page.
Topics: Authors & Writing, Simplicity
The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
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- Elizabeth Gilbert American Novelist
- William S. Burroughs American Novelist
- Ellen Glasgow American Novelist
- Thornton Wilder American Novelist, Dramatist
- Erica Jong American Novelist, Poet
- Anita Loos American Actor
- Barbara Kingsolver American Novelist, Essayist
- Robert Penn Warren American Novelist, Poet
- Bernard Malamud American Novelist