Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely necessary.
Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.
A religious awakening which does not awaken the sleeper to love has roused him in vain.
Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.
There are two barriers that often prevent communication between the young and their elders. The first is middle-aged forgetfulness of the fact that they themselves are no longer young. The second is youthful ignorance of the fact that the middle aged are still alive.
A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever.
It is very east to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.
I've done more harm by the falseness of trying to please than by the honesty of trying to hurt.
The conversation of two people remembering, if the memory is enjoyable to both, rocks on like music or lovemaking. There is a rhythm and a predictability to it that each anticipates and relishes.
A good time for laughing is when you can.
There is no royal path to good writing; and such paths as exist do not lead through neat critical gardens, various as they are, but through the jungles of self, the world, and of craft.
At fourteen you don't need sickness or death for tragedy.
A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of humor, for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself.
Memory is a magnet. It will pull to it and hold only material nature has designed it to attract.
Each death and departure comes to us as a surprise, a sorrow never anticipated. Life is a long series of farewells; only the circumstances should surprise us.
Sleeplessness is a desert without vegetation or inhabitants.
Writing is so difficult that I feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment hereafter.
A rattlesnake that doesn't bite teaches you nothing.
The sick soon come to understand that they live in a different world from that of the well and that the two cannot communicate.
If you train people properly, they won't be able to tell a drill from the real thing. If anything, the real thing will be easier.
In my time and neighborhood (and in my soul) there was only one standard by which a woman measured success: did some man want her?
Teaching is the royal road to learning.
The West is color. Its colors are animal rather than vegetable, the colors of earth and sunlight and ripeness.
Nothing is so dear as what you're about to leave.
In their sympathies, children feel nearer animals than adults
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