The thought of him was a smoky cloud from hell that moved and crept in her head.
The whole effort for the past one hundred years has been to remove the moral responsibility from the individual and make him blame his own human wickedness on his society, but he helps to make his society, you see, and he will not take his responsibility for his part in it.
With the most infinite tenderness I have ever known in my life, he put his arms around me, gently, gently, and I embraced him around the neck, and we touched...
Love must be learned, and learned again; there is no end to it.
Most people won't realize that writing is a craft. You have to take your apprenticeship in it like anything else.
Experience is what really happens to you in the long run; the truth that finally overtakes you.
All the old houses that I knew when I was a child were full of books, bought generation after generation by members of the family. Everyone was literate as a matter of course. Nobody told you to read this or not to read that. It was there to read, and we read.
She wished to sit down quietly and wait for her death, but not until she had cut the throats of her man and that girl who were laughing and kissing under the cornstalks.
The boys ate warily, trying not to be seen or heard, the cornbread sticking, the buttermilk gurgling, as it went down their gullets.
A story is like something you wind out of yourself. Like a spider, it is a web you weave, and you love your story like a child.
Trust your happiness and the richness of your life at this moment. It is as true and as much yours as anything else that ever happened to you.
God does not know whether a skin is black or white, He sees only souls.
It is my conviction that when events are forgotten, buried in the cellar of the page, they are no longer even history.
If I didn't know the ending of a story, I wouldn't begin. I always write my last lines, my last paragraph first, and then I go back and work towards it. I know where I'm going. I know what my goal is. And how I get there is God's grace.
People can't hear anything except when it's nonsense. Then they hear every word. If you try to talk sense, they think you don't mean it, or don't know anything anyway, or it's not true, or it's against religion, or it's not what they are used to reading in the newspapers...
They had both noticed that a life of dissipation sometimes gave to a face the look of gaunt suffering spirituality that a life of asceticism was supposed to give and quite often did not.
The real sin against life is to abuse and destroy beauty, even one's own even more, one's own, for that has been put in our care and we are responsible for its well-being.
Physical infidelity is the signal, the notice given, that all fidelities are undermined.
Our being is subject to all the chances of life. There are so many things we are capable of, that we could be or do. The potentialities are so great that we never, any of us, are more than one-fourth fulfilled.
Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning.
I was right not to be afraid of any thief but myself, who will end by leaving me nothing.
Could she fall so low? No, there were limits, and she believed she still knew where some of them were.
I have not much interest in anyone's personal history after the tenth year, not even my own. Whatever one was going to be was all prepared before that.
I shall try to tell the truth, but the result will be fiction.
The road to death is a long march beset with all evils, and the heart fails little by little at each new terror, the bones rebel at each step, the mind sets up its own bitter resistance and to what end? The barriers sink one by one, and no covering of the eyes shuts out the landscape of disaster, nor the sight of crimes committed there.
The outright propagandist sets up in me such a fury of opposition I am not apt to care much whether he has got his facts straight or not. He is like someone standing on your toes between you and an open window, describing the view to you. All I ask of him to do is to open the window, stand out of the way, and let me look at the view for myself.
There seems to be a kind of order in the universe…in the movement of the stars and the turning of the Earth and the changing of the seasons. But human life is almost pure chaos. Everyone takes his stance, asserts his own right and feelings, mistaking the motives of others, and his own.
The past is never where you think you left it: you are not the same person you were yesterday—oh.