We can love an honest rogue, but what is more offensive than a false saint?

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Jessamyn West

Jessamyn West

Profession: Author
Nationality: American

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A rattlesnake that doesn't bite teaches you nothing.

A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever.

Nothing is so dear as what you're about to leave.

I've done more harm by the falseness of trying to please than by the honesty of trying to hurt.

Teaching is the royal road to learning.

The basic essential of a great actor is that he loves himself in acting.

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.

Faithfulness to the past can be a kind of death above ground. Writing of the past is a resurrection; the past then lives in your words and you are free.

In their sympathies, children feel nearer animals than adults.

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.

You read a book from beginning to end. You run a business the opposite way. You start with the end, and then you do everything you must to reach it.

The West is color. Its colors are animal rather than vegetable, the colors of earth and sunlight and ripeness.

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?

We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don't it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions.