Best 300 of Marilynne Robinson quotes - MyQuotes

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Marilynne Robinson
By Anonym 18 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

The broadest possible exercise of imagination is the thing most conducive to human health, individual and global

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Anybody who has read any biblical scholarship knows that every scholar struggles over completely intractable problems with the original texts, or what they have to work from. It's one of the great, powerful, mysterious objects that have come down through history. This does not translate into literal interpretation for me.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

A sermon is a valuable thing now and so impressive when you do hear a good one - and there is a lot of failure in the attempt; it's a difficult form - is because it's so seldom true now that you hear people speak under circumstances where they assume they are obliged to speak seriously and in good faith, and the people who hear them are assumed to be listening seriously and in good faith.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

You have to live with your mind your whole life.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

It is diversity that makes any natural system robust, and diversity that stabilizes culture against the eccentricity and arrogance that have so often called themselves reason and science.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

That odd capacity for destitution, as if by nature we ought to have so much more than nature gives us. As if we are shockingly unclothed when we lack the complacencies of ordinary life. In destitution, even of feeling or purpose, a human being is more hauntingly human and vulnerable to kindnesses because there is the sense that things should be otherwise, and then the thought of what is wanting and what alleviation would be, and how the soul could be put at ease, restored. At home. But the soul finds its own home if it ever has a home at all.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I read things like theology, and I read about science, Scientific American and publications like that, because they stimulate again and again my sense of the almost arbitrary given-ness of experience, the fact that nothing can be taken for granted.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Limitation is a good discipline because it discourages inappropriate generalization, which distracts attention from the profound, particular complexity that characterizes anything at all.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

We have demythologized prematurely, that we've actually lost the vocabulary for discussing reality at its largest scales. The idea that myth is the opposite of knowledge, or the opposite of truth, is simply to disallow it. It is like saying poetry is the opposite of truth.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

There are several sources for my appreciation of pastors and the way they are described in this book. One of them is reading history and realizing that they had a profound creative impact on the Middle West and the settlement of the Middle West.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

. . . there is an absolute disjunction between our Father's love and our deserving.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

And often enough, when we think we are protecting ourselves, we are struggling against our rescuer.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

When my mother left me waiting for her, [she] established in me the habit of waiting and expectation which makes any present moment most significant for what it does not contain.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

There is never just one transgression. There is a wound in the flesh of human life that scars when it heals and often enough seems never to heal at all.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

God does not need our worship. We worship to enlarge our sense of holy, so that we can feel and know the presense of the Lord, who is with us always. He said, Love is what it amounts to, a loftier love, and pleasure in a loving presence.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I have never distinguished readily between thinking and dreaming. I know my life would be much different if I could ever say, This I have learned from my senses, while that I have merely imagined.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

If you read Calvin, for example, he says, How do we know that we are godlike, in the image of God? Well, look at how brilliant we are. Look how we can solve problems even dreaming, which I think is true, which I've done myself. So instead of having an externalized model of reality with an objective structure, it has a model of reality that is basically continuously renegotiated in human perception. I think that view of things is pretty pervasively influential in Protestant thought.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

There are so many works of the mind, so much humanity, that to disburden ourselves of ourselves is an understandable temptation. Open a book and a voice speaks. A world, more or less alien or welcoming, emerges to enrich a reader's store of hypotheses about how life is to be understood. As with scientific hypotheses, even failure is meaningful, a test of the boundaries of credibility. So many voices, so many worlds, we can weary of them. If there were only one human query to be heard in the universe, and it was only the sort of thing we were always inclined to wonder about--Where did all this come from? or, Why could we never refrain from war?--we would hear in it a beauty that would overwhelm us. So frail a sound, so brave, so deeply inflected by the burden of thought, that we would ask, Whose voice is this? We would feel a barely tolerable loneliness, hers and ours. And if there were another hearer, not one of us, how starkly that hearer would apprehend what we are and were.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

What if good institutions were in fact the product of good intentions? What if the cynicism that is supposed to be rigor and the acquisitiveness that is supposed to be realism are making us forget the origins of the greatness we lay claim to - power and wealth as secondary consequences of the progress of freedom, or, as Whitman would prefer, Democracy?

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God, according to the epistle of James. But we have lived for years with the raucous influence of self-declared Christians who are clearly convinced that their wrath and God's righteousness are one and the same.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

„It all means more than I can tell you. So you must not judge what I know by what I find words for.” (p 114)

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

More generally, people who lived in a period when maternal, infant and childhood mortality were still high would have been tougher than most of us can imagine.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Characters more or less present themselves to me. I don't know their origins. I think if I did, if I seemed to myself to fabricate them, I could not induce suspension of disbelief in myself in the way writing fiction requires.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Over my life as a teacher, women have been too quiet. I'm quiet myself. I don't think I said three words the whole of graduate school.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I believe that reality is vastly richer than the cursory attention we usually give it permits us to understand. I like to write through a consciousness that allows me to suggest something of this richness.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

When you encounter another person, when you have dealings with anyone at all, it is as if a question is being put to you. So you must think, What is the Lord asking of me in this moment, in this situation?

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

... but it's your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

There's a patter in these Commandments of setting things apart so that their holiness will be perceived. Every day is holy, but the Sabbath is set apart so that the holiness of time can be experienced. Every human being is worthy of honor, but the conscious discipline of honor is learned from this setting apart of the mother and father, who usually labor and are heavy laden, and may be cranky or stingy or ignorant or overbearing. Believe me, I know this can be a hard Commandment to keep. But I believe also that the rewards of obedience are great, because at the root of real honor is always the sense of the sacredness of the person who is its object.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

You may have noticed that people in bus stations, if they know you also are alone, will glance at you sidelong, with a look that is both piercing and intimate, and if you let them sit beside you, they will tell you long lies about numerous children who are all gone now, and mothers who were beautiful and cruel, and in every case they will tell you that they were abandoned, disappointed, or betrayed--that they should not be alone, that only remarkable events, of the kind one reads in a book, could have made their condition so extreme. And that is why, even if the things they say are true, they have the quick eyes and active hands and the passion for meticulous elaboration of people who know they are lying. Because, once alone, it is impossible to believe that one could ever been otherwise. Loneliness is absolute discovery.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I do assume that a character or a place is inexhaustible and will always reward further attention.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I am interested in Scripture and theology. This is an interest that I can assume I would share with a pastor, so that makes me a little bit prone to use that kind of character, perhaps, just at the moment. Then there is also the fact that, having been a church member for many years, I am very aware of how much pastors enrich people's experience, people for whom they are significant. I know that it's a kind of custom of American literature and culture to slang them. I don't think there is any reason why that needs to be persisted in.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Because, once alone, it is impossible to believe that one could ever have been otherwise. Loneliness is an absolute discovery.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

There is no justice in love, no proportion in it, and there need not be, because in any specific instance it is only a glimpse or parable of an embracing, incomprehensible reality. It makes no sense at all because it is the eternal breaking in on the temporal. So how could it subordinate itself to cause or consequence?

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I don't think I would worry about an oversaturation of information if it was indeed information. It is the slovenly, hasty traffic in cliché and sensationalism and bad reasoning that bothers me. I love finding arcane primary texts on the web. The people who think to put them up are heroes of mine.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

There would be a general reclaiming of fallen buttons and misplaced spectacles, of neighbors and kin, till time and error and accident were undone, and the world became comprehensible and whole.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Of course, mysticism is very hard to isolate because, given the kind of consciousness that I was sort of instructed in as religious consciousness; that borders on mysticism so closely that it's hard to know whether you qualify or not, or whether mysticism is artificially isolated when it is treated as a separate thing from experience. Obviously, mysticism can be a form of madness, but then consciousness can be a form of madness.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

It is hardship that makes clear who the "fighters" are.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

The best things that happen I'd never have thought to pray for. In a million years. The worst things just come like the weather.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

They left a trail of hopscotch behind them, Mellie always thinking of ways to make it harder. They'd be jumping along in the dust, barefoot, with licorice drops in their mouths, feeling as though they had run off with everything in that town that was worth having.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Well, but you two are dancing around in your iridescent little downpour, whooping and stomping as sane people ought to do when they encounter a thing so miraculous as water.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

--"There is no justice in love...it is only the glimpse or parable of an incomprehensible reality... the eternal breaking in on the the temporal.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Love is holy because it is like grace--the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I've shepherded a good many people through their lives, I've baptized babies by the hundred, and all that time I have felt as though a great part of life was closed to me. Your mother says I was like Abraham. But I had no old wife and no promise of a child. I was just getting by on books and baseball and fried-egg sandwiches.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Isaac Watts, of course, is a hymn writer in the tradition of Congregationalism who lived in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century. He is very interesting and important because he was also a metaphysician. He knew a great deal about what was, for him, contemporary science. He was very much influenced by Isaac Newton, for example. There are planets and meteors and so on showing up in his hymns very often. But, again, the scale of his religious imagination corresponds to a very generously scaled scientific imagination.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

When you encounter another person…it is as if a question is being put to you. So you must think, What is the Lord asking of me in this moment, in this situation? If you confront insult or antagonism, your first impulse will be to respond in kind. But if you think, as it were, This is an emissary sent from the Lord, and some benefit is intended for me, first of all the occasion to demonstrate my faithfulness, the chance to show that I do in some small degree participate in the grace that saved me, you are free to act otherwise than as circumstances would seem to dictate. You are free to act by your own lights. You are freed at the same time of the impulse to hate or resent that person. He would probably laugh at the thought that the Lord sent him to you for your benefit (and his), but that is the perfection of the disguise, his own ignorance of it…I am reminded of this precious instruction by my own great failure to live up to it recently…

By Anonym 17 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

My point in mentioning this is only to say that people who feel any sort of regret where you are concerned will suppose you are angry, and they will see anger in what you do, even if you're just quietly going about a life of your own choosing. They make you doubt yourself, which, depending on cases, can be a severe distraction and a waste of time. This is a thing I wish I had understood much earlier than I did.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

A man can know his father, or his son, and there might still be nothing between them but loyalty and love and mutual incomprehension.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

At very best there are two problems with ideology. The first is that it does not represent or conform to or even address reality. It is a straight-edge ruler of a fractal universe. And the second is that it inspires in its believers the notion that the fault here lies with miscreant fact, which should therefore be conformed to the requirements of theory by all means necessary. To the ideologue this would amount to putting the world right, ridding it of ambiguity and of those tedious and endless moral and ethical questions that dog us through life, and that those around us so rarely answer to our satisfaction.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I am delighted if people find that kind of sustenance in novels, but perhaps it's because they don't read the Scripture that they are comparing it to, which would perhaps provide deeper sustenance than many contemporary novels.