Best 326 of John Irving quotes - MyQuotes

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John Irving
By Anonym 17 Sep

John Irving

Newspapers are a bad habit, the reading equivalent of junk food. What happens to me is that I seize upon an issue in the news—the issue is the moral/philosophical, political/intellectual equivalent of a cheeseburger with everything on it; but for the duration of my interest in it, all my other interests are consumed by it, and whatever appetites and capacities I may have had for detachment and reflection are suddenly subordinate to this cheeseburger in my life! I offer this as self-criticism; but what it means to be "political" is that you welcome these obsessions with cheeseburgers—at great cost to the rest of your life.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

…there is no nakedness that compares to being naked in front of someone for the first time.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

As for Jenny, she felt only that women - just like men - should at least be able to make conscious decisions about the course of their lives; if that made her a feminist, she said, then she guessed she was one.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

I believe a novel should be as complicated and involved as you're capable of making it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

The main character and the most important character are not always the same person - you have to know the difference.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

It was one of those ridiculous arrangements that couples make when they are separating, but before they are divorced - when they still imagine that children and property can be shared with more magnanimity than recrimination.

By Anonym 17 Sep

John Irving

Of course, everyone is intolerant of something or someone.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

Being wrong about important things is exhausting.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

Is it a democratic society that condemns people to the accident of conception? What are we-monkeys? If you expect people to be responsible for their children, you have to give them the right to choose whether or not to have children. What are you people thinking of? You're not only crazy! You're ogres!

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

When you legislate personal belief, you're in violation of freedom of religion.

By Anonym 17 Sep

John Irving

Mother's intentions were always sound, never muddy; I don't imagine that she troubled herself to feel very guilty. But the Rev. Mr. Merrill was a man who took to wallowing in guilt; his remorse, after all, was all he had to cling to-especially after his scant courage left him, and he was forced to acknowledge that he would never be brave enough to abandon his miserable wife and children for my mother. He would continue to torture himself, of course, with the insistent and self-destructive notion that he loved my mother. I suppose that his "love" of my mother was as intellectually detached from feeling and action as his "belief" was also subject to his immense capacity for remote and unrealistic interpretation. My mother was a healthier animal; when he said he wouldn't leave his family for her, she simply put him out of her mind and went on singing. But as incapable as he was of a heartfelt response to a real situation, the Rev. Mr. Merrill was tirelessly capable of thinking; he pondered and brooded and surmised and second-guessed my mother to death.

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Irving

GOD HAS TAKEN YOUR MOTHER. MY HANDS WERE THE INSTRUMENT. GOD HAS TAKEN MY HANDS. I AM GOD'S INSTRUMENT.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

They all settled into being the kind of friends when they heard from each other.... or when they occasionally got together. And when they were not in touch, they did not think of one another.

By Anonym 18 Sep

John Irving

Sigmund Freud was a novelist with a scientific background. He just didn’t know he was a novelist. All those damn psychiatrists after him, they didn’t know he was a novelist either." (Interview in Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, Eighth Series, ed. George Plimpton, 1988)

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

The former stewardess glared at her ex-pilot husband as if he had been speaking, and thinking, in the absence of sufficient oxygen.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

Just when you begin thinking of yourself as memorable, you run into someone who can't even remember having met you

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

Writing a novel is actually searching for victims. As I write I keep looking for casualties. The stories uncover the casualties.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

You can give yourself a headache trying to decipher the tattoos on a naked man who’s leaping up and down on a bed.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

I've always been a fan of the 19th century novel, of the novel that is plotted, character-driven, and where the passage of time is almost as central to the novel as a major minor character, the passage of time and its effect on the characters in the story.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

I'm not a movie person. They're collaborations of the worst kind. You must compromise yourself to many interests that are venal and crass and do not have your best interests at heart.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

Death, it seems," Garp wrote, "does not like to wait until we are prepared for it. Death is indulgent and enjoys, when it can, a flair for the dramatic.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

Half my life is an act of revision; more than half the act is performed with small changes.

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Irving

We often need to lose sight of our priorities in order to see them.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

Every American should be forced to live outside the United States for a year or two. Americans should be forced to see how ridiculous they appear to the rest of the world! They should listen to someone else's version of themselves--to anyone else's version! Every country knows more about America than Americans know about themselves! And Americans know absolutely nothing about any other country!

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

… but only because exhaustion is a life-sign; it is at least a form of being human.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

Goodnight you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

A writer's job is to imagine everything so personally that the fiction is as vivid as memories.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

Religious freedom should work two ways: we should be free to practice the religion of our choice, but we must also be free from having someone else's religion practiced on us.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

Kids are beautiful, man. And they know much more than grownups think they know. Kids are just perfect people until grownups get their hands on them.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

There's a lot of ignorance about how long it takes to write a novel. There's a lot of ignorance about how long a novel is in your head before you start to write it.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

I thought some of the stories were neat; I liked some of the liturgy and some of the songs. If you're a writer you have some inclination to pay attention. I didn't just tune it out and think about baseball. So, it had an effect on me.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

And Father said, “There are no happy endings.” “Right!” cried Iowa Bob – an odd mixture of exuberance and stoicism in his cracked voice. “Death is horrible, final, and frequently premature,” Coach Bob declared. “So what?” my father said. “Right!” cried Iowa Bob. “That’s the point: So what?” Thus the family maxim was that an unhappy ending did not undermine a rich and energetic life. This was based on the belief that there were no happy endings.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

THERE'S NO MONKEY BUSINESS ABOUT THIS ELECTION,' he told the voters. 'IF YOU'RE ENOUGH OF AN ASSHOLE TO VOTE FOR NIXON, YOUR DUMB VOTE WILL BE COUNTED––JUST LIKE ANYBODY ELSE!

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

Nothing moves at the Hotel New Hampshire! We're screwed down here-for life!

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

We invent what we love and what we fear.

By Anonym 20 Sep

John Irving

When (The World According To) Garp was published, people who’d lost children wrote to me. ‘’I lost one, too,’’ they told me. I confessed to them that I hadn’t lost any children. I’m just a father with a good imagination. In my imagination, I lose my children every day. (afterword)

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

It´s natural to want someone you love to do what you want, or what you think would be good for them, but you have to let everything happen to them. You can't interfere with people you love any more than you're supposed to interfere with people you don't even know. And that's hard, ..., because you often feel like interfering -you want to be the one who makes the plans.

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Irving

For a terrible time of life a teen-ager deceives himself; he believes he can trick the world. He believes he is invulnerable. An adolescent who is an orphan at this phase is in danger of never growing up.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

I will tell you what is my overriding perception of the last twenty years: that we are a civilization careening toward a succession of anticlimaxes – toward an infinity of unsatisfying, and disagreeable endings.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

YOU LET ME DROWN!” Owen said. “YOU DIDN’T DO ANYTHING! YOU JUST WATCHED ME DROWN! I’M ALREADY DEAD!” he told us. “REMEMBER THAT: YOU LET ME DIE.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

Never confuse faith, or belief — of any kind — with something even remotely intellectual.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

No one but me ever put a hand on me to feel that baby. No one wanted to put his ear against it and listen...You shouldn't have a baby if there's no one who wants to feel it kick or listen to it move.

By Anonym 20 Sep

John Irving

Your memory is a monster; you forget - it doesn't.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Irving

Wrestling was my first success, the first thing that confirmed that I could be good at anything. Devoting yourself to wrestling, or tennis, or skiing, or dance, or to a musical instrument is a longing to be disciplined for a purpose.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

Ted Seabrooke, my wrestling coach, had a kind of Nietzschean effect on me in terms of not just his estimation of my limited abilities, but his decidedly philosophical stance about how to conduct your life, what you should do to compensate for your limitations. This was essential to me, both as a student - and not a good one - and as a wrestler who was not a natural athlete but who had found something he loved.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Irving

Lilly was not crazy. She left a serious suicide note. 'Sorry,' said the note. 'Just not big enough.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

As it was, things went from bad to worse, as they often will when amateurs are involved in an activity that they perform in bad temper – or in a hurry.

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Irving

Here was the world-famous novelist with her penchant for detail; yet, in her observations of a prostitute with a customer, she had failed to come away with the most important detail of all. She could never identify the murderer; she could barely describe him. She'd made a point of not looking at him!

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Irving

I have stood aside to see the phantoms of those days go by me. They are gone, and I resume the journey of my story.’ (David Copperfield) “But all that night he lay awake because the phantoms of those days were not gone. Like the tiny, terrible holes in the prophylactics, the phantoms of those days were not easy to detect—and their meaning was unknown—but they were there.