Best 172 of Eudora Welty quotes - MyQuotes

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Eudora Welty
By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

Writing fiction has developed in me an abiding respect for the unknown in a human lifetime and a sense of where to look for the threads, how to follow, how to connect, find in the thick of the tangle what clear line persists.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

Dialogue has to show not only something about the speaker that is its own revelation, but also maybe something about the speaker that he doesn't know but the other character does know.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Eudora Welty

Through learning at my later date things I hadn't known, or had escaped or possibly feared realizing, about my parents - and myself - I glimpsed our whole family life as if it were freed of that clock time which spaces us apart so inhibitingly, divides young and old, keeps our living through the same experiences at separate distances. It is our inward journey that leads us through time - forward or back, seldom in a straight line, most often spiraling. Each of us is moving, changing, with respect to others. As we discover, we remember; remembering, we discover; and most intensely do we experience this when our separate journeys converge. Our living experience at those meeting points is one of the charged dramatic fields of fiction.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Eudora Welty

My temperament and my instinct had told me alike that the author, who writes at his own emergency, remains and needs to remain at his private remove. I wished to be, not effaced, but invisible - actually a profound position. Perspective, the line of vision, the frame of vision - these set a distance.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Eudora Welty

When my mother would tell me that she wanted me to have something because she as a child had never had it, I wanted, or I partly wanted, to give it back. All my life I continued to feel that bliss for me would have to imply my mother's deprivation or sacrifice. I don't think it would have occurred to her what a double emotion I felt. I could hardly bear my pleasure for the guilt. There is no wonder that a passion for independence sprang up in me at the earliest age. It took me a long time to manage the independence, (but) I have never managed to handle the guilt. In the act and the course of writing stories, these are the two springs, one bright, one dark, that feed the stream.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Eudora Welty

On Sundays, Presbyterians were not allowed to eat hot food or read the funny papers or travel the shortest journey; parents believed in Hell and believed tiny babies could go there. Baptists were not supposed to know, up until their dying day, how to play cards or dance. And so on.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Eudora Welty

The frame through which I viewed the world changed too, over time. Greater than scene, I came to see, is situation. Greater than situation is implication. Greater than all of these is a single, entire human being, who will never be confined in any frame.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

Human life is fiction's only theme.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

There's still a strange moment with every book when I move from the position of writer to the position of reader and I suddenly see my words with the eyes of the cold public. It gives me a terrible sense of exposure, as if I'd gotten sunburned.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Eudora Welty

She (my mother) could still recite them (the poems) in full when she was lying helpless and nearly blind, in her bed, an old lady. Reciting, her voice took on resonance and firmness, it rang with the old fervor, with ferocity even. She was teaching me one more, almost her last, lesson: emotions do not grow old. I knew that I would feel as she did, and I do.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

Don't give anybody up." He stroked her. "Or leave anybody out. Me and you both left her out today, and I'm ashamed for us." "There just wasn't room in today for it ... He said, "There's room for everything, and time for everybody, if you take your day the way it comes along and try not to be much later than you can help.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Eudora Welty

What occupied his full mind was time itself; time passing: he was concentrating

By Anonym 16 Sep

Eudora Welty

It seems likely to me now that the very element in my character that took possession of me there on top of that mountain, the fierce independence that was suddenly mine, to remain inside me no matter how it scared me when I tumbled, was an inheritance. Indeed it was my chief inheritance from my mother, who was braver. Yet, while she knew that independent spirit so well, it was what she agonizingly tried to protect me from, in effort to warn me against. It was what she shared, it made the strongest bond between us and the strongest tension. To grow up is to fight for it, to grow old is to lose it after having possessed it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

When they turned off, it was still early in the pink and green fields. The fumes of morning, sweet and bitter, sprang up where they walked. The insects ticked softly, their strength in reserve; butterflies chopped the air, going to the east, and the birds flew carelessly and sang by fits and starts, not the way they did in the evening in sustained and drowsy songs.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

A conscious act grew out of this by the time I began writing stories: getting my distance, a prerequisite of my understanding of human events, is the way I begin work. Just as, of course, it was an initial step when, in my first journalism job, I stumbled into making pictures with a camera. Frame, proportion, perspective, the values of light and shade; all are determined by the distance of the observing eye.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Eudora Welty

Southerners love a good tale. They are born reciters, great memory retainers, diary keepers, letter exchangers . . . great talkers.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Eudora Welty

Fiction shows us the past as well as the present moment in mortal light; it is an art served by the indelibility of our memory, and one empowered by a sharp and prophetic awareness of what is ephemeral. It is by the ephemeral that our feeling is so strongly aroused for what endures, or strives to endure.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

All good writers speak in honest voices and tell the truth.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

I believe in it, and I trust it too and treasure it above everything, the personal, the personal, the personal! I put my faith in it not only as the source, the ground of meaning in art, in life, but as the meaning itself.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Eudora Welty

Don't want to do a thing, Ran, do we, from now and on till evermore.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Eudora Welty

It was my first-year Latin teacher in high school who made me who made me discover I'd fallen in love with it (grammar). It took Latin to thrust me into bona fide alliance with words in their true meaning. Learning Latin fed my love for words upon words in continuation and modification, and the beautiful, sober, accretion of a sentence. I could see the achieved sentence finally standing there, as real, intact, and built to stay as the Mississippi State Capitol at the top of my street.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Eudora Welty

The camera was a hand-held auxiliary of wanting-to-know. It had more than information and accuracy to teach me. I learned in the doing how ready I had to be. Life doesn't hold still. A good snapshot stopped a moment from running away. Photography taught me that to be able to capture transience, by being ready to click the shutter at the crucial moment, was the greatest need I had. Making pictures of people in all sorts of situations, I learned that every feeling waits upon its gesture, and I had to be prepared to recognize this moment when I saw it. These were things a writer needed to know. And I felt the need to hold transient life in words - there's so much more of life that only words can convey - strongly enough to last me as long as I lived. The direction my mind took was a writer's direction from the start, not a photographer's or a recorder's.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

A whole tree of lightning stood in the sky. She kept looking out the window, suffused with the warmth from the fire and with the pity and beauty and power of her death. The thunder rolled.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

Any room in our house at any time in the day was there to read in or to be read to.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

The mystery in how little we know of other people is no greater than the mystery of how much, Laurel thought.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

What I do in the writing of any character is to try to enter into the mind, heart and skin of a human being who is not myself. It is the act of a writer's imagination that I set the most high.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

I'm not very eloquent about things like this, but I think that writing and photography go together. I don't mean that they are related arts, because they're not. But the person doing it, I think, learns from both things about accuracy of the eye, about observation, and about sympathy toward what is in front of you... It's about honesty, or truth telling, and a way to find it in yourself, how to need it and learn from it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

To write honestly and with all our powers is the least we can do, and the most.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Eudora Welty

It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming of themselves like grass.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Eudora Welty

When one of us (children) caught measles or whooping cough and we were isolated in bad upstairs, we wrote notes to each other perhaps on the hour. Our devoted mother would pass them for us, after first running them in a hot oven to kill the germs. They came into our hands curled up and warm, sometimes scorched like toast.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

Writers and travelers are mesmerized alike by knowing of their destinations.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

Art is never the voice of a country, it is an even more precious thing, the voice of the individual, doing its best to speak, not comfort of any sort, but truth. And the art that speaks it most unmistakably, most directly, most variously, most fully, is fiction.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Eudora Welty

It's always taken a lot out of me, being smart.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

Art, though, is never the voice of a country; it is an even more precious thing, the voice of the individual, doing its best to speak, not comfort of any sort, but truth. And the art that speaks it most unmistakably, most directly, most variously, most fully, is fiction; in particular, the novel.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

Fiction shows us the past as well as the present moment in mortal light; it is an art served by the indelibility of our memory, and one empowered by a sharp and prophetic awareness of what is ephemeral. It is by the ephemeral that our feeling is so strongly aroused for what endures.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Eudora Welty

Laurel could not see her face but only the back of her neck, the most vulnerable part of anybody, and she thought: Is there any sleeping person you can be entirely sure you have not misjudged?

By Anonym 14 Sep

Eudora Welty

Look for where the sky is brightest along the horizon. That reflects the nearest river. Strike out for a river and you will find habitation.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

Ever since I was first read to, then started reading to myself, there has never been a line read that I didn't hear. As my eyes followed the sentence, a voice was saying it silently to me. It isn't my mother's voice, or the voice of any person I can identify, certainly not my own. It is human, but inward, and it is inwardly that I listen to it. It is to me the voice of the story or the poem itself.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Eudora Welty

There is absolutely everything in great fiction but a clear answer.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

How can you go out on a limb if you do not know your own tree? No art ever came out of not risking your neck. And risk--experiment--is a considerable part of the joy of doing.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Eudora Welty

The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order, a timetable not necessarily - perhaps not possibly - chronological. The time as we know it subjectively is often the chronology that stories and novels follow: it is the continuous thread of revelation.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Eudora Welty

My continuing passion is to part a curtain, that invisible veil of indifference that falls between us and that blinds us to each other's presence, each other's wonder, each other's human plight.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Eudora Welty

Out of love you can speak with straight fury.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Eudora Welty

Relationship is a pervading and changing mystery... brutal or lovely, the mystery waits for people wherever they go, whatever extreme they run to.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Eudora Welty

Every story teaches me how to write it. Unfortunately, it doesn't teach me how to write the next one.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Eudora Welty

It was entirely taken for granted that there wasn't any lying in our family, and I was advanced in adolescence before I realized that in plenty of homes where I played with schoolmates, and went to their parties, children lied to their parents and parents lied to their children and to each other. It took me a long time to realize that these very same everyday lies, and the stratagems and jokes and tricks and dares that went with them, were in fact the basis of the scenes I so well loved to hear about and hoped for and treasured in the conversation of adults. My instinct - the dramatic instinct - was to lead me, eventually, on the right track for a storyteller: the scene was full of hints, pointers, suggestions, and promises of things to find out and know about human beings.I had to grow up and learn to listen for the unspoken as well as the spoken - and to know a truth, I also had to recognize a lie.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Eudora Welty

Taking trips tore all of us up inside, for they seemed, each journey away from home, something that might have been less selfishly undertaken, or something that would test us, or something that had better be momentous, to justify such a leap into the dark. The torment and guilt - the torment of having the loved one go, the guilt of being the loved one gone - comes into my fiction as it did and does in my life. And most of all the guilt then was because it was true: I had left to arrive at some future and secret joy, at what was unknown, and what was no in New York, waiting to be discovered. My joy was connected with my writing; that was as much as I knew.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

To imagine yourself inside another person...is what a story writer does in every piece of work; it is his first step, and his last too, I suppose.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

Writing a story or a novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer's own life.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Eudora Welty

The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that the finished work might contain this life inside it and offer it to the reader. The essence will not be, of course, the same thing as the raw material; it is not even of the same family of things. The novel is something that never was before and will not be again.