Best 713 of Jeanette Winterson quotes - MyQuotes

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Jeanette Winterson
By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and knows that love is as strong as death, and be on my side forever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

It was actually books that started to make those pockets of freedom, which I hadn't otherwise experienced. I do see them as talismans, as sacred objects. I see them as something that will protect me, I suppose, that will save me from things that I feel are threatening. I still think that; it doesn't change. It doesn't change, having money, being successful. So from the very first, if I was hurt in some way, then I would take a book -- which was very difficult for me to buy when I was little -- and I would go up into the hills, and that is how I would assuage my hurt.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Growing up is difficult. Strangely, even when we have stopped growing physically, we seem to have to keep on growing emotionally, which involves both expansion and shrinkage, as some parts of us develop and others must be allowed to disappear...Rigidity never works; we end up being the wrong size for our world.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

There is always a city. There is always a civilization. There is always a barbarian with a pickaxe. Sometimes you are the city, sometimes you are the civilization, but to become that city, that civilization, you once took a pickaxe and destroyed what you hated, and what you hated is what you did not understand.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

I’m not club-able, you see. I don’t like literary parties and literary gatherings and literary identities. I’d hate to join anything, however loosely.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

At my most precarious, I balanced on a book, and the books rafted me over the tides of feelings that left me soaked and shattered.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

When I say 'I will be true to you' I am drawing a quiet space beyond the reach of other desires. No-one can legislate love; it cannot be given orders or cajoled into service. Love belongs to itself, deaf to pleading and unmoved by violence. Love is not something you can negotiate. Love is the one thing stronger than desire and the only proper reason to resist temptation. ... When I say 'I will be true to you' I must mean it in spite of the formalities, instead of the formalities.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Organized religion is a very bad way of passing on spiritual values because it becomes so corrupted with political and repressive agendas which don't help anybody to develop their spirituality.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

I think it would be very foolish not to take the irrational seriously.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

She had other favourite lines. Our gas oven blew up. The repairman came out and said he didn't like the look of it, which was unsurprising as the oven and the wall were black. Mrs Winterson replied, 'It's a fault to heaven, a fault against the dead, and a fault to nature.' That is a heavy load for a gas oven to bear. She liked that phrase and it was more than once used towards me; when some well-wisher asked how I was, Mrs W looked down and sighed, 'She's a fault to heaven, a fault against the dead, and a fault to nature.' This was even worse for me than it had been for the gas oven. I was particularly worried about the 'dead' part, and wondered which buried and unfortunate relative I had so offended.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

She arches her body like a cat on a stretch. She nuzzles her cunt into my face like a filly at the gate. She smells of the sea. She smells of rockpools when I was a child. She keeps a starfish in there. I crouch down to taste the salt, to run my fingers around the rim. She opens and shuts like a sea anemone. She's refilled each day with fresh tides of longing.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

What you think is the heart might well be another organ.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

If you're a hero you can be an idiot, behave badly, ruin your personal life, have any number of mistresses and talk about yourself all the time, and nobody minds. Heroes are immune. They have wide shoulders and plenty of hair and wherever they go a crowd gathers. Mostly they enjoy the company of other men, although attractive women are part of their reward.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Men will gamble and plot and fight and fall, all for the winning of a trophy. A woman's heart, a piece of land, a kingdom, a lordship, a contract, a ship, an egg -- it hardly matters the which or the what, as soon as it is seen to be desired by one, another will make a prize of it.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Happy is an adult word. You don't have to ask a child about happy, you see it. They are or they are not. Adults talk about being happy because largely they are not. Talking about it is the same as trying to catch the wind. Much easier to let it blow all over you.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Our broken society is not born out of the triumph of the individual, but out of his effacement. He vanishes, she vanishes, ask them who they are and they will offer you a wallet or a child.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

The only sex education my mother ever gave me was the injunction: 'Never let a boy touch you down there.' I had no idea what she meant. She seemed to be referring to my knees.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

But where was God now, with heaven full of astronauts, and the Lord overthrown? I miss God. I miss the company of someone utterly loyal. I still don't think of God as my betrayer. The servants of God, yes, but servants by their very nature betray. I miss God who was my friend. I don't even know if God exists, but I do know that if God is your emotional role model, very few human relationships will match up to it. I have an idea that one day it might be possible, I thought once it had become possible, and that glimpse has set me wandering, trying to find the balance between earth and sky. If the servants hadn't rushed in and parted us, I might have been disappointed, might have snatched off the white samite to find a bowl of soup. As it is, I can't settle, I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me. There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other's names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name. Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone. I would cross seas and suffer sunstroke and give away all I have, but not for a man, because they want to be the destroyer and never the destroyed.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Everyone who tells a story tells it differently, just to remind us that everybody sees it differently. Some people say there are true things to be found, some people say all kinds of things can be proved. I don't believe them. The only thing for certain is how complicated it all is, like string full of knots. It's all there but hard to find the beginning and impossible to fathom the end. The best you can do is admire the cat's cradle, and maybe knot it up a bit more.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Love, they say, enslaves and passion is a demon and many have been lost for love. I know this is true, but I know too that without love we grope the tunnels of our lives and never see the sun. When I fell in love it was as though I looked into a mirror for the first time and saw myself. I lifted my hand in bewilderment and felt my cheeks, my neck. This was me. And when I had looked at myself and grown accustomed to who I was, I was not afraid to hate parts of me because I wanted to be worthy of the mirror bearer.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

The more I read, the more I felt connected across time to other lives and deeper sympathies. I felt less isolated. I wasn’t floating on my little raft in the present; there were bridges that led over to solid ground. Yes, the past is another country, but one that we can visit, and once there we can bring back the things we need. Literature is common ground. It is ground not managed wholly by commercial interests, nor can it be strip-mined like popular culture—exploit the new thing then move on. There’s a lot of talk about the tame world versus the wild world. It is not only a wild nature that we need as human beings; it is the untamed open space of our imaginations. Reading is where the wild things are.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Going back after a long time will make you made, because the people you left behind do not like to think of you changed, will treat you as they always did, accuse you of being indifferent, when you are only different.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

If there was an elephant in the supermarket, she'd either not see it at all, or call it Mrs Jones and talk about fishcakes.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

She was a committed romantic and an anarcha-feminist. This was hard for her because it meant she couldn't blow up beautiful buildings. She knew the Eiffel Tower was a hideous symbol of phallic oppression but when ordered by her commander to detonate the lift so that no-one should unthinkingly scale an erection, her mind filled with young romantics gazing over Paris and opening aerograms that said Je t'aime.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Every second the Universe divides into possibilities and most of those possibilities never happen. It is not a uni-verse -- there is more than one reading. The story won't stop, can't stop, it goes on telling itself, waiting for an intervention that changes what will happen next.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Writers have to have a knack for listening. I need to be able to hear what is being said to me by the voices I create.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Earth is ancient now, but all knowledge is stored up in her. She keeps a record of everything that has happened since time began. Of time before time, she says little, and in a language that no one has yet understood. Through time, her secret codes have gradually been broken. Her mud and lava is a message from the past. Of time to come, she says much, but who listens?

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

It is only habit and routine that makes the void look like purpose.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Life gives you enough hard knocks so it's unlikely you'll stay that sure of yourself.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

The truth is that you can divide your heart in all sorts of interesting ways - a little here, a little there, most banked at home, some of it coined out for a flutter. But love cleaves through the mind's mathematics. Love's lengthways splits the heart in two - the heart where you are, the heart where you want to be. How will you heal your heart when love has split it in two?

By Anonym 18 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Pursuing happiness, and I did, and I still do, is not at all the same as being happy--which I think is fleeting, dependent on circumstances...If the sun is shining, stand in it---yes, yes, yes. Happy times are great, but happy times pass--they have to because time passes. The pursuit of happiness is more elusive; it is life-long, and it is not goal-centered. What you are pursuing is meaning--- a meaningful life. There's the hap-- the fate, the draw that is yours, and it isn't fixed, but changing the course of the stream, or dealing new cards, whatever metaphor you want to use---that's going to take a lot of energy. There are times when it will go so wrong that you will barely be alive, and times when you realise that being barely alive, on your own terms, is better than living a bloated half-life on someone else's terms. The pursuit isn't all or nothing--- it's all AND nothing.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

The work that lasts over time is the work which still speaks to us when all contemporary interest in that work is extinct.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

What is 'no'? Either you have asked the wrong question or you have asked the wrong person. Find a way to get the 'yes'.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

I don't understand why people talk of art as a luxury when it's a mind-altering possibility.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

I wanted to write a new fable and see how many rules you could break.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Of course that is not the whole story, but that is the way with stories; we make them what we will. It’s a way of explaining the universe while leaving the universe unexplained, it’s a way of keeping it all alive, not boxing it into time. Everyone who tells a story tells it differently, just to remind us that everybody sees it differently. Some people say there are true things to be found, some people say all kinds of things can be proved. I don’t believe them. The only thing for certain is how complicated it all is, like string full of knots. It’s all there but hard to find the beginning and impossible to fathom the end. The best you can do is admire the cat’s cradle, and maybe knot it up a bit more. History should be a hammock for swinging and a game for playing, the way cats play. Claw it, chew it, rearrange it and at bedtime it’s still a ball of string full of knots. Nobody should mind. Some people make a lot of money out of it. Publishers do well, children, when bright, can come top. It’s an all-purpose rainy day pursuit, this reducing of stories called history.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

I argue that it is not Woolf's remoteness that puts people off but her nearness that terrifies them. Her language is not a woolly blanket it is a sharp sword. The Waves, which is the most difficult of her works, is a strong-honed edge through the cloudiness most of us call life. It is uncomfortable to have the thick padded stuff ripped away. There is no warm blanket to be had out of Virginia Woolf; there is wind and sun and you naked. It is not remoteness of feeling in Woolf, it is excess; the unbearable quiver of nerves and the heart pounding. It is exposure. And it is exactness.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Every day in my consultancy, I meet men and women who are out of their minds. That is, they have not the slightest idea who they really are or what it is that matters to them. The question 'How shall I live?' is not one I can answer on prescription.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Loneliness isn't about being by yourself. That's fine, right and good, desirable in many ways. Loneliness is about finding a landing-place, or not, and knowing that, whatever you do, you can go back there. The opposite of loneliness isn't company, it's return. A place to return.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Once you start recognizing your own obsessions, you know you’re getting old.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

There's a whole generation growing up thinking you shouldn't seek knowledge for its own sake, and that theatre and art and books are activities that you do after-hours, rather than things that are at the heart of life. That's a huge change.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

When love is unreliable and you are a child, you assume that it is the nature of love -- its quality -- to be unreliable. Children do not find fault with their parents until later. In the beginning the love you get is the love that sets.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Mia madre non voleva che i libri cadessero nelle mie mani. Non aveva previsto che io potessi cadere nei libri, che mi infilassi dentro di loro per stare al sicuro.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Something as straightforward as a difference could lead to something as complex as a breakdown.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

When Jordan was a baby he sat on top of me much as a fly rests on a hill of dung. And I nourished him as a hill of dung nourishes a fly, and when he had eaten his fill he left me. Jordan... I should have named him after a stagnant pond and then I could have kept him, but I named him after a river and in the flood-tide he slipped away.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

We shall all die, and our lives will be irrelevant then. If we make anything that lasts, it outlives us, and it outlives its personal moment. All of my work is deep-dug from me, and every book has to stand or fall without me.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

And you? Now that I have discovered you? Beautiful, dangerous, unleashed. Still I try to hold you, knowing that your body is faced with knives.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Reading is a life-long collision with minds not like your own.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jeanette Winterson

Nobody knows anything about Shakespeare the person. It's all legend, it is all rumor.