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Peter De Vries quotes (showing 1-30 of 31)

“Sometimes I write drunk and revise sober, and sometimes I write sober and revise drunk. But you have to have both elements in creation — the Apollonian and the Dionysian, or spontaneity and restraint, emotion and discipline.”
Peter De Vries, Reuben, Reuben
“Everybody hates me because I'm so universally liked.”
Peter De Vries
“I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.”
Peter De Vries
“The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.”
Peter De Vries
“What baffles me is the comfort people find in the idea that somebody dealt this mess. Blind and meaningless chance seems to me so much more congenial - or at least less horrible. Prove to me that there is a God and I will really begin to despair.”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“What people believe is a measure of what they suffer.”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“Human nature is pretty shabby stuff, as you may know from introspection.”
Peter De Vries
tags: irony
“Life is a zoo in a jungle”
Peter De Vries
“Before the mind snaps, or the heart breaks, it gather itself like a clock about to strike. It might even be said one pulls himself together to disintegrate.”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning. ”
Peter De Vries
“There are times when parenthood seems nothing more than feeding the hand that bites you.”
Peter De Vries
“He resented such questions as people do who have thought a great deal about them. The superficial and slipshod have ready answers, but those looking this complex life straight in the eye acquire a wealth of perception so composed of delicately balanced contradictions that they dread, or resent, the call to couch any part of it in a bland generalization. The vanity (if not outrage) of trying to cage this dance of atoms in a single definition may give the weariness of age with the cry of youth for answers the appearance of boredom.”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“Who of us is mature enough for offspring before the offspring themselves arrive? The value of [parenthood] is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults.”
Peter De Vries
“It is the final proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us.”
Peter De Vries
“The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination. But the combination is locked up in the safe.”
Peter De Vries
“My father hated radio and could not wait for television to be invented so he could hate that too. ”
Peter De Vries
“We are not primarily put on this earth to see through one another, but to see one another through. ”
Peter De Vries
“The idea of a Supreme Being who creates a world in which one creature is designed to eat another in order to subsist, and then pass a law saying, "Thou shalt not kill," is so monstrously, immeasurably, bottomlessly absurd that I am at a loss to understand how mankind has entertained or given it house room all this long.”
Peter De Vries
“We live this life by a kind of conspiracy of grace: the common assumption, or pretense, that human existence is 'good' or 'matters' or has 'meaning,' a glaze of charm or humor by which we conceal from one another and perhaps even ourselves the suspicion that it does not, and our conviction in times of trouble that it is overpriced - something to be endured rather than enjoyed.”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“I made a tentative conclusion. It seemed from all of this that uppermost among human joys is the negative one of restoration: not going to the stars, but learning that one may stay where one is.”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“The murals in restaurants are on par with the food in museums.”
Peter De Vries
“How I hate this world. I would like to tear it apart with my own two hands if I could. I would like to dismantle the universe star by star, like a treeful of rotten fruit. Nor do I believe in progress. A vermin-eaten saint scratching his filth for heaven is better off than you damned in clean linen. Progress doubles our tenure in a vale of tears. Man is a mistake, to be corrected only by his abolition, which he gives promise of seeing to himself. Oh, let him pass, and leave the earth to the flowers that carpet the earth wherever he explodes his triumphs. Man is inconsolable, thanks to that eternal "Why?" when there is no Why, that question mark twisted like a fishhook in the human heart. "Let there be light," we cry, and only the dawn breaks.”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“Why is the awfulness of families such a popular reason for starting another?”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetric-ally once, and by car forever after.”
Peter De Vries
“Let us hope...that a kind Providence will put a speedy end to the acts of God under which we have been laboring.”
Peter De Vries
“I believe that man must learn to live without those consolations called religious, which is own intelligence must by now have told him belong to the childhood of the race. Philosophy can really give us nothing permanent to believe either; it is too rich in answers, each canceling out the rest. The quest for Meaning is foredoomed. Human life 'means' nothing. But this is not to say that it is not worth living. What does a Debussy Arabesque 'mean,' or a rainbow or a rose? A man delights in all of these, knowing himself to be no more--a wisp of music and a haze of dreams dissolving against the sun. Man has only his own two feet to stand on, his own human trinity to see him through: Reason, Courage, and Grace. And the first plus the second equals the third.”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“The superficial and the slipshod have ready answers, but those looking this complex life straight in the eye acquire a wealth of perception so composed of delicately balanced contradictions that they dread, or resent, the call to couch any part of it in a bland generalization.”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“You believe what you must in order to stave off the conviction that it's all a tale told by an idiot”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“While I was now fairly demoralized, as well as aflame with the prospect of an hour in his daughter's arms, the thought of using his car to debauch his bourgeois paradise was a perfidy at which I drew the line.”
Peter De Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
“Every novel should have a beginning, a middle, and an end.”
Peter De Vries

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