Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following John Fante.

John Fante John Fante > Quotes


John Fante quotes (showing 1-30 of 63)

“Almighty God, I am sorry I am now an atheist, but have You read Nietzsche?”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“You are nobody, and I might have been somebody, and the road to each of us is love.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“Los Angeles, give me some of you! Los Angeles come to me the way I came to you, my feet over your streets, you pretty town I loved you so much, you sad flower in the sand, you pretty town!”
John Fante
“I have wanted women whose very shoes are worth all I have ever possessed.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“We talked, she and I. She asked about my work and it was a pretense, she was not interested in my work. And when I answered, it was a pretense. I was not interested in my work either. There was only one thing that interested us, and she knew it. She had made it plain by her coming.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“So fuck you, Los Angeles, fuck your palm trees, and your highassed women, and your fancy streets, for I am going home, back to Colorado, back to the best damned town in the USA - Boulder, Colorado.”
John Fante
“Arturo Bandini: -What does happiness mean to you Camilla?
Camilla: -That you can fall in love with whoever you want to,
and not feel ashamed of it.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“She was forcing it with her scorn, the kiss she gave me, the hard curl of her lips, the mockery of her eyes, until I was like a man made of wood and there was no feeling within me except terror and a fear of her, a sense that her beauty was too much, that she was so much more beautiful than I, deeper rooted than I. She made me a stranger unto myself, she was all of those calm nights and tall eucalyptus trees, the desert stars, that land and sky, that fog outside, and I had come there with no purpose save to be a mere writer, to get money, to make a name for myself and all that piffle. She was so much finer than I, so much more honest, that I was sick of myself and I could not look at her warm eyes, I suppressed the shiver brought on by her brown arms around my neck and the long fingers in my hair. I did not kiss her. She kissed me, author of The Little Dog Laughed. Then she took my wrist with her two hands. She pressed her lips into the palm of my hand. She placed my hand upon her bosom between her breasts. She turned her lips towards my face and waited. And Arturo Bandini, the great author dipped deep into his colourful imagination, romantic Arturo Bandini, just chock-full of clever phrases, and he said, weakly, kittenishly, 'Hello.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“I felt his hot tears and the loneliness of man and the sweetness of all men and the aching haunting beauty of the living”
John Fante, Full of Life
“Listen closely. There’s a remote possibility that you might learn something: First, I don’t give a damn if my work is commercial or not…I’m the writer. If what I write is good, then people will read it. That’s why literature exists. An author puts his heart and guts on the page. For your information, a good novel can change the world. Keep that in mind before you attempt to sit down at a typewriter. Never waste time on something you don’t believe in yourself.”
John Fante
“Nor did he give a damn for the world either, or the universe, or heaven or hell. But he liked women.”
John Fante, The Brotherhood of the Grape
“One night I was sitting on the bed in my hotel room on Buker Hill, down in the middle of Los Angeles. It was an important night in my life, because I had to make a decision about the hotel. Either I paid up or I got out: that was what the note said, the note the landlady had put under my door. A great problem, deserving acute attention. I solved it by turning out the lights and going to bed.”
John Fante
“Oh, God, help me! And I walked faster, my thoughts pursuing me, and I began to run, my frozen shoes squealing like mice, but running didn't help, the thoughts to the left and right and behind me. But as I ran, The Arm, that good left arm, took hold of the situation and spoke soothingly: ease up, Kid, it's loneliness, you're all alone in the world; your father, your mother, your faith, they can't help you, nobody helps anybody, you only help yourself, and that's why I'm here, because we are inseperable, and we'll take care of everything.”
John Fante, 1933 Was a Bad Year
“Ah, Los Angeles! Dust and fog of your lonely streets, I am no longer lonely. Just you wait, all of you ghosts of this room, just you wait, because it will happen, as sure as there's a God in heaven.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“IT'S MORNING, TIME to get up, so get up, Arturo, and look for a job. Get out there and look for what you'll never find. You're a thief and you're a crab-killer and a lover of women in clothes closets. You'll never find a job!
Every morning I got up feeling like that. Now I've got to find a job, damn it to hell. I ate breakfast, put a book under my arm, pencils in my pocket, and started out. Down the stairs I went, down the street, sometimes hot and sometimes cold, sometimes foggy and sometimes clear. It never mattered, with a book under my arm, looking for a job.
What job, Arturo? Ho ho! A job for you? Think of what you are, my boy! A crab-killer. A thief. You look at naked women in clothes closets. And you expect to get a job! How funny! But there he goes, the idiot, with a big book. Where the devil are you going, Arturo? Why do you go up this street and not that? Why go east - why not go west? Answer me, you thief! Who'll give you a job, you swine - who? But there's a park across town, Arturo. It's called Banning Park. There are a lot of beautiful eucalyptus trees in it, and green lawns. What a place to read! Go there, Arturo. Read Nietzsche. Read Schopenhauer. Get into the company of the mighty. A job? fooey! Go sit under a eucalyptus tree reading a book looking for a job. ”
John Fante, The Road to Los Angeles
“Dear Woman Who Gave Me Life:

The callous vexations and perturbations of this night have subsequently resolved
themselves to a state which precipitates me, Arturo Bandini, into a
brobdingnagian and gargantuan decision. I inform you of this in no uncertain
terms. Ergo, I now leave you and your ever charming daughter (my beloved sister
Mona) and seek the fabulous usufructs of my incipient career in profound
solitude. Which is to say, tonight I depart for the metropolis to the east — our
own Los Angeles, the city of angels. I entrust you to the benign generosity of your brother, Frank Scarpi, who is, as the phrase has it, a good family man
(sic!). I am penniless but I urge you in no uncertain terms to cease your
cerebral anxiety about my destiny, for truly it lies in the palm of the immortal gods. I have made the lamentable discovery over a period of years that living
with you and Mona is deleterious to the high and magnanimous purpose of Art, and I repeat to you in no uncertain terms that I am an artist, a creator beyond question. And, per se, the fumbling fulminations of cerebration and intellect find little fruition in the debauched, distorted hegemony that we poor mortals, for lack of a better and more concise terminology, call home. In no uncertain
terms I give you my love and blessing, and I swear to my sincerity, when I say
in no uncertain terms that I not only forgive you for what has ruefully
transpired this night, but for all other nights. Ergo, I assume in no uncertain terms that you will reciprocate in kindred fashion. May I say in conclusion that I have much to thank you for, O woman who breathed the breath of life into my
brain of destiny? Aye, it is, it is.

Signed.

Arturo Gabriel Bandini.

Suitcase in hand, I walked down to the depot. There was a ten-minute wait for
the midnight train for Los Angeles. I sat down and began to think about the new novel.”
John Fante, The Road to Los Angeles
“(...) I let go, crying and unable to stop because God was such a dirty crook, contemptible skunk, that's what he was for doing that thing to that woman. Come down out of the skies, you God, come on down and I'll hammer your face all over the city of Los Angeles, you miserable unpardonable prankster. If it wasn't for you, this woman would not have been so maimed, and neither would the world, (...)”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“Ask the dust on the road! Ask the Joshua trees standing alone where the Mojave begins. Ask them about Camilla Lopez, and they will whisper her name.”
John Fante, The Big Hunger
“The old folk from Indiana and Iowa and Illinois, from Boston and Kansas City and Des Moines, they sold their homes and their stores, and they came here by train and by automobile to the land of sunshine, to die in the sun, with just enough money to live until the sun killed them, tore themselves out by the roots in their last days, deserted the smug prosperity of Kansas City and Chicago and Peoria to find a place in the sun. And when they got here they found that other and greater thieves had already taken possession, that even the sun belonged to the others; Smith and Jones and Parker, druggist, banker, baker, dust of Chicago and Cincinnati and Cleveland on their shoes, doomed to die in the sun, a few dollars in the bank, enough to subscribe to the Los Angeles Times, enough to keep alive the illusion that this was paradise, that their little papier-mâché homes were castles.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“All that was good in me thrilled in my heart at that moment, all that I hoped for in the profound, obscure meaning of my existence. Here was the endlessly mute placidity of nature, indifferent to the great city; here was the desert beneath these streets, around these streets, waiting for the city to die, to cover it with timeless sand once more. There came over me a terrifying sense of understanding about the meaning and the pathetic destiny of men. The desert was always there, a patient white animal, waiting for men to die, for civilizations to flicker and pass into the darkness. Then men seemed brave to me, and I was proud to be numbered among them. All the evil of the world seemed not evil at all, but inevitable and good and part of that endless struggle to keep the desert down.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“So what’s the use of repentance, and what do you care for goodness, and what if you should die in a quake, so who the hell cares? So I walked downtown, so these were the high buildings, so let the earthquake come, let it bury me and my sins, so who the hell cares? No good to God or man, die one way or another, a quake or a hanging, it didn’t matter why or when or how.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“I have seen them stagger out of their movie palaces and blink their empty eyes in the face of reality once more, and stagger home, to read the Times, to find out what's going on in the world. I have vomited at their newspapers, read their literature, observed their customs, eaten their food, desired their women, gaped at their art. But I am poor, and my name ends with a soft vowel, and they hate me and my father, and my father's father, and they would have my blood and put me down, but they are old now, dying in the sun and in the hot dust of the road, and I am young and full of hope and love for my country and my times, and when I say Greaser to you it is not my heart that speaks, but the quivering of an old wound, and I am ashamed of the terrible thing I have done.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“Please God, please Knut Hamsun, don't desert me now. I started to write and I wrote:

The time has come," the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —”
John Fante, Dreams from Bunker Hill
“Ah, Evelyn and Vivian, I love you both, I love you for your sad lives, the empty misery of your coming home at dawn. You too are alone, but you are not like Arturo Bandini, who is neither fish, fowl nor good red herring. So have your champagne, because I love you both, and you too, Vivian, even if your mouth looks like it had been dug out with raw fingernails and your old child's eyes swim in blood written like mad sonnets.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“I went to the library. I looked at the magazines, at the pictures in them. One day I went to the bookshelves, and pulled out a book. It was Winesburg, Ohio.. I sat at a long mahogany table and began to read. All at once my world turned over. The sky fell in. The book held me. The tears came. My heart beat fast. I read until my eyes burned. I took the book home. I read another Anderson. I read and I read, and I was heartsick and lonely and in love with a book, many books, until it came naturally, and I sat there with a pencil and a long tablet, and tried to write, until I felt I could not go on because the words would not come as they did in Anderson, they only came like drops of blood from my heart.”
John Fante, Dreams from Bunker Hill
“I was twenty then. What the hell, I used to say, take your time, Bandini. You got ten years to write a book, so take it easy, get out and learn about life, walk the streets. That’s your trouble: your ignorance of life.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust
“I tossed my shoulders and swaggered away, whistling with pleasure. In the gutter I saw a long cigaret butt. I picked it up without shame, lit it as I stood with one foot in the gutter, puffed it and exhaled toward the stars. I was an American, and goddamn proud of it.”
John Fante
“It was a bad one, the Winter of 1933. Wading home that night through flames of snow, my toes burning, my ears on fire, the snow swirling around me like a flock of angry nuns, I stopped dead in my tracks. The time had come to take stock. Fair weather or foul, certain forces in the world were at work trying to destroy me.”
John Fante, 1933 Was a Bad Year
“If there is work there is warmth, that when a man has freedom of movement it is enough, for then his blood is hot too”
John Fante, Wait Until Spring, Bandini
“Then it happened. One night as the rain beat on the slanted kitchen roof a great spirit slipped forever into my life. I held his book in my hands and trembled as he spoke to me of man and the world, of love and wisdom, pain and guilt, and I knew I would never be the same. His name was Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky. He knew more of fathers and sons than any man in the world, and of brothers and sisters, priests and rogues, guilt and innocence. Dostoyevsky changed me. The Idiot, The Possessed, The Brothers Karamazov, The Gambler. He turned me inside out. I found I could breathe, could see invisible horizons. The hatred for my father melted. I loved my father, poor, suffering, haunted wretch. I loved my mother too, and all my family. It was time to become a man, to leave San Elmo and go out into the world. I wanted to think and feel like Dostoyevsky. I wanted to write.
The week before I left town the draft board summoned me to Sacramento for my physical. I was glad to go. Someone other than myself could make my decisions. The army turned me down. I had asthma. Inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
“That’s nothing. I’ve always had it.”
“See your doctor.”
I got the needed information from a medical book at the public library. Was asthma fatal? It could be. And so be it. Dostoyevsky had epilepsy, I had asthma. To write well a man must have a fatal ailment. It was the only way to deal with the presence of death.”
John Fante, The Brotherhood of the Grape

« previous 1 3

All Quotes | Add A Quote
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game

Ask the Dust (The Saga of Arthur Bandini, #3) Ask the Dust
15,205 ratings
Open Preview
Wait Until Spring, Bandini (The Saga of Arthur Bandini, #1) Wait Until Spring, Bandini
6,121 ratings
Open Preview
The Road to Los Angeles (The Saga of Arthur Bandini, #2) The Road to Los Angeles
3,125 ratings
Open Preview
Dreams from Bunker Hill (The Saga of Arthur Bandini, #4) Dreams from Bunker Hill
2,369 ratings
Open Preview