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John Hawkes quotes (showing 1-11 of 11)

“I began to write fiction on the assumption that the true enemies of the novel were plot, character, setting and theme, and having once abandoned these familiar ways of thinking about fiction, totality of vision or structure was really all that remained.”
John Hawkes
“I began to write fiction on the assumption that the true enemies of the novel were plot, character, setting and theme.”
John Hawkes
“Need I insist that the only enemy of the mature marriage is monogamy? That anything less than sexual multiplicity...is naive? That our sexual selves are merely idylers in a vast wood?”
John Hawkes, The Blood Oranges
“Motive is never easy. Sometimes it occurs to one only later.”
John Hawkes
“Some time ago I discovered that I could no longer speak aloud or read aloud from a stage, even for the sake of hearing the effect that my writer’s voice produced on listeners. Now, curiously, the more I merely try to live, the more reclusive I become, the vainer I am. At last I am as vain as the one who instantly voices his silence inside me.”
John Hawkes
“If the birds sing, the nudes are not far off.”
John Hawkes
“The corridor smelled of water in the bottoms of purple vases and the piano was banging just beyond this emptiness.”
John Hawkes, The Lime Twig
“She knew there was enormous penalty for what they had done to her - but she could not conceive of that, did not require that: she only wanted a little comfort, a bit of charity; with the awfulness, the unknowable, removed.”
John Hawkes, The Lime Twig
“One and all they are driven by the twin engines of ignorance and willful barbarism. You nod, you also are familiar with these two powerful components of our national character, ignorance and willful barbarianism. Yes, everywhere you turn, and even among the most gifted of us, the most extensively educated, these two brute forces of motivation will eventually emerge. The essential information is always missing; sensitivity is a mere veil to self-concern. We are all secret encouragers of ignorance, at heart we are all willful barbarians.”
John Hawkes, Travesty
“No appetite. No sensation in a dry stomach. No desire. No orchids sweet enough to taste. Not the sort of woman to eat sandwiches on a bus. At least not the sort of woman who would eat in the dark. Not anymore.”
John Hawkes, Second Skin
“The birds do not sing, clouds remain of rubber, glass, steel. A stone has lodged in the engine block, the process of rusting has begun. And then darkness, a cold wind, a shred of clothing fluttering where it is snagged on one of the doors which, quite unscathed, lies flat in the grass. And then daylight, changing temperature, a night of cold rain, the short-lived presence of a scavenging rodent. And despite all this chemistry of time, nothing has disturbed the essential integrity of our tableau of chaos, the point being that if design inevitably surrenders to debris, debris inevitably reveals its innate design.”
John Hawkes, Travesty


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The Lime Twig The Lime Twig
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The Blood Oranges The Blood Oranges
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Second Skin Second Skin
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The Cannibal The Cannibal
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