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George Saunders quotes Showing 241-270 of 498

“World rips kid's guts out”
George Saunders, Tenth of December
“If they ever get around to building The Short Story Museum, I think they’d better carve this over the doorway: ‘A short story works to remind us that if we are not sometimes baffled and amazed and undone by the world around us, rendered speechless and stunned, perhaps we are not paying close enough attention.”
George Saunders
“After dinner the babies get fussy and Min puts a mush of ice cream and Hershey's syrup in their bottles and we watch The Worst That Could Happen, a half-hour of computer simulations of tragedies that have never actually occurred but theoretically could.”
George Saunders
“From nothingness, there arose great love; now, its source nullified, that love, searching and sick, converts to the most abysmal suffering imaginable.”
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
“I noticed something: if I put a theme park in a story, my prose improved.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“Everything nonsense now. Those mourners came up. Hands extended. Sons intact. Wearing on their faces enforced sadness-masks to hide any sign of their happiness, which—which went on. They could not hide how alive they yet were with it, with their happiness at the potential of their still-living sons. Until lately I was one of them. Strolling whistling through the slaughterhouse, averting my eyes from the carnage, able to laugh and dream and hope because it had not yet happened to me. To us.”
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
“A story is a really weird art object that should contain life but not be enslaved by the banality.”
George Saunders
“One day, walking neer one of your Yuman houses, smelling all the interest with snout, I herd, from inside, the most amazing sound. Turns out, what that sound is, was: the Yuman voice, making werds. They sounded grate! They sounded like prety music! I listened to those music werds until the sun went down...”
George Saunders, Fox 8
“Why will it not work. What magic word made it work. Who is the keeper of that word. What did it profit Him to switch this one off. What a contraption it is. How did it ever run. What spark ran it. Grand little machine. Set up just so. Receiving the spark, it jumped to life.”
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
“What a beautiful country this must have been once, when you could hop in a coupe and buy a bag of burgers and drive, drive, drive, stopping to swim in a river or sleep in a grove of trees without worrying about intaking mutagens or having the militia arrest you and send you to the Everglades for eternity.”
George Saunders
“(the nature of that unfairness perhaps being just that they had been born stronger, more clever, more energetic than others), and who, having seized the apple, would eat it so proudly, they seemed to think that not only had they grown it, but had invented the very idea of fruit, too, and the cost of this lie fell on the hearts of the low (Mr.”
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
“What is truth, if not an ongoing faith in, and continuing hope for, that which one feels and knows in one’s heart to be right, all temporary and ephemeral contraindications notwithstanding?”
George Saunders, In Persuasion Nation
“Q: What genres do you especially enjoy reading? And which do you avoid?

A: I love reading anything about gigantic animate blobs of molten iron who secretly long to be concert pianists. It’s not a particularly well-populated genre, but in particular I’d mention, “Grog, Who Loved Chopin,” as well as the somewhat derivative “Clom, Big Fan of Mozart.”
George Saunders
“The young, Ayn Randish Republican that I was, discounted Vonnegut as one of them: A former hippie, maybe, or a proto-hippie, someone who, unlike me, wasn't earnest/tough/focused enough to be huge, classic, and utterly pure.”
George Saunders, The Braindead Megaphone
“Got used to being slightly sad!”
George Saunders
“At the heart of Vonnegut's voice is a humility my earnest young self didn't feel comfortable with: In it, I heard evidence of real humiliation. War really was hell, with hell being the place where whatever you normally counted on or leaned on was taken from you, absolutely. Bill Pilgrim is a skinny virginal dork, and when he gets to war, war leaps on his skinny dorkitude and devastates him unglamorously, and haunts him ever after.”
George Saunders, The Braindead Megaphone
“All will be well and all will be well, etc., etc.,

Todd”
George Saunders
“All gifts are temporary. I unwillingly surrender this one. And thank you for it. God. Or world. Whoever it was gave it to me, I humbly thank you, and pray that I did right by him, and may, as I go ahead, continue to do right by him.
Love, love, I know what you are.”
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
“My sense is that if you go far enough in any stylistic direction, you can make a beautiful and complex representation of reality, although that representation may not be linear. God knows we’ve got enough linearity in our representations of our world. We’ve tremendously overvalued analytical knowledge, rationality, etc. To me, the process of writing is just reading what I’ve written and—like running your hand over one of those mod glass stovetops to find where the heat is—looking for where the energy is in the prose, then going in the direction of that. It’s an exercise in being open to whatever is there.”
George Saunders
“Look, show your cock. It's the shortest line between two points. The world ain't giving away nice lives. You got a trust fund? You a genius? Show your cock. It's what you got.”
George Saunders
tags: cock
“My people!" he shouted in the stentorian voice. "I shall speak now of us! Who are we? We are an articulate people, yet a people of few words. We feel deeply, yet refrain from embarrassing displays of emotion. Though firm, we are never too firm, though we love fun, we never have fun in a silly way that makes us appear ridiculous, unless that is our intent. Our national collaboration, though varied, is consistent. Everything about us is as it should be, for example, we can be excessive when excess is called for, and yet, even in our excess we show good taste, although never is our taste so refined as to seem precious. Even the extent to which we are moderate is moderate, except when we have decided to be immoderately moderate, or even shockingly flamboyant, at which time our flamboyance is truly breathtaking in a really startling way, and when we decide to make mistakes, our mistakes are as big and grand and irrevocable as any nation's colossal errors, and when we decide to deny our mistakes, we sound just as if we are telling the truth, and when we decide to admit our errors, we do so in a way that is truly moving in its extreme frankness! Am I making sense? Am I saying this well?”
George Saunders, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil
“Had been bulky men, quietly content, who, in our first youth, had come to grasp our own unremarkableness and had, cheerfully (as if bemusedly accepting a heavy burden), shifted our life’s focus; if we would not be great, we would be useful.”
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
“By then I was selling the hell out of Buicks at night. So I got a little place of my own and moved her in with me. Now we’re pals. Family. It’s not perfect. Sometimes it’s damn hard. But I look after her and she squeals with delight when I come home, and the sum total of sadness in the world is less than it would have been.

Her real name is Isabelle.

A pretty, pretty name.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“Saunders writes like something of a saint. He seems in touch with some better being. He teaches us not only how to write but how to live. He sets the bar and also the example. He hopes we might see the possibility of our better selves and act on it. He seems sent—what other way to put it?—to teach us mercy and grace.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
“Kind little words, which are of the same blood as great and holy deeds,” flowed from his lips constantly.”
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
“Now all these happy sites and sounds seem like triks. Now it seems like the gud times are mere lee smoke that, upon blowing away, here is the reel life, which is: rok hats, kikking, stomping.”
George Saunders, Fox 8
tags: fable
“Whatever failures you feel you may have been responsible for, leave them behind you now, she said. All turned out beautifully. Come with us.
Come where though? I said. I don't -
You are a wave that has crashed upon the shore, she said.
See, I don't get that, I said.”
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
“All men labor under some impingements on their freedom; none is absolutely at liberty.”
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
“So I suppose one danger is that we might get the idea that, you know, “to blurt, is to be.” The idea that whatever comes out is good and is us. Whereas someone who has really worked with text realizes – well, that neither one is “really” you, but that the considered version might represent a “higher” you – brighter, less willing to coast or condescend, funnier, and (mysteriously) also, I think, kinder.”
George Saunders
“And they left, neither knowing how close they had come to getting Darkenfloxxed™ out their wing-wangs.”
George Saunders, Tenth of December


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