Escapism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "escapism" Showing 1-30 of 205
Haruki Murakami
“Closing your eyes isn't going to change anything. Nothing's going to disappear just because you can't see what's going on. In fact, things will even be worse the next time you open your eyes. That's the kind of world we live in. Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes. Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won't make time stand still.”
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Shirley Jackson
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.”
Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

Ruth Rendell
“Some say life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”
Ruth Rendell, A Judgement in Stone

Neil Gaiman
“Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.

And while we're on the subject, I'd like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if it's a bad thing. As if "escapist" fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring the worst of the world the reader finds herself in.

If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldn't you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside, gives you a place to go where you are in control, are with people you want to be with(and books are real places, make no mistake about that); and more importantly, during your escape, books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real.

As JRR Tolkien reminded us, the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers.”
Neil Gaiman, The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction

Gena Showalter
“Once I learned, I went online and ordered every romance novel I could find. They're fairy tales for grown-ups.”
Gena Showalter, The Darkest Night

Alberto Manguel
“Each book was a world unto itself, and in it I took refuge.”
Alberto Manguel, A History of Reading

Arthur Conan Doyle
“There is nothing more to be said or to be done tonight, so hand me over my violin and let us try to forget for half an hour the miserable weather and the still more miserable ways of our fellowmen.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Five Orange Pips

Tom Hiddleston
“People love escapism and there should be a place for it.”
Tom Hiddleston

J. Maarten Troost
“Paradise was always over there, a day’s sail away. But it’s a funny thing, escapism. You can go far and wide and you can keep moving on and on through places and years, but you never escape your own life. I, finally, knew where my life belonged. Home.”
J. Maarten Troost, Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu

Terry Pratchett
“Humans had built a world inside the world, which reflected it in pretty much the same way as a drop of water reflected the landscape. And yet ... and yet ...

Inside this little world they had taken pains to put all the things you might think they would want to escape from — hatred, fear, tyranny, and so forth. Death was intrigued. They thought they wanted to be taken out of themselves, and every art humans dreamt up took them further in. He was fascinated.”
Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters

Khaled Hosseini
“i want to give up my bearings, slip out of who i am, shed everything, the way a snake discards old skin.”
Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed

Umberto Eco
“To read fiction means to play a game by which we give sense to the immensity of things that happened, are happening, or will happen in the actual world. By reading narrative, we escape the anxiety that attacks us when we try to say something true about the world. This is the consoling function of narrative — the reason people tell stories, and have told stories from the beginning of time.”
Umberto Eco, Six Walks in the Fictional Woods

Michael Connelly
“Los Angeles was the kind of place where everybody was from somewhere else and nobody really droppped anchor. It was a transient place. People drawn by the dream, people running from the nightmare. Twelve million people and all of them ready to make a break for it if necessary. Figuratively, literally, metaphorically -- any way you want to look at it -- everbody in L.A. keeps a bag packed. Just in case.”
Michael Connelly, The Brass Verdict

Neil Gaiman
“People talk about escapism as if it's a bad thing... Once you've escaped, once you come back, the world is not the same as when you left it. You come back to it with skills, weapons, knowledge you didn't have before. Then you are better equipped to deal with your current reality.”
Neil Gaiman

Truman Capote
“I’ve tried that. I’ve tried aspirin, too. Rusty thinks I should smoke marijuana, and I did for a while, but it only makes me giggle. What I’ve found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany’s. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.”
Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's

Neil Gaiman
“I think that pretty much every form of fiction (I’d include fantasy, obviously) can actually be a real escape from places where you feel bad, and from bad places. It can be a safe place you go, like going on holiday, and it can be somewhere that, while you’ve escaped, actually teaches you things you need to know when you go back, that gives you knowledge and armour and tools to change the bad place you were in.

So no, they’re not escapist. They’re escape.”
Neil Gaiman

Wendell Berry
“[All the ancient wisdom] tells us that work is necessary to us, as much a part of our condition as mortality; that good work is our salvation and our joy; that shoddy or dishonest or self-serving work is our curse and our doom. We have tried to escape the sweat and sorrow promised in Genesis - only to find that, in order to do so, we must forswear love and excellence, health and joy.
(pg. 44, "The Unsettling of America")”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Laura Miller
“Do the children who prefer books set in the real, ordinary, workaday world ever read as obsessively as those who would much rather be transported into other worlds entirely?”
Laura Miller, The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia

Eric Hoffer
“Man staggers through life yapped at by his reason, pulled and shoved by his appetites, whispered to by fears, beckoned by hopes. Small wonder that what he craves most is self-forgetting.”
Eric Hoffer

Audrey Niffenegger
“I sleep all day. Noises flit around the house- garbage truck in the alley, rain, tree rapping against the bedroom window. I sleep. I inhabit sleep firmly, willing it, wielding it, pushing away dreams, refusing, refusing. Sleep is my lover now, my forgetting, my opiate, my oblivion. [...] It is afternoon, it is night, it is morning. Everything is reduced to this bed, this endless slumber that makes the days into one day, makes time stop, stretches and compacts time until it is meaningless.”
Audrey Niffenegger

Alice   Miller
“Thus he spent his whole life searching for his own truth, but it remained hidden to him because he had learned at a very young age to hate himself for what his mother had done to him. (...) But not once did he allow himself to direct his endless, justified rage at the true culprit, the woman who had kept him locked up in her prison for as long as she could. All his life he attempted to free himself of that prison, with the help of drugs, travel, illusions, and above all poetry. But in all these desperate efforts to open the doors that would have led to liberation, one of them remained obstinently shut, the most important one: the door to the emotional reality of his childhood, to the feelings of the little child who was forced to grow up with a severely disturbed, malevolent woman, with no father to protect him from her.”
Alice Miller, The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting

William Styron
“We each devise our means of escape from the intolerable.”
William Styron, A Tidewater Morning

Wendell Berry
“We have made it our overriding ambition to escape work, and as a consequence have debased work until it is only fit to escape from. We have debased the products of work and have been, in turn, debased by them.
(pg. 43, "The Unsettling of America")”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Thomas Bernhard
“Träume und Märchen waren ihr eigentlicher Lebensinhalt, dachte ich jetzt. Deshalb hat sie sich auch umgebracht, dachte ich, weil ein Mensch, der nur Träume und Märchen sich zu seinem Lebensinhalt gemacht hat, in dieser Welt nicht überleben kann, nicht überleben darf, dachte ich.”
Thomas Bernhard, Woodcutters

Wally Lamb
“So many bad things have happened to them that they can't trust the good things. They have to shove them away before someone can get it back.”
Wally Lamb, The Hour I First Believed

Arthur C. Clarke
“There's no real objection to escapism, in the right places... We all want to escape occasionally. But science fiction is often very far from escapism, in fact you might say that science fiction is escape into reality... It's a fiction which does concern itself with real issues: the origin of man; our future. In fact I can't think of any form of literature which is more concerned with real issues, reality.”
Arthur C. Clarke

Orson Scott Card
“Oh no, real life is escape. The great terrors, the horrors--we hope--of your life come from reading fiction.”
Orson Scott Card

Saadat Hasan Manto
“I wondered why people consider escapism so bad, even the escapism on display right then. At first it might appear unseemly, but in the end its lack of pretension gives it its own sort of beauty.”
Saadat Hasan Manto, Bombay Stories

“Every unpleasant worldly experience in life exposes our sensitive nervous systems to painful phenomena. Despite all the beer commercial advertisement slogans urging us to live with gusto, life is unavoidably painful. Life is a battering ram that inflicts trauma upon human beings. People blunt the traumatic force of enduring a lifetime of pain, fearfulness, and unremitted anguish and boredom with religion, sex, booze, drugs, fantasy, and other indulgent acts and forms acts of escapism.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

Terry Pratchett
“Of course fantasy is escapist. Most stories are. So what? Teachers are not meant to be jailers.”
Terry Pratchett, A Slip of the Keyboard

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