Eudora Welty Quotes

Quotes tagged as "eudora-welty" Showing 1-22 of 22
Eudora Welty
“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.”
Eudora Welty, One Writer's Beginnings

Eudora Welty
“For the source of the short story is usually lyrical. And all writers speak from, and speak to, emotions eternally the same in all of us: love, pity, terror do not show favorites or leave any of us out.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“Great fiction shows us not how to conduct our behavior but how to feel. Eventually, it may show us how to face our feelings and face our actions and to have new inklings about what they mean. A good novel of any year can initiate us into our own new experience.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“Making reality real is art's responsibility. It is a practical assignment, then, a self-assignment: to achieve, by a cultivated sensitivity for observing life, a capacity for receiving impressions, a lonely, unremitting, unaided, unaidable vision, and transferring this vision without distortion to it onto the pages of a novel, where, if the reader is so persuaded, it will turn into the reader's illusion.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“Human life is fiction's only theme.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“Art, though, is never the voice of a country; it is an even more precious thing, the voice of the individual, doing its best to speak, not comfort of any sort, but truth. And the art that speaks it most unmistakably, most directly, most variously, most fully, is fiction; in particular, the novel.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“Writing is an expression of the writer's own peculiar personality, could not help being so. Yet in reading great works one feels that the finished piece transcends the personal. All writers great and small must sometimes have felt that they have become part of what they wrote even more than it still remains a part of them.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“Both reading and writing are experiences--lifelong-- in the course of which we who encounter words used in certain ways are persuaded by them to be brought mind and heart within the presence, the power, of the imagination.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“It's all right, I want to say to the students who write to me, for things to be what they appear to be, and for words to mean what they say. It's all right, too, for words and appearances to mean more than one thing--ambiguity is a fact of life.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“The novelist works neither to correct nor to condone, not at all to comfort, but to make what's told alive.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“No blur of inexactness, no cloud of vagueness, is allowable in good writing; from the first seeing to the last putting down, there must be steady lucidity and uncompromise of purpose.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“The first act of insight is throw away the labels. In fiction, while we do not necessarily write about ourselves, we write out of ourselves, using ourselves; what we learn from, what we are sensitive to, what we feel strongly about--these become our characters and go to make our plots. Characters in fiction are conceived from within, and they have, accordingly, their own interior life; they are individuals every time.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“The challenge to writers today, I think, is not to disown any part of our heritage. Whatever our theme in writing, it is old and tried. Whatever our place, it has been visited by the stranger, it will never be new again. It is only the vision that can be new; but that is enough.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“We do need to bring to our writing, over and over again, all the abundance we possess. To be able, to be ready, to enter into the minds and hearts of our own people, all of them, to comprehend them (us) and then to make characters and plots in stories that in honesty and with honesty reveal them (ourselves) to us, in whatever situation we live through in our own times: this is the continuing job, and it's no harder now than it ever was, I suppose. Every writer, like everybody else, thinks he's living through the crisis of the ages. To write honestly and with all our powers is the least we can do, and the most”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“Henry James said there isn't any difference between "the English novel" and "the American novel" since there are only two kinds of novels at all, the good and the bad.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“The fantasies of dying could be no stranger than the fantasies of living. Survival is perhaps the strangest fantasy of them all.”
Eudora Welty, The Optimist's Daughter

Eudora Welty
“Fiction shows us the past as well as the present moment in mortal light; it is an art served by the indelibility of our memory, and one empowered by a sharp and prophetic awareness of what is ephemeral. It is by the ephemeral that our feeling is so strongly aroused for what endures, or strives to endure.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“It's the form it takes when it comes out the other side, of course, that gives a story something unique--its life. The story, in the way it has arrived at what it is on the page, has been something learned, by dint of the story's challenge and the work that rises to meet it--a process as uncharted for the writer as if it had never been attempted before.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Eudora Welty
“I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them--with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself.”

― Eudora Welty”
Eudora Welty

Joseph Fink
“The other option was to go to the public library. Few people came back from a visit to the library. There was one girl a few years ago the survived the summer reading program at the Night Vale Public Library. The girl, Tamika Flynn, defeated the librarian that had imprisoned her and her classmates using the switchblade hidden in every hardback edition of Eudora Welty's touching homecoming novel, The Optimist's Daughter. But few who have seen a librarian up close have survived or been in a physical condition to communicate.”
Joseph Fink, Welcome to Night Vale

Eudora Welty
“It is want that does the world's arousing, and if it were not for that, who knows what might not be interrupted?”
Eudora Welty, The Robber Bridegroom

Harry Crews
“James Agee. He was born a prince of the language, and so he remains. And Capote. I don't care what kind of stupid ass remarks he makes, he can write; he really can. When he's on he's really on. Updike would be twice the writer he is if he weren't such a hot dog. God knows, he's a word man. Eudora Welty, great writer. Erskine Caldwell, by the way is a helluva lot better than he's ever been given credit for. But if you ask me, "Who's your favorite writer?" there's no answer to that. That's like saying, "What do you like best for breakfast?" Some mornings you want a beer; some mornings you want strawberries; some mornings you want, God help us, Frostie Crispie Flakes with a lot of sugar, and some mornings you want your old lady.”
Harry Crews, Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews