John Fowles Quotes (71 Quotes)



    There is no plan. All is hazard. And the only thing that will preserve us is ourselves.

    Think. In a minute from now you could be saying, I risked death. I threw for life, and I won life. It is a very wonderful feeling. To have survived.

    To write poetry and to commit suicide, apparently so contradictory, had really been the same, attempts at escape.

    Wealth is a monster. It takes a month to learn to control it financially. And many years to learn to control it psychologically.



    You wish to be liked. I wish simply to be. One day you will know what that means, perhaps. And you will smile. Not against me. But with me.

    The bowed head, the buried face. She is silent, she will never speak, never forgive, never reach a hand, never leave this frozen present tense. All waits, suspended. Suspended the autumn trees, the autumn sky, anonymous people. A blackbird, poor fool, sings out of season from the willows by the lake. A flight of pigeons over the houses; fragments of freedom, hazard, an anagram made flesh. And somewhere the stinging smell of burning leaves.

    The craving to risk death is our last great perversion. We come from night, we go into night. Why live in night?

    I could offer no consolation and I do not think he wanted any. There are situations in which consolation only threatens the equilibrium that time has instituted.


    It's no good. I've been trying to sleep for the last half-hour, and I can't. Writing here is a sort of drug. It's the only thing I look forward to. This afternoon I read what I wrote... And it seemed vivid. I know it seems vivid because my imagination fills in all the bits another person wouldn't understand. I mean, it's vanity. But it seems a sort of magic... And I just can't live in this present. I would go mad if I did

    I knew I would always want to go on living with myself, however hollow I became, however diseased.

    He said, I suppose there are people who are purely moved by great art. I never met a painter who was. I'm not. All I think of when I see that picture is that it has the supreme mastery I have spent all my life trying to attain. And shall not. Ever.

    Piers is always going on about how he hated Stowe. As if that solves everything, as if to hate something means it can't have affected you.

    I read and I read; and I was like a medieval king, I had fallen in love with the picture long before I saw the reality.

    I am one in a row of specimens. It's when I try to flutter out of line that he hates me. I'm meant to be dead, pinned, always the same, always beautiful. He knows that part of my beauty is being alive. but it's the dead me he wants. He wants me living-but-dead.


    I was born in 1927, the only child of middle-class parents, both English, and themselves born in the grotesquely elongated shadow, which they never rose sufficiently above history to leave, of that monstrous dwarf Queen Victoria.

    I hate the uneducated and the ignorant. I hate the pompous and the phoney. I hate the jealous and the resentful. I hate the crabbed and mean and the petty. I hate all ordinary dull little people who aren't ashamed of being dull and little.


    I was too green to know that all cynicism masks a failure to cope - an impotence, in short; and that to despise all effort is the greatest effort of all.

    I just think of things as beautiful or not. Can't you understand? I don't think of good or bad. Just of beautiful or ugly. I think a lot of nice things are ugly and a lot of nasty things are beautiful.


    If Rome, a city of the vulgar living, had been depressing after Greece, London, a city of the drab dead, was fifty times worse.

    I love making, I love doing. I love being to the full, I love everything which is not sitting and watching and copying and dead at heart.

    You must make, always. You must act, if you believe something. Talking about acting is like boasting about pictures you're going to paint. The most terrible bad form.

    If you forget everything else about me, please remember this. I walked down that street and I never looked back and I love you. I love you. I love you so much that I shall hate you for ever for today.


    You put up with your voice and speak with it because you haven't any choice. But it's what you say that counts.


    More John Fowles Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Death & Dying - Life - Time - Emotions - People - Smiling - Art - English - War & Peace - Literature - Nature - Society & Civilization - Beauty - Money & Wealth - Faces - World - Night - Reality - View All John Fowles Quotations

    More John Fowles Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - The Collector
    - The Magus

    Related Authors


    Ernest Hemingway - Charles Dickens - Salman Rushdie - Robertson Davies - P. D. James - Emily Bronte - Arthur Herzog - Anne Bronte - Alistair Maclean - Aldous Huxley


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