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Wallace Stegner’s “Angle of Repose” Quotes (20 Quotes)


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  • I know no way of discounting the doctrine that when you take something you want, and damn the consequences, then you had better be ready to accept whatever consequences ensue.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • I wonder if ever again Americans can have that experience of returning to a home place so intimately known, profoundly felt, deeply loved, and absolutely submitted to? It is not quite true that you can't go home again. I have done it, coming back here. But it gets less likely. We have had too many divorces, we have consumed too much transportation, we have lived too shallowly in too many places.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • It's easier to die than to move ... at least for the Other Side you don't need trunks.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • No life goes past so swiftly as an eventless one, no clock spins like a clock whose days are all alike.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • Salt is added to dried rose petals with the perfume and spices, when we store them away in covered jars, the summers of our past.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")


  • Satisfying natural desires is fine, but natural desires have a way of being both competitive and consequential.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • There is one thing above all others that I despise. It is fingers, especially female fingers, messing around in my guts. My guts, like Victorian marriage, are private.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • There is some history that I want not to have happened. I resist the consequences of being Nemesis.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • There must be some other possibility than death or lifelong penance ... some meeting, some intersection of lines; and some cowardly, hopeful geometer in my brain tells me it is the angle at which two lines prop each other up, the leaning-together from the vertical which produces the false arch. For lack of a keystone, the false arch may be as much as one can expect in this life. Only the very lucky discover the keystone.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • Touch. It is touch that is the deadliest enemy of chastity, loyalty, monogamy, gentility with its codes and conventions and restraints. By touch we are betrayed and betray others ... an accidental brushing of shoulders or touching of hands ... hands laid on shoulders in a gesture of comfort that lies like a thief, that takes, not gives, that wants, not offers, that awakes, not pacifies. When one flesh is waiting, there is electricity in the merest contact.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • Towns are like people. Old ones often have character, the new ones are interchangeable.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • A writer is an organism that will go on writing even after its heart has been cut out.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • Wisdom. . .is knowing what you have to accept.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • Faith can reclaim deserts as well as move mountains.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")

  • You can't retire to weakness -- you've got to learn to control strength.
    (Wallace Stegner, "Angle of Repose")


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