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.
Wisdom. . .is knowing what you have to accept.
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.
You can't retire to weakness -- you've got to learn to control strength.
It's easier to die than to move ... at least for the Other Side you don't need trunks.
You married me...but you didn't marry what you could make out of me.
No life goes past so swiftly as an eventless one, no clock spins like a clock whose days are all alike.
You'll do what you think you want to do, or what you think you ought to do. If you're very lucky, luckier than anybody I know, the two will coincide.
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.
Satisfying natural desires is fine, but natural desires have a way of being both competitive and consequential.
A writer is an organism that will go on writing even after its heart has been cut out.
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.
Faith can reclaim deserts as well as move mountains.
There is some history that I want not to have happened. I resist the consequences of being Nemesis.
Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.
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.
Hope was always out ahead of fact, possibility obscured the outlines of reality.
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.
I had only made the sign of the cross. How many times lately has the future perfect been framed in geodesic domes?
Towns are like people. Old ones often have character, the new ones are interchangeable.
She saw objectives, not obstacles.
A teacher enlarges people in all sorts of ways besides just his subject matter.
It is something-it can be everything-to have found a fellow bird with whom you can sit among the rafters while the drinking and boasting and reciting and fighting go on below.
Hard writing makes easy reading.
Most things break, including hearts. The lessons of life amount not to wisdom, but to scar tissue and callus.
One means of sanity is to retain a hold on the natural world, ... Americans still have that chance, more than many peoples.
More Wallace Stegner Quotations (Based on Topics)
Wisdom & Knowledge - Life - Hope - Fate & Destiny - Sanity - Enemy - Place - Divorces - Obstacles - Chance - Future - World - Sign & Symbol - Experience - Reading - Drinking - Past - Characters - Loyalty - View All Wallace Stegner Quotations
More Wallace Stegner Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Angle of Repose
Ernest Hemingway - Tom Clancy - Robertson Davies - P. D. James - J. R. R. Tolkien - Fyodor Dostoevsky - Boris Pasternak - Anne Rice - Anne Bronte - Alistair Maclean