Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

100 Mind-Blowing Quotes By John Irving On Life, Love, Courage, Talent And More

Famous As: Novelist
Born On: March 2, 1942
Born In: Exeter, New Hampshire, United States
Age: 80 Years
John Irving is a famous American screenwriter and novelist. In 1978, after the international success of ‘The World According To Garp’, Irving achieved huge critical acclaim. Some of his bestselling novels include, ‘A Widow For One Year’, ‘The Cider House Rules’, ‘A Prayer For Owen Meany’, ‘Until I find You’, ‘Last Night In Twisted River’ and ‘The Hotel New Hampshire’ amongst various others. In 1999, he bagged in an ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’. Some of his novels have also been adapted into movies. A number of his short-stories and books have been set around and in the ‘Phillips Exeter Academy’. Zoom through the inspiring quotes and sayings by John Irving which holds a world of wisdom. Following is a compilation of some famous quotable quotes and thoughts by John Irving on learn, legal, habits, mind, school, time, belong, simple, know, simple, obsessed, perfect, imagination, architecture, consequences, sympathy, believe, responsibility etc.
If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.

If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.

John Irving
You've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.

You've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.

John Irving
What is hardest to accept about the passage of time is that the people who once mattered the most to us wind up in parentheses.

What is hardest to accept about the passage of time is that the people who once mattered the most to us wind up in parentheses.

John Irving
My life is a reading list.

My life is a reading list.

John Irving
Keep passing the open windows.

Keep passing the open windows.

John Irving
They were involved in that awkward procedure of getting to unknow each other.

They were involved in that awkward procedure of getting to unknow each other.

John Irving
We often need to lose sight of our priorities in order to see them.

We often need to lose sight of our priorities in order to see them.

John Irving
It is hard work and great art to make life not so serious.

It is hard work and great art to make life not so serious.

John Irving
In this dirty minded world, you are either someone's wife or someone's whore. And if you're not either people think there is something wrong with you....but there is nothing wrong with me

In this dirty minded world, you are either someone's wife or someone's whore. And if you're not either people think there is something wrong with you....but there is nothing wrong with me

John Irving
Goodnight you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.

Goodnight you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.

John Irving
Never confuse faith, or belief—of any kind—with something even remotely intellectual.

Never confuse faith, or belief—of any kind—with something even remotely intellectual.

John Irving
In increments both measurable and not, our childhood is stolen from us -- not always in one momentous event but often in a series of small robberies, which add up to the same loss.

In increments both measurable and not, our childhood is stolen from us -- not always in one momentous event but often in a series of small robberies, which add up to the same loss.

John Irving
The only way you get Americans to notice anything is to tax them or draft them or kill them.

The only way you get Americans to notice anything is to tax them or draft them or kill them.

John Irving
People only ask questions when they're ready to hear the answers.

People only ask questions when they're ready to hear the answers.

John Irving
Religious freedom should work two ways: we should be free to practice the religion of our choice, but we must also be free from having someone else's religion practiced on us.

Religious freedom should work two ways: we should be free to practice the religion of our choice, but we must also be free from having someone else's religion practiced on us.

John Irving
Imagining something is better than remembering something.

Imagining something is better than remembering something.

John Irving
It's not god who's fucked up, it's the screamers who say they believe in him and who claim to pursue their ends in his holy name.

It's not god who's fucked up, it's the screamers who say they believe in him and who claim to pursue their ends in his holy name.

John Irving
In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases

In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases

John Irving
A truly happy woman drives some men and almost every other woman absolutely crazy

A truly happy woman drives some men and almost every other woman absolutely crazy

John Irving
It is your responsibility to find fault with me, it is mine to hear you out. But don't expect me to change.

It is your responsibility to find fault with me, it is mine to hear you out. But don't expect me to change.

John Irving
Watch out for people who call themselves religious; make sure you know what they mean––make sure they know what they mean!

Watch out for people who call themselves religious; make sure you know what they mean––make sure they know what they mean!

John Irving
When time passes, it's the people who knew you whom you want to see; they're the ones you can talk to. When enough time passes, what's it matter what they did to you?

When time passes, it's the people who knew you whom you want to see; they're the ones you can talk to. When enough time passes, what's it matter what they did to you?

John Irving
…the consequences of sex are often more memorable than the act itself.

…the consequences of sex are often more memorable than the act itself.

John Irving
You take every opportunity given you in this world, even if you have too many opportunities. One day, the opportunities stop, you know.

You take every opportunity given you in this world, even if you have too many opportunities. One day, the opportunities stop, you know.

John Irving
Life is serious but art is fun!

Life is serious but art is fun!

John Irving
… and so he tried to accept the ache in his heart as what Dr. Larch would call the common symptoms of normal life.

… and so he tried to accept the ache in his heart as what Dr. Larch would call the common symptoms of normal life.

John Irving
Logic is relative.

Logic is relative.

John Irving
All men are liars, said Roberta Muldoon, who knew this was true because she had once been a man.

All men are liars, said Roberta Muldoon, who knew this was true because she had once been a man.

John Irving
Half my life is an act of revision.

Half my life is an act of revision.

John Irving
All his life he would hold this moment as exemplary of what love was. It was not wanting anything more, nor was it expecting people to exceed what they had just accomplished; it was simply feeling so complete.

All his life he would hold this moment as exemplary of what love was. It was not wanting anything more, nor was it expecting people to exceed what they had just accomplished; it was simply feeling so complete.

John Irving
You know, everybody dies. My parents died. Your father died. Everybody dies. I'm going to die too. So will you. The thing is, to have a life before we die. It can be a real adventure having a life

You know, everybody dies. My parents died. Your father died. Everybody dies. I'm going to die too. So will you. The thing is, to have a life before we die. It can be a real adventure having a life

John Irving
I’m not afraid, but I’m very nervous.

I’m not afraid, but I’m very nervous.

John Irving
Kids are perfect people till grownups get their hands on them.

Kids are perfect people till grownups get their hands on them.

John Irving
If you don't feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then probably what you are doing isn't very vital.

If you don't feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then probably what you are doing isn't very vital.

John Irving
You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something else.

You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something else.

John Irving
The more clearly one sees this world; the more one is obliged to pretend it does not exist.

The more clearly one sees this world; the more one is obliged to pretend it does not exist.

John Irving
Being afraid you'll look like a coward is the worst reason for doing anything.

Being afraid you'll look like a coward is the worst reason for doing anything.

John Irving
Just when you begin thinking of yourself as memorable, you run into someone who can't even remember having met you

Just when you begin thinking of yourself as memorable, you run into someone who can't even remember having met you

John Irving
Safer than we are.” I told Franny. “Safer than love.” “let me tell ya kid,” Franny said to me, squeezing my hand. “Everything’s safer than love.

Safer than we are.” I told Franny. “Safer than love.” “let me tell ya kid,” Franny said to me, squeezing my hand. “Everything’s safer than love.

John Irving
…there is no nakedness that compares to being naked in front of someone for the first time.

…there is no nakedness that compares to being naked in front of someone for the first time.

John Irving
Life forces enough final decisions on us. We should have the sense to avoid as many of the unnecessary ones as we can.

Life forces enough final decisions on us. We should have the sense to avoid as many of the unnecessary ones as we can.

John Irving
Sorrow floats.

Sorrow floats.

John Irving
When however small a measure of jealousy is mixed with misunderstanding, there is always going to be trouble.

When however small a measure of jealousy is mixed with misunderstanding, there is always going to be trouble.

John Irving
How we love to love things for other people; how we love to have other people love things through our eyes.

How we love to love things for other people; how we love to have other people love things through our eyes.

John Irving
We will often do anything to pretend that nothing is on our minds.

We will often do anything to pretend that nothing is on our minds.

John Irving
He also knew that rivals are best unmanned by being ignored.

He also knew that rivals are best unmanned by being ignored.

John Irving
Oh FUCK the longings and agonies of youth.

Oh FUCK the longings and agonies of youth.

John Irving
I have learned that the consequences of our past actions are always interesting; I have learned to view the present with a forward-looking eye.

I have learned that the consequences of our past actions are always interesting; I have learned to view the present with a forward-looking eye.

John Irving
We are formed by what we desire

We are formed by what we desire

John Irving
O God — please give him back! I shall keep asking You.

O God — please give him back! I shall keep asking You.

John Irving
Wherever the TV glows, there sits someone who isn't reading.

Wherever the TV glows, there sits someone who isn't reading.

John Irving
It was a sound like someone trying not to make a sound.

It was a sound like someone trying not to make a sound.

John Irving
If you can't love crudeness, how can you truly love mankind?

If you can't love crudeness, how can you truly love mankind?

John Irving
Good habits are worth being fanatical about.

Good habits are worth being fanatical about.

John Irving
It's a no-win argument - that business of what we're born with and what our environment does to us. And it's a boring argument, because it simplifies the mysteries that attend both our birth and our growth.

It's a no-win argument - that business of what we're born with and what our environment does to us. And it's a boring argument, because it simplifies the mysteries that attend both our birth and our growth.

John Irving
If we couldn't get strong from what we lose, and what we miss, and what we want and can't have, then we couldn't ever get strong enough.

If we couldn't get strong from what we lose, and what we miss, and what we want and can't have, then we couldn't ever get strong enough.

John Irving
When Jack Burns needed to hold his mother's hand, his fingers could see in the dark.

When Jack Burns needed to hold his mother's hand, his fingers could see in the dark.

John Irving
Don't forget this, too: Rumors aren't interested in the unsensational story; rumors don't care what's true.

Don't forget this, too: Rumors aren't interested in the unsensational story; rumors don't care what's true.

John Irving
In this dirty minded world, you are either someone's wife or someone's whore.

In this dirty minded world, you are either someone's wife or someone's whore.

John Irving
Everyone has a right to be a little happy, asshole.

Everyone has a right to be a little happy, asshole.

John Irving
In this dirty-minded world you are either somebody's wife or somebody's whore, or fast on your way to becoming one or the other.

In this dirty-minded world you are either somebody's wife or somebody's whore, or fast on your way to becoming one or the other.

John Irving
The arrangements that couples make in order to maintain civility in the midst of their journey to divorce are often most elaborate when the professed top priority is to protect a child.

The arrangements that couples make in order to maintain civility in the midst of their journey to divorce are often most elaborate when the professed top priority is to protect a child.

John Irving
Death, it seems,

Death, it seems," Garp wrote, "does not like to wait until we are prepared for it. Death is indulgent and enjoys, when it can, a flair for the dramatic.

John Irving
A woman half dressed seemed to have some power, but a man was simply not as handsome as when he was naked, and not as secure as when he was clothed.

A woman half dressed seemed to have some power, but a man was simply not as handsome as when he was naked, and not as secure as when he was clothed.

John Irving
If we live long enough, we become caricatures of ourselves.

If we live long enough, we become caricatures of ourselves.

John Irving
This is a writer’s lesson: 
To learn that the sounds that we imagine can be the clearest, loudest sounds of all.

This is a writer’s lesson: To learn that the sounds that we imagine can be the clearest, loudest sounds of all.

John Irving
And when you love a book, commit one glorious sentence of it-perhaps your favorite sentence-to memory. That way you won't forget the language of the story that moved you to tears.

And when you love a book, commit one glorious sentence of it-perhaps your favorite sentence-to memory. That way you won't forget the language of the story that moved you to tears.

John Irving
Everybody dies … The thing is, to have a life before we die.

Everybody dies … The thing is, to have a life before we die.

John Irving
Self-hatred is worse than loneliness.

Self-hatred is worse than loneliness.

John Irving
This was not of the nature of a Christlike lesson for Owen Meany to learn, as he lay in the manger, that someone you hate can give you a hard-on.

This was not of the nature of a Christlike lesson for Owen Meany to learn, as he lay in the manger, that someone you hate can give you a hard-on.

John Irving
…there is no straightforward negotiation with a four year old…

…there is no straightforward negotiation with a four year old…

John Irving
As it was, things went from bad to worse, as they often will when amateurs are involved in an activity that they perform in bad temper – or in a hurry.

As it was, things went from bad to worse, as they often will when amateurs are involved in an activity that they perform in bad temper – or in a hurry.

John Irving
You can't learn everything you need to know legally.

You can't learn everything you need to know legally.

John Irving
…there was no more safety to be found in love than there was to be found in a virus.

…there was no more safety to be found in love than there was to be found in a virus.

John Irving
It's not right to hurt or deceive someone who's already been hurt and deceived.

It's not right to hurt or deceive someone who's already been hurt and deceived.

John Irving
Just because you're sober, don't think you're a good driver, Cookie.

Just because you're sober, don't think you're a good driver, Cookie.

John Irving
. . .There are moments when time does stop. We must be alert enough to notice such moments . . .

. . .There are moments when time does stop. We must be alert enough to notice such moments . . .

John Irving
(Baseball) is a game with a lot of waiting in it; it is a game with increasingly heightened anticipation of increasingly limited action

(Baseball) is a game with a lot of waiting in it; it is a game with increasingly heightened anticipation of increasingly limited action

John Irving
Don’t you understand?” he would say, “You imagine the story better than I remember it.

Don’t you understand?” he would say, “You imagine the story better than I remember it.

John Irving
Lilly was not crazy. She left a serious suicide note.
'Sorry,' said the note.
'Just not big enough.

Lilly was not crazy. She left a serious suicide note. 'Sorry,' said the note. 'Just not big enough.

John Irving
Maybe television causes cancer, Garp thinks; but his real irritation is a writer's irritation: he knows that wherever the TV glows, there sits someone who isn't reading.

Maybe television causes cancer, Garp thinks; but his real irritation is a writer's irritation: he knows that wherever the TV glows, there sits someone who isn't reading.

John Irving
You cannot drive with your eyes in the rear-view mirror… But dignity is difficult to maintain. Stamina requires constant upkeep. Repetition is boring. And you pay for grace.

You cannot drive with your eyes in the rear-view mirror… But dignity is difficult to maintain. Stamina requires constant upkeep. Repetition is boring. And you pay for grace.

John Irving
Whereas she wished more of the population were better educated, she also believed that education was largely wasted on the majority of the people she met.

Whereas she wished more of the population were better educated, she also believed that education was largely wasted on the majority of the people she met.

John Irving
In this world,” Franny once observed, “just as you’re trying to think of yourself as memorable, there is always someone who forgets that that they have met you.

In this world,” Franny once observed, “just as you’re trying to think of yourself as memorable, there is always someone who forgets that that they have met you.

John Irving
If I had to be anything,

If I had to be anything," he told her, "I'd probably be a socialist, but I don't want to be anything.

John Irving
Nothing bears out in practice what it promises incipiently.

Nothing bears out in practice what it promises incipiently.

John Irving
The lie, of course, is more interesting.

The lie, of course, is more interesting.

John Irving
I don't want you to describe to me—not ever—what you were doing to that poor boy to make him sound like that; but if you ever do it again, please cover his mouth with your hand.

I don't want you to describe to me—not ever—what you were doing to that poor boy to make him sound like that; but if you ever do it again, please cover his mouth with your hand.

John Irving
Being wrong about important things is exhausting.

Being wrong about important things is exhausting.

John Irving
He had in abundance youth’s most dangerous qualities: optimism and relentlessness. He would risk everything he had to fly the plane that could carry the bomb within him.

He had in abundance youth’s most dangerous qualities: optimism and relentlessness. He would risk everything he had to fly the plane that could carry the bomb within him.

John Irving
But writers, Garp knew, were just observers - good and ruthless imitators of human behavior.

But writers, Garp knew, were just observers - good and ruthless imitators of human behavior.

John Irving
Being reviewed is being condescended to by your inferiors.

Being reviewed is being condescended to by your inferiors.

John Irving
I think about you more and more, but I don't waste my time - or yours - thinking about who you were before I knew you.

I think about you more and more, but I don't waste my time - or yours - thinking about who you were before I knew you.

John Irving
The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.

The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.

John Irving
If pride is a sin ... moral pride is the greatest sin.

If pride is a sin ... moral pride is the greatest sin.

John Irving
The gardener had a dread of small women; he'd always imagined them to have an anger disproportionate to their size.

The gardener had a dread of small women; he'd always imagined them to have an anger disproportionate to their size.

John Irving
Garp drank the beer and wondered if everything was an anticlimax..

Garp drank the beer and wondered if everything was an anticlimax..

John Irving
Gender mattered a whole lot less to Shakespeare than it seems to matter to us.

Gender mattered a whole lot less to Shakespeare than it seems to matter to us.

John Irving
My brain is sending poison to my heart.

My brain is sending poison to my heart.

John Irving
Children are most impressed with the importance of a moment when they witness a parent breaking the parents' own rule.

Children are most impressed with the importance of a moment when they witness a parent breaking the parents' own rule.

John Irving