98 Top Shirley Jackson Quotes That You Must Bookmark
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Shirley Jackson was an American writer famous for her short story “The Lottery” and the novel “The Haunting of the Hill House”; which were acclaimed to be the best ghost stories ever. Instigating fear among the readers became the trademark of Shirley. She went on to win the coveted National Book Award and several Best American Short Stories awards in the process. Her work was not autobiographical in nature by any means as she believed that such type of writing only produced bare chronological facts with no pertinent facts. The Shirley Jackson Award was instituted in her honor to award exceptional achievement in English Literature in the horror and suspense genre. Since 2015, North Bennington celebrates June 27 as “Shirley Jackson Day”. Shirley shared her wisdom and thoughts on several things through her writings. We have collected Shirley’s quotes on books, children, dreams, hills, house, moon, morning, summer, writing, stories etc from her writings. Following are some of her most famous quotes .
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality. A pretty sight, a lady with a book. On the moon we wore feathers in our hair, and rubies on our hands. On the moon we had gold spoons. Am I walking toward something I should be running away from? I delight in what I fear. I can't help it when people are frightened," says Merricat. "I always want to frighten them more. I am like a small creature swallowed whole by a monster, she thought, and the monster feels my tiny little movements inside. Fate intervened. Some of us, that day, she led inexorably through the gates of death. Some of us, innocent and unsuspecting, took, unwillingly, that one last step to oblivion. Some of us took very little sugar. So long as you write it away regularly nothing can really hurt you. All cat stories start with this statement: "My mother, who was the first cat, told me this... I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I was pretending that I did not speak their language; on the moon we spoke a soft, liquid tongue, and sang in the starlight, looking down on the dead dried world. We eat the year away. We eat the spring and the summer and the fall. We wait for something to grow and then we eat it. Fear," the doctor said, "is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway. You will be wondering about that sugar bowl, I imagine, is it still in use? You are wondering, has it been cleaned? You may very well ask, was it thoroughly washed? There had not been this many words sounded in our house for a long time, and it was going to take a while to clean them out. I'm going to put death in all their food and watch them die. I shall weave a suit of leaves. At once. With acorns for buttons. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone. Poor strangers, they have so much to be afraid of. All I could think of when I got a look at the place from the outside was what fun it would be to stand out there and watch it burn down. When shall we live if not now? On the moon we have everything. Lettuce, and pumpkin pie and Amanita phalloides. We have cat-furred plants and horses dancing with their wings. All the locks are solid and tight, and there are no ghosts. Gossip says she hanged herself from the turret on the tower, but when you have a house like Hill House with a tower and a turret, gossip would hardly allow you to hang yourself anywhere else. Hill House, she thought, You're as hard to get into as heaven. No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. I wonder if I could eat a child if I had the chance.'
'I doubt if I could cook one,' said Constance. God! Whose hand was I holding? No, the menace of the supernatural is that it attacks where modern minds are weakest, where we have abandoned our protective armor of superstition and have no substitute defense. Oh Constance, we are so happy. Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones. In the country of the story the writer is king. Why do people want to talk to each other? I mean, what are the things people always want to find out about other people? Let him be wise, or let me be blind; don't let me, she hoped concretely, don't let me know too surely what he thinks of me. We moved together very slowly toward the house, trying to understand its ugliness and ruin and shame. Materializations are often best produced in rooms where there are books. I cannot think of any time when materialization was in any way hampered by the presence of books. I would have to find something else to bury here and I wished it could be Charles. Don't do it, Eleanor told the little girl; insist on your cup
of stars; once they have trapped you into being like everyone
else you will never see your cup of stars again I have always loved to use fear, to take it and comprehend it and make it work and consolidate a situation where I was afraid and take it whole and work from there. Today my winged horse is coming and I am carrying you off to the moon and on the moon we will eat rose petals. It watches," he added suddenly. "The house. It watches every move you make. Wear your boots if you wander today Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep? Down in the boneyard ten feet deep! He is altogether selfish, she thought in some surprise, the only man I have ever sat and talked to alone, and I am impatient; he is simply not very interesting. Can't you make them stop?' I asked her that day, wondering if there was anything in this woman I could speak to, if she had ever run joyfully over grass, or had watched flowers, or known delight or love. When Jim Donell thought of something to say he said it as often and in as many ways as possible, perhaps because he had very few ideas and had to wring each one dry. You never know what you are going to want until you see it clearly. I looked at the clock with the faint unconscious hope common to all mothers that time will somehow have passed magically away and the next time you look it will be bedtime. ...you’d think my own face would know me... Everything that makes the world like it is now will be gone. We'll have new rules and new ways of living. Maybe there'll be a law not to live in houses, so then no one can hide from anyone else, you see. No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, but some, to dream. Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea?
Oh no, said Merricat, you’ll poison me.
Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep?
Down in the boneyard ten feet deep! Elizabeth, Beth, Betsy, and Bess, they all went together to find a bird's nest... Upstairs Margaret said abruptly, 'I suppose it starts to happen first in the suburbs,' and when Brad said, 'What starts to happen?' she said hysterically, 'People starting to come apart. It is only with the eyes open that a corporeal form returns, and assembles itself firmly around the hard core of sight. What are you reading, my dear? A pretty sight, a lady with a book. Sister's gone to school," I said to Sally.
"Ah," said Sally. "And will she come home again? When we had neatened the upstairs rooms we came downstairs together, carrying our dustcloths and the broom and dustpan and mop like a pair of witches walking home. My dear, how can I make you perceive that there is no danger where there is nothing but love and understanding? Fear and guilt are sisters; We started out making men in about the state of mind which I suppose created them in the first place -- we had run out of kinds of women, and had to think of something else. People,” the doctor said sadly, “are always so anxious to get things out into the open where they can put a name to them, even a meaningless name, so long as it has something of a scientific ring. Everything is worse...if you think something is looking at you. I suppose the mothers of most twelve-year-old boys live with the uneasy conviction that their sons are embarked upon a secret life of crime. People who are all alone have every right to be friends with one another.
("The Honeymoon Of Mrs. Smith" - Version 1) Now, I have nothing against the public school system as it is presently organized, once you allow the humor of its basic assumption about how it is possible to teach things to children.... I decided that I would choose three powerful words, words of strong protection, and so long as these great words were never spoken aloud no change would come. I disliked having a fork pointed at me and I disliked the sound of the voice never stopping; I wished he would put food on the fork and put it into his mouth and strangle himself. The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain,” said Lord Byron, Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Duty and conscience were, for Theodora, attributes which belonged properly to Girl Scouts. Say Morg--you mind if I use the rest of your bath salts? There's only a little left. I clear breakfast at ten o'clock. I set on lunch at one. Dinner I set on at six. It's ten o'clock. When they were silent for a moment the quiet weight of the house pressed down from all around them. ...remember the metallic sound and taste of all of it. And the outrage. It was as though the people needed the ugliness of the village, and fed on it. The houses and the stores seemed to have been set up in contemptuous haste to provide shelter for the drab and the unpleasant. I loathe writing autobiographical material because if it's dull no-one should have to read it anyway, and if it's interesting I should be using it for a story. It is not possible, I frequently think, to walk down the street as fast as you can and kick yourself at the same time. I assume then, that you have no real faith in the fondness any of the rest of us may feel for you?'
'None,' said Mrs. Halloran. He was scrupulous about the use of his title because, his investigations being so utterly unscientific, he hoped to borrow an air of respectability, even scholarly authority, from his education. Journeys end in lovers meeting I would not forget my magic words; they were MELODY GLOUCESTER PEGASUS, but I refused to let them into my mind. I am going to put death in all their food and watch them die. In delay there lies no plenty. The least Charles could have done,' Constance said, considering seriously, 'was shoot himself through the head in the driveway. To learn what we fear is to learn who we are. Horror defies our boundaries and illuminates our souls. Fear is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway, Bow all your heads to our adored Mary Katherine. I shall commence, I think, with a slight exaggeration and go on from there into an outright lie. Well, she asked, how do you gentlemen like living in a haunted house?
It's perfectly fine, Luke said, perfectly fine. It gives me an excuse to have a drink in the middle of the night. The house was vile. She shivered and thought, the words coming freely into her mind, Hill House is vile, it is diseased; get away from here at once.
I hated them anyway, and wondered why it had been worth while creating them in the first place.
I live a mad, abandoned life, draped in a shawl and going from garret to garret.
We are all measured, good or evil, by the wrong we do to others;
In the darkness their feet felt that they were going downhill, and each privately and perversely accused the other of taking, deliberately, a path they had followed together once before in happiness.
She brought herself away from the disagreeably clinging thought by her usual method - imagining the sweet sharp sensation of being burned alive.
Good morning, Jonas. You are a furred lead, I think. We started out making men in about the state of mind which I suppose created them in the first place—we had run out of kinds of women, and had to think of something else.