100 Top Wallace Stegner Quotes To Learn From
Founder / Co Founder:
Committee for Green Foothills
Wallace Earle Stegner, well-known as the ‘Dean of Western Writers’, was an American historian, environmentalists, novelist and short story writer who encourage the need for preserving the West in younger generation of authors. This world-famous author received Commonwealth Club Gold Medal for ‘
All the Little live Things’ (1967), Pulitzer Prize for ‘ Angle of Repose’ (1972) and the U.S. National Book Award for The Spectator Bird (1977).It’s unfair to categorize him as merely a ‘western writer’. His works cover both non-fiction and fiction ideas upholding conservation ideals. Books like Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, The Big Rock Candy Mountain, Living and Writing in the West and Beyond the Hundredth Meridian earned him millions of followers in his life time. A collection of short essays on significant issues earned him the famous National Book Critics Circle nomination. Stegner believed a fiction writer has no other agenda but to tell truth. This ideology inspired several aspiring American writers to seek and present their own version of truth in their writing. Having a flair for reading writing and researching, Stegner wanted to belong to something and he did, to Western environment, history and culture. We have collected his quotes from his most popular works and writings. Here is a collection of best Wallace Earle Stegner quotes!
Most things break, including hearts. The lessons of life amount not to
wisdom, but to scar tissue and callus. Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend. Wisdom. . .is knowing what you have to accept. It is an easy mistake to think that non-talkers are non-feelers. It is the beginning of wisdom when you recognize that the best you can do is choose which rules you want to live by, and it's persistent and aggravated imbecility to pretend you can live without any. The lessons of life amount not to wisdom, but to scar tissue and callus. He used to tell me, 'Do what you like to do. It'll probably turn out to be what you do best. There it was, there it is, the place where during the best time of our lives friendship had its home and happiness its headquarters. Be proud of every scar on your heart, each one holds a lifetime’s worth of lessons. She had rooms in her mind that she would not look into. There is a sense in which we are all each other's consequences. We write to make sense of it all. Youth hasn't got anything to do with chronological age. It's times of hope and happiness. 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. Towns are like people. Old ones often have character, the new ones are interchangeable. I shall be richer all my life for this sorrow Our last impression of her as she turned the corner was that smile, flung backward like a handful of flowers. Do we respond only to people who seem to find us interesting? In a way, it is beautiful to be young and hard up. With the right wife, and I had her, deprivation became a game. You can't retire to weakness -- you've got to learn to control strength. It is love and friendship, the sanctity and celebration of our relationships, that not only support a good life, but create one. Through friendships, we spark and inspire one another's ambitions. Wherever you find the greatest good, you will find the greatest evil, because evil loves paradise as much as good. 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. Hope was always out ahead of fact, possibility obscured the outlines of reality. A writer is an organism that will go on writing even after its heart has been cut out. It's easier to die than to move ... at least for the Other Side you don't need trunks. Faith can reclaim deserts as well as move mountains. We are fossils in the making. The perfect weather of Indian Summer lengthened and lingered, warm sunny days were followed by brisk nights with Halloween a presentiment in the air. No one who has studied Western history can cling to the belief that the Nazis invented genocide. This early piece of the morning is mine. Nothing is so safe as habit, even when habit is faked. How do I know what I think till I see what I say? We made plenty of mistakes, but we never tripped anybody to gain an advantage, or took illegal shortcuts when no judge was around. We have all jogged and panted it out the whole way. Creation is a knack which is empowered by practice, and like almost any skill, it is lost if you don't practice it. It is almost impossible to write fiction about the Mormons, for the reason that Mormon institutions and Mormon society are so peculiar that they call for constant explanation. Hard writing makes easy reading. 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. 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. I hope they have found enough pleasure along the way so that they don't want it ended His clock was set on pioneer time. He met trains that had not yet arrived, he waited on platforms that hadn't yet been built, beside tracks that might never be laid. [I]t is dangerous for a bride to be apologetic about her husband. To have so little, and it of so little value, was to be quaintly free. Are writers reporters, prophets, crazies, entertainers, preachers, judges, what? There is nothing like a doorbell to precipitate the potential into the kinetic. Survival, it is called. Often it is accidental, sometimes it is engineered by creatures or forces that we have no conception of, always it is temporary. Sally has a smile I would accept as my last view on earth,.. It happens that I despise that locution, "having sex," which describes something a good deal more mechanical than making love and a good deal less fun than fucking. Satisfying natural desires is fine, but natural desires have a way of being both competitive and consequential. The air is so crisp it gives me a brief, delusive sense of health and youth.
those I don't have but I have learned not to scorn the substitutes: quiet, plenty of time, and a job to spend it on. She was so old, she would have had to be dated by carbon 14. When you marry into a Mormon family you marry tribes and nations. There is no way to step off the tread mill. It is all treadmill. There is some history that I want not to have happened. I resist the consequences of being Nemesis. ...you must have brought something. Books? I never saw you without a green bag of books. 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. Wisdom is knowing what you can accept. After a day and a half or so the traveler will realize that crossing the continent by Interstate he gets to know the country about as well as a cable messenger knows the sea bottom. National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst. He looks into his Dixie cup and looks back up as if surprised at what he found there. The future, maybe. It is not queer, and both desolating and comforting, how, with all associations broken, one forms new ones, as a broken bone thickens in healing. We were two of a kind, the only difference being that he was reverential before all the traditional word magic, and I would steal it if I could. He came to the tradition as a pilgrim, I as a pickpocket. Poetry ought to be a by-product of living, and you can't have a by-product unless you've got a product first. Buenos dias," she said in response to Hernandez's soft greeting. They had a pact to speak only Spanish to each other, with the result that their conversation never got beyond hello and good-bye. What if I can't turn my head? I can look in any direction by turning my wheelchair, and I choose to look back. Rodman to the contrary notwithstanding, that is the only direction we can learn from. He still wore, in the warming barracks, a muskrat cap with earlaps. Under it his eyes were gray as agates, as sudden as an elbow in the solar plexus. Youth hasn’t got anything to do with chronological age. It’s times of hope and happiness. There is a sense in which we are all each other’s consequences. Well, there's so much to read, and I'm so far behind. The meeting of writer and reader is an intimate act, and it properly takes place in private. Sally has a smile I would accept as my last view of earth, but it has a certain distance about it, it is under control, you can see her head going on working behind it. As moonlight unto sunlight is that desert sage to other greens. Anyone who reads, even one from the remote Southwest at the far end of an attenuated tradition, is to some extent a citizen of the world, and I had been a hungry reader all my life. What little strength he had left flowed out of him and was soaked up; his bones and veins and skin held nothing but tiredness and pain. Habit is my true, my wedded wife. She was still developing her sundial theory of art, which would count no hours but the sunny ones. Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed. Mexico was an interlude of magic between a chapter of defeats and an unturned page. A poet is somebody who has written a poem. Their humor is underdog humor, a put-down of what is more powerful than they. This place is like the back entrance to a black cow. Maybe we were the Diggers of literature. We’re all tougher than we think we are. We’re fixed so that almost anything heals. If you wanted something, you planned for it, worked for it, and made it happen. In my experience, the world's happiest man is a young professor building bookcases. Children from a big family have the benefit of a certain amount of neglect. If you avoid the killer diseases and keep the degenerative ones under control with sensible diet and exercise and whatever chemotherapy you need to stay in balance, you can live nearly forever. I tell him I am proud of his genius for construction, but he says he has no genius for anything, he just never knows when he is beaten. 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. Poems ought to reflect the work the poet does, and his relationships with other people, and family, and institutions, and organization.
A poem isn't selfish. It speaks to people.
When we’re young, we take so casually every sacrifice offered by the old.
For history is a pontoon bridge. Every man walks and works at its building end, and has come as far as he has over the pontoons laid by others he may never have heard of.
When you’re nailing a custard pie to the wall, and it starts to wilt, it doesn’t do any good to hammer in more nails.” Now
The clear lesson of New England’s history is that when there are not enough suitable men around to run the world, women are perfectly capable of doing so.
Where do I belong in this country? Where is home? He says that when asked if he feels like an old man he replies that he does not, he feels like a young man