Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol

American Novelist

Author Quotes

The great menace to the life of an industry is industrial self-complacency.

Beauty is a question of optics. All sight is illusion.

We inhabit ourselves without valuing ourselves, unable to see that here, now,
this very moment is sacred; but once it’s gone – its value is incontestable.

Love commingled with hate is more powerful than love. Or hate.

We are linked by blood, and blood is memory without language.

"Keeping busy" is the remedy for all the ills in America. It's also the means by which the creative impulse is destroyed.

Writing is a consequence of having been 'haunted' by material. Why this is, no one knows.

I had forgotten that time wasn't fixed like concrete but in fact was fluid as sand, or water. I had forgotten that even misery can end.

My belief is that art should not be comforting; for comfort, we have mass entertainment and one another. Art should provoke, disturb, arouse our emotions, expand our sympathies in directions we may not anticipate and may not even wish.

Loneliness is like starvation: you don't realize how hungry you are until you begin to eat.

A daydreamer is prepared for most things.

The strangeness of Time. Not in its passing, which can seem infinite, like a tunnel whose end you can't see, whose beginning you've forgotten, but in the sudden realization that something finite, has passed, and is irretrievable.

The worst thing: to give yourself away in exchange for not enough love.

The best revenge is living well without you.

I never change, I simply become more myself.

Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.

The worst cynicism: a belief in luck.

Loneliness is dangerous… because if loneliness does not lead to God, it leads to the devil. It leads to the self.

We’re here to feel the joy of life pulsing in us - now.

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Joyce Carol
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American Novelist