American Novelist, Short-Story Writer and Dramatist
Thomas Wolfe, fully Thomas Clayton Wolfe
American Novelist, Short-Story Writer and Dramatist
Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America - that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement. At any rate, that is how it seemed to young George Webber, who was never so assured of his purpose as when he was going somewhere on a train. And he never had the sense of home so much as when he felt that he was going there. It was only when he got there that his homelessness began.
The notion that the public accepts or rejects anything in modern art is merely romantic fiction. The game is completed and the trophies distributed long before the public knows what has happened.
There is something sad and terrifying about big families.
Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone? O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When? O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.
A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.
Death the last voyage, the longest, and the best.
I hate people who say they have no fear of death. They are liars, and fools, and hypocrites.
Loneliness is and always has been the central and inevitable experience of every man.
Play us a tune on an unbroken spinet, and let the bells ring, let the bells ring! Play music now: play us a tune on an unbroken spinet. Do not make echoes of forgotten time, do not strike music from old broken keys, do not make ghosts with faded tinklings on the yellowed board; but play us a tune on an unbroken spinet, play lively music when the instrument was new, let us see Mozart playing in the parlor, and let us hear the sound of the ladies' voices. But more than that; waken the turmoil of forgotten streets, let us hear their sounds again unmuted, and unchanged by time, throw the light of Wednesday morning on the Third Crusade, and let us see Athens on an average day.
The old church, with its sharp steeple, rotted slowly, decently, prosperously, like a good man's wife.
They belonged to that futile, desolate, and forsaken horde who felt that all will be well with their lives, that all the power they lack themselves will be supplied, and all the anguish, fury, and unrest, the confusion and the dark damnation of man's soul can magically be healed if only they eat bran for breakfast.
Writing is easy. Just put a sheet of paper in the typewriter and start bleeding.
A stone, a leaf, an unfound door; of a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces. Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb we did not know our mother's face; from the prison of her flesh we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth. Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father's heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone? O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When? O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.
Duh poor guy!... Maybe he's found out by now dat he'll neveh live long enough to know duh whole of Brooklyn. It'd take a guy a lifetime to know Brooklyn t'roo an' t'roo. An' even den, yuh wouldn't know it all.
I have come to know that the miracle rarely happens in human affairs; Lazarus is uncured and bleeds from his sores.
Love is the ultimate expression of the will to live.
Publishing is a very mysterious business. It is hard to predict what kind of sale or reception a book will have, and advertising seems to do very little good.
The old hunger for voyages fed at his heart....To go alone...into strange cities; to meet strange people and to pass again before they could know him; to wander, like his own legend, across the earth--it seemed to him there could be no better thing than that.
This great city has fed my imagination ? it has allowed me to dream.
You ask me again if I look upon writing as an escape from reality: in no sense of the word does it seem to me to be escape from reality; I should rather say that it is an attempt to approach and penetrate reality.
About fifteen years ago, at the end of the second decade of this century, four people were standing together on the platform of the railway station of a town in the hills of western Catawba.
Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years. The minute-winning days, like flies, buzz home to death, and every moment is a window on all time.
I have to see a thing a thousand times before I see it once.
Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don?t freeze up.
Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later...that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life. The Bonfire of the Vanities