Eudora Welty (b. Apr 13): “If you haven’t surprised yourself, you haven’t written.”

13 Apr

welty

Eudora Welty (born 13 April 1909, died 23 July 2001) was an American author of short stories and novels about the American South. Her novel The Optimist’s Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973.

Quotes:

  1. Human life is fiction’s only theme.
  2. If you haven’t surprised yourself, you haven’t written.
  3. A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.
  4. It doesn’t matter if it takes a long time getting there; the point is to have a destination.
  5. Learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.
  6. I’m a writer who came from a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.
  7. Writing a story or a novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer’s own life.
  8. It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. 
  9. Gardening is akin to writing stories. No experience could have taught me more about grief or flowers, about achieving survival by going, your fingers in the ground, the limit of physical exhaustion.
  10. Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.

 

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