The thing is to be happy, no matter what. Just try that. You can. It gets to be easier and easier. It's nothing to do with circumstances. You wouldn't believe how good it is. Accept everything and then tragedy disappears. Or tragedy lightens, anyway, you're just there, going along easy in the world.— Alice Munro
The most seductive Alice Munro quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
The complexity of things - the things within things - just seems to be endless.
I mean nothing is easy, nothing is simple.
People are curious. A few people are. ... They will put things together, knowing all along that they may be mistaken. You see them going around with notebooks, scraping the dirt off gravestones, reading microfilm, just in the hope of seeing this trickle in time, making a connection, rescuing one thing from the rubbish.
We say of some things that they can't be forgiven, or that we will never forgive ourselves. But we do-we do it all the time.
My head was a magpie's nest lined with such bright scraps of information.
Never underestimate the meanness in people's souls.
.. Even when they're being kind... especially when they're being kind.
I want the reader to feel something is astonishing.
Not the 'what happens,' but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do that best, for me.
Anecdotes don't make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about.
His face contained for me all possibilities of fierceness and sweetness, pride and submissiveness, violence, self-containment. I never saw more in it than I had when I saw it first, because I saw everything then. The whole thing in him that I was going to love, and never catch or explain.
I can't play bridge. I don't play tennis. All those things that people learn, and I admire, there hasn't seemed time for. But what there is time for is looking out the window.
I loved taking off. In my own house, I seemed to be often looking for a place to hide - sometimes from the children but more often from the jobs to be done and the phone ringing and the sociability of the neighborhood. I wanted to hide so that I could get busy at my real work, which was a sort of wooing of distant parts of myself.
Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories - and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.
But I never cleaned thoroughly enough, my reorganization proved to be haphazard, the disgraces came unfailingly to light, and it was clear how we failed, how disastrously we fell short of that ideal of order and cleanliness, household decency which I as much as anybody else believed in.
A story ... has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.
Moments of kindness and reconciliation are worth having, even if the parting has to come sooner or later.
It must have meant something, though, that at this turn of my life I grabbed up a book. Because it was in books that I would find, for the next few years, my lovers. They were men, not boys. They were self-possessed and sardonic, with a ferocious streak in them, reserves of gloom.
people who believe in miracles do not make much fuss when they actually encounter one
If I decided to send this to you, where would I send it? When I think of writing the whole address on the envelope I am paralyzed. It's too painful to think of you in the same place with your life going on in the same way, minus me. And to think of you not there, you somewhere else but I don't know where that is, is worse.
In my own work, I tend to cover a lot of time and to jump back and forward in time, and sometimes the way I do this is not very straightforward.
The images, the language, of pornography, and romance are alike;
monotonous and mechanically seductive, quickly leading to despair.
Who can ever say the perfect thing to the poet about his poetry?
As soon as a man and woman of almost any age are alone together within four walls it is assumed that anything may happen. Spontaneous combustion, instant fornication, triumph of the senses. What possibilities men and women must see in each other to infer such dangers. Or, believing in the dangers, how often they must think about the possibilities.
Why is it a surprise to find that people other than ourselves are able to tell lies?
I sit watching the brown oceanic waves of dry country rising into the foothills and I weep monotonously, seasickly. Life is not like the dim ironic stories I like to read, it is like a daytime serial on television. The banality will make you weep as much as anything else.
I felt in him what women feel in men, something so tender, swollen, tyrannical, absurd; I would never take the consequences of interfering with it.
The stories are not autobiographical, but they're personal in that way.
I seem to know only the things that I've learned. Probably some things through observation, but what I feel I know surely is personal.
It's certainly true that when I was young, writing seemed to me so important that I would have sacrificed almost anything to it ... Because I thought of the world in which I wrote -- the world I created -- as somehow much more enormously alive than the world I was actually living in.
Usually, I have a lot of acquaintance with the story before I start writing it.
When I didn't have regular time to give to writing, stories would just be working in my head for so long that when I started to write I was deep into them. Now, I do that work by filling notebooks.
This is the way you look at the poorest details of the world resurfaced, after you've been driving for a long time -- you feel their singleness and precise location and the forlorn coincidence of you being there to see them.
Peoples lives, in Jubilee as elsewhere, were dull, simple, amazing, unfathomable-deep caves paved with kitchen linoleum. . . . What I wanted [to write down] was every last thing, every layer of speech and thought, stroke of light on bark or walls, every smell, pothole, pain, crack, delusion, held still and held together-radiant, everlasting.
It almost seemed as if there must be some random and of course unfair thrift in the emotional housekeeping of the world, if the great happiness--however temporary, however flimsy--of one person could come out of the great unhappiness of another.
Sometimes I get the start of a story from a memory, an anecdote, but that gets lost and is usually unrecognizable in the final story.
The deep, personal material of the latter half of your life is your children.
You can write about your parents when they're gone, but your children are still going to be here, and you're going to want them to come and visit you in the nursing home.
People’s lives, in Jubilee as elsewhere, were dull, simple, amazing, and unfathomable – deep caves paved with kitchen linoleum.
Things have changed, ofcourse. There are counsellors at the ready. Kindness and understanding. Life is harder for some, we're told. Not their fault, even if the blows are purely imgainery. Felt just as keenly by the recipient, or the non recipient, as the case may be. But good use can be made of everything, if you are willing.
I would have a flick of fear, as in a dream when you find yourself in the wrong building or have forgotten the time for the exam and understand that this is only the tip of some shadowy cataclysm or lifelong mistake.
Hatred is always a sin, my mother told me.
Remember that. One drop of hatred in your soul will spread and discolor everything like a drop of black ink in white milk. I was struck by that and meant to try it, but knew I shouldn’t waste the milk.
It was at this time that she entirely gave up on reading.
The covers of books looked like coffins to her, either shabby or ornate, and what was inside them might as well have been dust.
What if people really did that - sent their love through the mail to get rid of it? What would it be that they sent? A box of chocolates with centers like the yolks of turkey eggs. A mud doll with hollow eye sockets. A heap of roses slightly more fragrant than rotten. A package wrapped in bloody newspaper that nobody would want to open.
I read a book called The Art of Loving.
A lot of things seemed clear while I was reading it but afterwards I went back to being more or less the same.
I saw how the forms of love might be maintained with a condemned person but with the love in fact measured and disciplined, because you have to survive. It could be done so discreetly that the object of such care would not suspect, any more than she would suspect the sentence of death itself.
That's something I think is growing on me as I get older: happy endings.
Row, row, row your boat. Gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
Speculation can be more gentle, can take its time, when it is not driven by desire.
The constant happiness is curiosity.
What she wants to do if she can get the time to do it, is not so much to live in the past as to open it up and get one good look at it".
The skin of everyday appearances stretched over such shamelessness, such consuming explosions of lust.
Few people, very few, have a treasure, and if you do you must hang onto it.
You must not let yourself be waylaid, and have it taken from you.
Now i no longer believe that people's secrets are defined and communicable, or their feelings full-blown and easy to recognize.
Country manners. Even if somebody phones up to tell you your house is burning down, they ask first how you are.