Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people.— Andre Dubus
The most profound Andre Dubus quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development
I see a lot of marriages crash and burn around me and my wife.
I've always been curious about how hard it is to love well and be loved.
One of the things I learned about writing a memoir is you can’t drag the reader through everything. Every human life is worth 20 memoirs.
I got a degree in sociology, didn't read much fiction in college, and I was a pretty political, left-wing type of guy. I wanted to do some kind of work in social change and make things better for the poor man, and I was very romantic and passionate about it.
I have always known that writing fiction had little effect on the world;
that if it did, young men would not have gone to war after The Iliad.
We are all living this dance and it is clearly fraught with making choices.
Lots of my choices are bad and that's normal. None of us are attractive at all times. What is attractive to me is authenticity.
As a young victim of bullying and then, later, a vindictive perpetrator of violence myself, I've known both sides of this experience, and I tried very hard in the writing here to be as absolutely honest as I possibly could, to not romanticize myself or my past actions or cowardly inactions in any way.
What's so exciting and terrifying about the writing process is that it really is an act of exploration and discovery. With all of us, not just writers, there is a sort of knowledge of the other. We have a lot more in common than we realize, and I think writing is really a sustained act of empathy.
I work out four days a week in the off-season, and in the warm, running weather months, I do five days. A push/pull regime of weightlifting, cycling, and the occasional Saturday or Sunday run with my oldest son, even if it's cold out.
There are some beautiful books out there.
But the ones that leave me cold are the ones where I feel—it’s that postmodern thing—it’s more experimentation with language than it is a deep compassionate falling into another human being’s experience.
I read poetry every day. I love the boiled down essence of poetry. I look for poetry in prose. In a way that evocative.
Don't quit. It's very easy to quit during the first 10 years. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it's very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can't get fired if you don't write, and most of the time you don't get rewarded if you do. But don't quit.
The truth is life is full of joy and full of great sorrow, but you can't have one without the other.
I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that's the job of art.
I love the earth too much to contemplate a life apart from it, although I believe in that life.
I feel that writers think with their noses to the ground, and the dark stuff kind of comes to me more, even though I really am sort of an upbeat guy. It's an honest descent into darkness. And you can't have the joy without the grief - it's why we listen to Mozart's 'Requiem.'
I think what I love most about writing is that feeling that you really nailed something. I rarely feel it with a whole piece, but sometimes with a line you feel that it really captured what it is that you had inside you and you got it out for a stranger to read, someone who may never love you or meet you, but he or she is going to get that experience from that line.
I was always a sensitive, sweet kid, but I got brutalized and I became brutal.
And frankly, I don't think it was my natural makeup. I don't think its anyone's natural makeup to be a violent brawler.
Romance dies hard, because its very nature is to want to live.
People fascinate the hell out of me. I never get tired of watching people, listening to people. The best part is not getting up in front of people but meeting people.
Even a day writing badly for me is 10 times better than a day where I don’t write at all.
I wonder if politicians know less about the land, now that they campaign by air.
I've had a lot of glamour come my way in the last 10 years - you know, movie stars and mansions and red carpets and trips to Europe and crazy stuff I never would have imagined - and I look at them as if I'm the bartender in the corner of the room. They've never gone into my psyche. I look at them with distance, and wonder.
Teaching well draws from the same well that writing draws from: the reserves of compassion and ability to listen and concentrate on another. So I have to have fine line between teaching and writing. I try not to ever think of career. I just try to go to the dream world every day.
I love short stories because I believe they are the way we live.
Travel by air is not travel at all, but simply a change of location;
so my wife and daughter and I went to San Francisco by train, leaving Boston on a Wednesday morning in June and, then after lunch in New York, boarding Amtrak's Broadway to Chicago.
It is not hard to live through a day, if you can live through a moment.
After the dead are buried, after the physical pain of grief has become a permanent wound in the soul, then comes the transcendent and common bond of human suffering, and with that comes forgiveness, and with forgiveness comes love.
Wanting to know absolutely what a story is about, and to be able to say it in a few sentences, is dangerous: it can lead us to wanting to possess a story as we possess a cup... A story can always break into pieces while it sits inside a book on a shelf; and, decades after we have read it even twenty times, it can open us up, by cut or caress, to a new truth.
My own sense of the world is that very little is absolute or black and white or easily understood. I suppose in all my writing I'm trying to cast the reader into this spiritually ambivalent dream world, which hopefully mirrors more honestly the complex reality we find ourselves in.
It is not hard to live through a day, if you can live through a moment.
What creates despair is the imagination, which pretends there is a future, and insists on predicting millions of moments, thousands of days, and so drains you that you cannot live the moment at hand.
Short story writers simply do what human beings have always done.
They write stories because they have to; because they cannot rest until they have tried as hard as they can to write the stories. They cannot rest because they are human, and all of us need to speak into the silence of mortality, to interrupt and ever so briefly stop that quiet flow, and with stories try to understand at least some of it.
I really think that if there's any one enemy to human creativity, especially creative writing, its self-consciousness. And if you have one eye on the mirror to see how you're doing, you're not doing it as well as you can. Don't think about publishing, don't think about editors, don't think about marketplace.
And I felt more like me than I ever had, as if the years I'd lived so far had formed layers of skin and muscle over myself that others saw as me when the real one had been underneath all along, and I knew writing- even writing badly- had peeled away those layers, and I knew then that if I wanted to stay awake and alive, if I wanted to stay me, I would have to keep writing.
If you don't put 99 percent of yourself into the writing, there will be no publishing career. There's the writer and there's the author. The author - you don't ever think about the author. Just think about the writer. So my advice would be, find a way to not care - easier said than done.
For the twenty million Americans who are hungry tonight, for the homeless freezing tonight, literature is as useless as a knowledge of astronomy.
What is art if not a concentrated and impassioned effort to make something with the little we have, the little we see?
My dad and mom divorced when I was around ten, and I didn't live with him after that, though he was close by and we saw each other weekly. I wasn't really aware that he was a writer; I didn't start reading his writing until I was about fifteen. It occurred to me then that my dad was kind of special; he's still one of my favorite writers.
Proportion is all; and, in sports at school, I lost it by surrendering to the awful significance of my self-consciousness. Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people.
I've learned over the years that the writing is smarter and far larger than the writer and his or her own desires for it.
I think some people see those three numbers 9/ 11 and they walk away.
That might be changing now. People are more willing to step into an artistic exploration of that subject. All you can do is let it go
That was the source of my vanity and my cowardice: always I believed everyone was watching me.
Don't outline your stories. A lot of fiction workshops say you should. I say the opposite. I quote Grace Paley: "We write what we don't know we know."
Fear is a ghost; embrace your fear, and all you’ll see in your arms is yourself.
I truly believe the art's larger than the artist.
Who cares about John Steinbeck? I care about the Joad family.
For ritual allows those who cannot will themselves out of the secular to perform the spiritual, as dancing allows the tongue-tied man a ceremony of love.
I really think that if there's any one enemy to human creativity, especially creative writing, it's self-consciousness.
As a matter of writing philosophy, if there is one, I try not to ever plot a story. I try to write it from the character's point of view and see where it goes.
My mother was making $135 a week, but she had resilience and imagination.
She might take frozen vegetables, cook them with garlic, onion and Spam, and it would taste like a four-star dinner.
Writers have to be careful not to confuse personal attention with the attention that's going towards the book.