When you’re in love you don’t have to do a damn thing. You can just be. You can just stay quiet in the world. You don’t have to move an inch.

— Charles Baxter

The most powerful Charles Baxter quotes that will transform you to a better person

As my mother once said to me, ‘They’re quite crazy, dear – men are.

What you look for is one of them whose insanity is large enough, and calm and generous enough, to include you.

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Forget art. Put your trust in ice cream.

11

Say what you want about it, Hell is story-friendly.

.. The mechanisms of hell are nicely attuned to the mechanisms of narrative. Not so the pleasures of Paradise. Paradise is not a story. It's about what happens when the stories are over.

10

You are a real find and you keep me satisfied, up to a point.

After all, I'm a malcontent and you can't change that.

8

Gainfully unemployed, very proud of it, too.

6

A novel is not a summary of its plot but a collection of instances, of luminous specific details that take us in the direction of the unsaid and unseen.

5

There is no weather in malls.

5

When I'm writing, I'm waiting to see somebody, and I'm waiting to hear them.

It's almost like conjuring spirits out of the air, using your own imaginative instability.

5

What a midwesterner he was, a thoroughly unhip guy with his heart in the usual place, on the sleeve, in plain sight.

3

At its best, fiction is not a diversion but a means of knowing the world.

1

Literature is not a sack race. There aren't real winners and losers in the Republic of Letters.

1

I don't think that most women have to prove that they're real women.

You live long enough, you graduate to being real.

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About Charles Baxter

Quotes 46 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday May 13, 1947

Literature is not an instruction manual.

1

You know, there's something heartsick about parties like this.

Look at us. We're all pretending to be smart, as if intelligence were the cure for our anguish.

1

As the poet says, all happy couples are alike, it's the unhappy ones who create the stories. I'm no longer a story. Happiness has made me fade into real life.

1

Savor the imminent weirdness of the day.

1

Everybody should customize their names.

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When all the details fit in perfectly, something is probably wrong with the story.

0

When blame has been assigned, the story is over.

0

The worst mistakes I've made have been the ones directed by sweet-natured hopefulness.

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Before, I was always trying to make my relationships work by means of willpower and forced affability. This time I didn't have to strive for anything. A quality of ease spread over us.

0

Try to get your characters into interesting trouble.

Allow your characters to misbehave. Let them stay out after 11.

0

Because it is the Midwest, no one really glitters because no one has to, it's more of a dull shine, like frequently used silverware.

0

When readers don't like the book, it's usually because they feel that romantic love is pass or somehow needs more irony.

0

Every relationship has at least one really good day.

What I mean is, no matter how sour things go, there's always that day. That day is always in your possession. That's the day you remember. You get old and you think: well, at least I had that day. It happened once. You think all the variables might just line up again. But they don't. Not always. I once talked to a woman who said, "Yeah, that's the day we had an angel around.

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I feel quite at home writing short stories but nervous and anxious when writing novels, as if the bad time of consecutive failures might arise again.

0

The problem with love and God, the two of them, is how to say anything about them that doesn’t annihilate them instantly with the wrong words, with untruth. . . . In this sense, love and God are equivalents. We feel both, but because we cannot speak clearly about them, we end up–wordless, inarticulate—by denying their existence altogether, and, pfffffft, they die.

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Short story characters, mine anyway, are usually driven by impulse, not so much by their histories and the choices that they have to make.

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It's better to be nominated for awards than not to be nominated for them, but of course to some degree such awards [National Book Award] are always subjective.

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The point is that although love may die, what is said on its behalf cannot be consumed by the passage of time, and forgiveness is everything.

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When you break the heart of the philosopher, you must apply great force and cunning strategy, but when the deed is completed, the heart lies in great stony ruin at your feet. If you succeed in breaking it, the job is done once and for all. It will not be repaired.

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What's agitating about solitude is the inner voice telling you that you should be mated to somebody, that solitude is a mistake. The inner voice doesn't care about who you find. It just keeps pestering you, tormenting you.

0

In February, the overcast sky isn’t gloomy so much as neutral and vague.

It’s a significant factor in the common experience of depression among the locals. The snow crunches under your boots and clings to your trousers, to the cuffs, and once you’re inside, the snow clings to you psyche, and eventually you have to go to the doctor. The past soaks into you in this weather because the present is missing almost entirely.

0

My God, the corruptions of literature. It put all these notions into our heads.

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There is such a thing as the poetry of a mistake, and when you say, "Mistakes were made," you deprive an action of its poetry, and you sound like a weasel.

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It's my feeling that any writer can get an emotion into a story without being sentimental as long as the emotion is dealt with honestly, with sufficient clarity, and detail.

0

There's nothing to talk about to strangers anymore, if you know what I mean.

Everything I want to say, I say to her.

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The truth is that I'm never sure how any of my books will be received, and because I can be thin-skinned, I try not to read too many reviews when a book first comes out.

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If you want to see the consequences of ideas, write a story.

If you want to see the consequences of belief, write a story in which somebody is acting on the ideas or beliefs that she has.

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You think that what I've told you is an anecdote.

But really it isn't. It's my whole life. It's the only story I have.

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In truth, there are only two realities: the one for people who are in love or love each other, and the one for people who are standing outside all that.

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I prefer short stories, but publishers would, of course, rather that writers produce novels, since novels are still more commercially viable.

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Needing something is not the same thing as being interested in the thing itself.

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[T]he astonishing purity of pain, how it will not be mixed with any other sensation.

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At least with pets, and for all I know, people too, intelligence and quick-wittedness have nothing to do with a talent for being loved, or being kind, nothing at all, less than nothing.

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