If you're willing to fail interestingly, you tend to succeed interestingly.

— Edward Albee

The most unique Edward Albee quotes that will activate your inner potential

The arts are the only things that separate us from the other animals.

The arts are not decorative. ... They are essential to our comprehension of consciousness and ourselves.

54

Do you know what a playwright is? A playwright is someone who lets his guts hang out on the stage.

48

Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf means who's afraid of the big bad wolf .

.. who's afraid of living life without false illusions.

39

I think we should all live on the precipe of life, as fully and as dangerously as possible. Everyone should make the assumption that they're going through life only once. Tomorrow we die. Why not take chances, extend yourself? How awful it is when a person comes to the end of life full of regret.

38

It is not enough to hold the line against the dark.

It is your responsibility to lead into the light. People don't like the light--it reveals too much. But hand in hand with the creative artist, you can lead people into the wisdom that is known to all other animals: simply, that it is the dark we have to fear.

35

I am sick of the disparity between things as they are and as they should be.

I'm tired.I'm tired of the truth and I'm tired of lying about the truth.

27

A playwright has a responsibility in his society not to aid it, or comfort it, but to comment and criticize it.

23

People often ask me how long it takes me to write a play, and I tell them 'all of my life.'

17

Remember one thing about democracy. We can have anything we want and at the same time, we always end up with exactly what we deserve.

17

Anything you put in a play -- any speech -- has got to do one of two things: either define character or push the action of the play along.

12

What I wanted to get at is the value difference between pornographic playing-cards when you're a kid, and pornographic playing-cards when you're older. It's that when you're a kid you use the cards as a substitute for a real experience, and when you're older you use real experience as a substitute for the fantasy.

11

As a playwright, I imagine that in one fashion or another I've been influenced by every single play I've ever experienced.

10

About Edward Albee

Quotes 175 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Dramatist
Birthday October 16

The function of art is to bring people into greater touch with reality, and yet our movie houses and family rooms are jammed with people after as much reality-removal as they can get.

7

One has always got to be terribly careful, since the theater is made up of a whole bunch of prima donnas, not to let the distortions occur.

7

Why we are here is an impenetrable question.

7

It always seems to me better to slough off the answer to a question that I consider to be a terrible invasion of privacy - the kind of privacy that a writer must keep for himself.

6

What people really want in the theater is fantasy involvement and not reality involvement.

5

I don't like symbolism that hits you over the head. A symbol should not be a cymbal.

5

I have a fine sense of the ridiculous, but no sense of humor.

5

Martha: Truth or illusion, George; you don't know the difference. George: No, but we must carry on as though we did. Martha: Amen.

5

Sincerity doesn't mean anything. A person can be sincere and be more destructive than a person who is insincere.

5

I am not interested in living in a city where there isn't a production by Samuel Beckett running.

5

A play is fiction - and fiction is fact distilled into truth.

4

Being different is ... interesting; there's nothing implicitly inferior or superior about it. Great difference, of course, produces natural caution; and if the differences are too extreme ... well, then, reality tends to fade away.

4

The ultimate judgment of a work of art, whether it be a masterpiece or a lesser event, must be solely in terms of its artistic success and not on Freudian guesswork.

4

Good writers define reality; bad ones merely restate it. A good writer turns fact into truth; a bad writer will, more often than not, accomplish the opposite.

4

When a critic sets himself up as an arbiter of morality, a judge of the matter and not the manner of a work, he is no longer a critic; he is a censor.

3

The responsibility of the writer is to be a sort of demonic social critic -- to present the world and people in it as he sees it and say, "Do you like it? If you don't like it, change it.

3

A lot interests me - but nothing surprises me particularly.

3

American critics are like American universities. They both have dull and half-dead faculties.

3

The thing that makes a creative person is to be creative and that is all there is to it.

3

I swear, if you existed I'd divorce you.

3

Progress is a set of assumptions.

3

Dashed hopes and good intentions. Good, better, best, bested.

3

Few sensible authors are happy discussing the creative process--it is, after all, black magic.

2

I don't feel that catharsis in a play necessarily takes place during the course of a play. Often it should take place afterward.

2

A writer is a controlled schizophrenic.

2

Unless you are terribly, terribly careful, you run the danger-- without even knowing it is happening to you-- of slipping into the fatal error of reflecting the public taste instead of creating it. Your responsibility is to the public consciousness, not to the public view of itself.

2

I don't think I've ever written about me.

I'm not a character in any of my plays, except that boy, that silent boy that turns up in Three Tall Women.

1

If a man writes a brilliant enough play in praise of something that is universally loathed, the play, if it is good and well enough written, should not be knocked down because of its approach to its subject.

1

The act of writing is an act of optimism.

You would not take the trouble to do it if you felt that it didn't matter.

0

Careers are funny things. They begin mysteriously and, just as mysteriously, they can end.

0

Arthur Miller once payed me a great compliment saying that my plays were 'necessary.' I will go one step further and say that Arthur's plays are 'essential'

0

I suppose if you simplify things, it's going to make it easier to understand.

0

I created myself, and I'll attack anybody I feel like.

0

Your source material is the people you know, not those you don't know, but every character is an extension of the author's own personality.

0

The condition of the theater is always an accurate measure of the cultural health of a nation. A play always exists in the present tense (if it is a valuable one), and its music -- its special noise -- is always contemporary. The most valuable function of the theater as an art form is to tell us who we are, and the health of the theater is determined by how much of that we want to know.

0

I don't pay much attention to how the plays relate thematically to each other.

I think that's very dangerous to do, because in the theater one is self-conscious enough without planning ahead or wondering about the thematic relation from one play to the next. One hopes that one is developing, and writing interestingly, and that's where it should end, I think.

0

Well, when you write about people of a certain age .

.. we are in a postsexual situation. If I write about younger people then I write sexually, because their drive is sexual. It depends upon the circumstances.

0
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