A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.— Eudora Welty
The most revealing Eudora Welty quotes that will activate your desire to change
The excursion is the same when you go looking for your sorrow as when you go looking for your joy.
When I was a child and the snow fell, my mother always rushed to the kitchen and made snow ice cream and divinity fudge-egg whites, sugar and pecans, mostly. It was a lark then and I always associate divinity fudge with snowstorms.
Southerners love a good tale. They are born reciters, great memory retainers, diary keepers, letter exchangers . . . great talkers.
Insight doesn't happen often on the click of the moment, like a lucky snapshot, but comes in its own time and more slowly and from nowhere but within.
The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order the continuous thread of revelation.
For the source of the short story is usually lyrical.
And all writers speak from, and speak to, emotions eternally the same in all of us: love, pity, terror do not show favorites or leave any of us out.
People are mostly layers of violence and tenderness wrapped like bulbs, and it is difficult to say what makes them onions or hyacinths.
A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.
Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read.
For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.
All experience is an enrichment rather than an impoverishment.
Every story would be another story, and unrecognizable if it took up its characters and plot and happened somewhere else ... Fiction depends for its life on place. Place is the crossroads of circumstance, the proving ground of, What happened? Who's here? Who's coming?
A whole tree of lightning stood in the sky.
She kept looking out the window, suffused with the warmth from the fire and with the pity and beauty and power of her death. The thunder rolled.
Ah, I'm a woman that's been clear around the world in my rocking chair, and I tell you we all get surprises now and then.
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.
Through travel I first became aware of the outside world;
it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it.
Art is never the voice of a country, it is an even more precious thing, the voice of the individual, doing its best to speak, not comfort of any sort, but truth. And the art that speaks it most unmistakably, most directly, most variously, most fully, is fiction.
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 of themselves like grass.
No blur of inexactness, no cloud of vagueness, is allowable in good writing;
from the first seeing to the last putting down, there must be steady lucidity and uncompromise of purpose.
I had to grow up and learn to listen for the unspoken as well as the spoken-and to know a truth.
Radio, sewing machine, bookends, ironing board and that great big piano lamp - peace, that's what I like. Butterbean vines planted all along the front where the strings are.
Time is anonymous; when we give it a face, it's the same face the world over.
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.
Writers and travelers are mesmerized alike by knowing of their destinations.
Out of love you can speak with straight fury.
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.
Relationship is a pervading and changing mystery.
.. brutal or lovely, the mystery waits for people wherever they go, whatever extreme they run to.
Great fiction shows us not how to conduct our behavior but how to feel.
Eventually, it may show us how to face our feelings and face our actions and to have new inklings about what they mean. A good novel of any year can initiate us into our own new experience.
Beware of a man with manners.
Writing fiction has developed in me an abiding respect for the unknown in a human lifetime and a sense of where to look for the threads, how to follow, how to connect, find in the thick of the tangle what clear line persists.
I wanted to read immediately. The only fear was that of books coming to an end.
Never think you've seen the last of anything.
Location pertains to feelings - feelings are bound up in place.
Greater than scene is situation. Greater than situation is implication. Greater than all of these is a single, entire human being, who will never be confined in any frame.
Learning stamps you with its moments.
Childhood's learning is made up of moments. It isn't steady. It's a pulse.
People give pain, are callous and insensitive, empty and cruel.
..but place heals the hurt, soothes the outrage, fills the terrible vacuum that these human beings make.
A thing is incredible, if ever, only after it is told -- returned to the world it came out of.
Fiction shows us the past as well as the present moment in mortal light;
it is an art served by the indelibility of our memory, and one empowered by a sharp and prophetic awareness of what is ephemeral. It is by the ephemeral that our feeling is so strongly aroused for what endures.
Characters take on life sometimes by luck, but I suspect it is when you can write more entirely out of yourself, inside the skin, heart, mind, and soul of a person who is not yourself, that a character becomes in his own right another human being on the page.
The mystery lies in the use of language to express human life.
My main disappointment was always that a book had to end.
And then what? But I don't think I was ever disappointed by the books. I must have been what any author would consider an ideal reader. I felt every pain and pleasure suffered or enjoyed by all the characters. Oh, but I identified!
But how much better, in any case, to wonder than not to wonder, to dance with astonishment and go spinning in praise, than not to know enough to dance or praise at all; to be blessed with more imagination than you might know at the given moment what to do with than to be cursed with too little to give you -- and other people -- any trouble.
Every story teaches you how to write that story but not the next story.
There is absolutely everything in great fiction but a clear answer.
It is our inward journey that leads us through time – forward or back, seldom in a straight line, most often spiraling. Each of us is moving, changing, with respect to others. As we discover, we remember; remembering, we discover; and most intensely do we experience this when our separate journeys converge. Our living experience at those meeting points is one of the charged dramatic fields of fiction.
Daydreaming had started me on the way;
but story writing once I was truly in its grip, took me and shook me awake.
Travel itself is part of some longer continuity.
The challenge to writers today, I think, is not to disown any part of our heritage. Whatever our theme in writing, it is old and tried. Whatever our place, it has been visited by the stranger, it will never be new again. It is only the vision that can be new; but that is enough.
For the night was not impartial. No, the night loved some more than others, served some more than others.
Writing is an expression of the writer's own peculiar personality, could not help being so. Yet in reading great works one feels that the finished piece transcends the personal. All writers great and small must sometimes have felt that they have become part of what they wrote even more than it still remains a part of them.