Let us go forth with fear and courage and rage to save the world.— Grace Paley
The most fascinating Grace Paley quotes that will inspire your inner self
I saw my ex-husband in the street. I was sitting on the steps of the new library. Hello, my life, I said. We had once been married for twenty-seven years, so I felt justified. He said, What? What life? No life of mine.
The best training is to read and write, no matter what.
Don't live with a lover or roommate who doesn't respect your work. Don't lie, buy time, borrow to buy time. Write what will stop your breath if you don't write.
Sometimes, walking with a friend, I forget the world.
All that is really necessary for survival of the fittest, it seems, is an interest in life, good, bad or peculiar.
Literature, fiction, poetry, whatever, makes justice in the world.
That's why it almost always has to be on the side of the underdog.
I lived in a house in the East Bronx, a totally Jewish neighborhood on East 172nd Street. You didn't see Christians much, although one lived next door. We thought they were kind of a minority.
I have a basic indolence about me which is essential to writing.
... It's thinking time, it's hanging-out time, it's daydreaming time. You know, it's lie-around-the-bed time, it's sitting-like-a-dope-in-your-chair time. And that seems to me essential to any work.
Waves, once they land on the beach, are not reversible.
…I go through a story for lies. I might discover the lie of trying to show off. Sometimes they’re lies of character. Sometimes they are lies of writing the most beautiful sentence in the world that has nothing to do with the story.
I believe in a kind of fidelity to your own early ideas;
it's a kind of antagonism in me to prevailing fads.
It's a terrible thing to die young. Still, it saves a lot of time.
Rosiness is not a worse windowpane than gloomy gray when viewing the world.
You know the mind is an astonishing, long-living, erotic thing.
Most of the Womens Libbers I knew really didnt want to have a piece of the mens pie. They thought that pie was kind of poisonous, toxic, really full of weapons, poison gases, all kinds of mean junk we didnt even want a slice of.
The word career is a divisive word. It's a word that divides the normal life from business or professional life.
Art's too long and life's too short.
When you think of things that influenced your life, Mother Goose influenced more people than almost any other thing, the rhythms of those poems. Everything after that was a bare imitation of some of those mysterious and materialistic poems.
I loved the comradeship of the sixties and the seventies, and I still maintain friendships with the people I worked with then - the ones that are still alive. That's one of the great gifts of our political movements, great friendships . . . and also a few enmities.
The wrong word is like a lie jammed inside the story.
Hindsight, usually looked down upon, is probably as valuable as foresight, since it does include a few facts.
For me, the meaning of life is the next generation.
My job is to get people to write something truthful, something about truth and beauty - wherever they are - and to understand how literature is made. And then if they become great writers, that's great, and probably has nothing to do with me.
That heartbreaking moment when you finish an amazing book, and you are forced to return to reality.
My vocabulary is adequate for writing notes and keeping journals but absolutely useless for an active moral life.
My mother went to demonstrations. I remember her going to a big demonstration for Earl Brower and she came home crying and said the Communists were very mean and booed their people. I remember feeling sad at her feeling sad.
I didn't intend to become a short-story writer.
I became one because I finished a couple of short stories and realized that's what I wanted to do and could do with children and with all the other things in my life.
I read a lot. I liked a tremendous number of poets and writers. The person whose work I liked the most was Joyce.
It wasn't until I lived in the countryside that I began to understand the life of the countryside and the people in it and trees and water. Just learning about water is an education for a city person.
I'm seventy-five now. I also have the peculiar luck of having a sister and brother who are fourteen and sixteen years older than me. Their health is not good. It couldn't be at that age. But their spirits are. Both my brother and my sister are an example to me.
A lot of sad things have happened to my friends' children, people you knew as babies. They've been killed or become crazy or all kinds of tragic things. There are some people whose children haven't talked to them in fifteen years. There's all kind of meshugaas in this world.
In the end, long life is the reward, strength, and beauty.
People say, "Why do you call your kids up, why do you worry like that?" And I say, "I was raised like that." My grandmother looked at my father with the same eyes when he was sixty and she was eighty-five.
I didn't intend. The word "intend" is the wrong word for what I do. It's just that it's something you do, and you can't not do. If you want to do it, and you don't intend to, you do it anyway. The word "intend" is wrong. The word "pressure" is right. It's like any art form.
Paul Goodman was not ahead of his time but IN his time.
When you have a peace movement that has an actual war, it's different from one that has wars that our country is not totally involved in. During the war in Vietnam, and to a lesser degree the wars in Central America where our country was directly involved, it was easier to organize.
Write from what you know into what you don't know.
Everyone, real or invented, deserves the open destiny of life.
Good talkers are people who use interesting language and have a lot of energy in speech and who also listen.
I might write four lines or I might write twenty.
I subtract and I add until I really hit something I want to do. You don't always whittle down, sometimes you whittle up.
The women's movement was coming, but I didn't know it in 1956-1957, when I began to write.
There is a long time in me between knowing and telling.
There isn't a story written that isn't about blood and money.
People and their relationship to each other is the blood, the family. And how they live, the money of it.
You become a writer because you need to become a writer - nothing else.
Old age is another country, a place of strangeness, sometimes, and dislocation.
There's a lot to be done in this country, and a great deal of pleasure there. There are friends, some of whom are sick and needful of you, as you will be of them someday. The world itself is very beautiful. It's a place where you have a lot to do. But you have to do it knowing that sometimes you will be afraid of this new country.
What we owe men is some freedom from their part in a murderous game in which they kick each other to death with one foot, bracing themselves on our various comfortable places with the other.
A joke is necessary at this time.
I was fortunate that by the time I was born, there were a lot of comforts and at the same time I lived in a neighborhood where it was brought to my eyes every single day that people didn't live like me. Every day I knew that many of my friends "got relief." That was important in my thinking about the world, thinking that not everybody lived that way.
Sometimes you find that what is most personal is also what connects you most strongly with others.
Just when I most needed important conversation, a sniff of the man-wide world, that is, at least one brainy companion who could translate my friendly language into his tongue of undying carnal love, I was forced to lounge in our neighborhood park, surrounded by children.