Quotes by American Novelist James A. Michener

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life comes when dreams are surrendered to reality. James A. Michener

Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries. James A. Michener

I was brought up in the great tradition of the late nineteenth century: that a writer never complains, never explains and never disdains. James A. Michener

An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. James A. Michener


Russia, France, Germany and China. They revere their writers. America is still a frontier country that almost shudders at the idea of creative expression. James A. Michener

The arrogance of the artist is a very profound thing, and it fortifies you. James A. Michener

The really great writers are people like Emily Bronte who sit in a room and write out of their limited experience and unlimited imagination. James A. Michener

I am always interested in why young people become writers, and from talking with many I have concluded that most do not want to be writers working eight and ten hours a day and accomplishing little; they want to have been writers, garnering the rewards of having completed a best-seller. They aspire to the rewards of writing but not to the travail. James A. Michener

Although most of us know Vincent van Gogh in Arles and Paul Gauguin in Tahiti as if they were neighbors -- somewhat disreputable but endlessly fascinating -- none of us can name two French generals or department store owners of that period. I take enormous pride in considering myself an artist, one of the necessaries. James A. Michener

If a man happens to find himself, he has a mansion which he can inhabit with dignity all the days of his life. James A. Michener

I am a humanist because I think humanity can, with constant moral guidance, create reasonably decent societies. I think that young people who want to understand the world can profit from the works of Plato and Socrates, the behaviour of the three Thomases, Aquinas, More and Jefferson - the austere analyses of Immanuel Kant and the political leadership of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. James A. Michener

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both. James A. Michener

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home. James A. Michener
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I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter. James A. Michener

I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. James A. Michener

They were a group of two dozen nurses completely surrounded by 100,000 unattached American men. James A. Michener

I was a Navy officer writing about Navy problems and I simply stole this lovely Army nurse and popped her into a Navy uniform, where she has done very well for herself. James A. Michener
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There are no insoluble problems. Only time-consuming ones. James A. Michener

Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them. James A. Michener
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I think the crucial thing in the writing career is to find what you want to do and how you fit in. What somebody else does is of no concern whatever except as an interesting variation. James A. Michener


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