There's nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself.

— James Lee Burke

The most gorgeous James Lee Burke quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I'm going to autograph these and auction them. And then I lost the box.

51

Age is a peculiar kind of thief. It slips up on you and steps inside your skin and is so quiet and methodical in its work that you never realize it has stolen your youth until you look into the mirror one morning and see a man you don't recognize.

37

The real gladiators of the world are so humble in their origins and unremarkable in appearance that when we stand next to them in a grocery-store line, we never guess how brightly their souls can burn in the dark.

37

If there is any human tragedy, there is only one, and it occurs when we forget who we are and remain silent while a stranger takes up residence inside our skin.

36

The system shaves the dice on the side of those with money and power, and anyone who believes otherwise deserves anything that happens to him.

29

It has been my experience that most human stories are circular rather than linear. Regardless of the path we choose, we somehow end up where we commenced - in part, I suspect, because the child who lives in us goes along for the ride.

29

You do it a day at a time. You write as well as you can, you put it in the mail, you leave it under submission, you never leave it at home.

27

And like most middle-aged people who hear the clock ticking in their lives, I had come to resent a waste or theft of my time that was greater than any theft of my goods or money.

25

How do you explain to yourself the casual manner in which you threw your life away?

24

...and I wonder if there is any way to adequately describe the folly that causes us to undo all the great gifts of both Earth and Heaven.

23

When you find the right people, you never let go.

The people who count are the ones who are your friends in lean times. You have all the friends you want when things are going well.

20

That's one of the great advantages of age.

You can say, I don't want to, I don't care, you can throw temper tantrums, and nobody minds.

18

About James Lee Burke

Quotes 71 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

In the alluvial sweep of the land, I thought I could see the past and the present and the future all at once, as though time were not sequential in nature but took place without a beginning or an end, like a flash of green light rippling outward from the center of creation, not unlike a dream inside the mind of God.

13

But perhaps age has taught me that the earth is still new, molten at the core and still forming, that black leaves in the winter forest will crawl with life in the spring, that our story is ongoing and it is indeed a crime to allow the heart's energies to dissipate with the fading of light on the horizon.

12

I wouldn't write anything autobiographical.

If you've lived a life like Laurence of Arabia, it might be a consideration, but otherwise it's a little bit vain, it seems to me.

9

God bless the Reference Librarians

8

There is no higher form of artistic expression then film

6

Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work.

5

If we break promises to God, shouldn't we be allowed an occasional violation of our word to our friends and superiors?

5

We gain no wisdom by imposing our way on others.

5

I think all good narration contains an element of mystery and suspense.

If it didn't, if the storyline were predictable, we would have no interest in reading it.

5

And every good artist knows that the gift comes from somewhere else, and it's there for a reason, and that's to make the world a better place.

4

The only thing an artist has to remember is to never lose faith in his vision.

4

Money can't buy happiness but it'll sure keep a mess of grief off your front porch.

4

THE ALLURE OF Montana is like a commitment to a narcotic;

you can never use it up or get enough of it. Its wilderness areas probably resemble the earth on the first day of creation.

4

Using a first-person narrator is simply a matter of hearing the voice inside yourself.

3

I looked at Lucas with the pang that a parent feels when he knows his child will be hurt and that it's no one's fault and that to try to preempt the rites of passage is an act of contempt for the child's courage.

3

But the participants [in war] never forgot the details of their experience, and like the Wandering Jew, they were condemned to remain their own history books, each containing a story they could not pass on to others and from which no one would learn anything of value.

3

How do you caution a fawn about a cigarette a motorist has just flipped from his car window into a patch of yellow grass, or tell a sparrow that winged creatures eventually plummet to earth?

3

The story of Ulysses and Agamemnon and Menelaus, of Jesus, of the Good Knight of Chaucer, lives in every one of us.

3

My experience has been that people who die for causes have few friends in death.

2

Hackberry Holland's greatest fear was his fellow man's propensity to act collectively, in militaristic lockstep, under the banner of God and country. Mobs did not rush across town to do good deeds, and in Hackberry's view, there was no more odious taint on any social or political endeavor than universal approval.

2

I believe the causes that create them [serial killers] are theological in nature, rather than societal. I believe they make a conscious choice to erase God's thumbprint from their souls.

2

One day you'll have a quiet heart.

2

I think the "crime novel" has replaced the sociological novel of the 1930s.

I think the progenitor of that tradition is James M. Cain, who in my view is the most neglected writer in American literature.

2

Never read bad stuff if you're an artist;

it will impair your own game. I don't know if you ever played competitive tennis, but you learn not to watch bad tennis; it messes up your game. Art's the same way.

2

A lie is an act of theft. It steals peoples faith and makes them resent themselves

1

We decry violence all the time in this country, but look at our history.

We were born in a violent revolution, and we've been in wars ever since. We're not a pacific people.

1

We all end up in the same place. Some sonner than others.

0

If you don't compromise your gift, if you write each day as well as you can, and then submit your work and not worry about it and go on to the next piece, you suddenly find oddly enough that you're no more interested in the applause than the silence. You don't hear either one of them. You can never listen to the naysayers. If you do you won't survive.

0

I also believe my home state is cursed by ignorance and poverty and racism, much of it deliberately inculcated to control a vulnerable electorate. And I believe many of the politicians in Louisiana are among the most stomach-churning examples of white trash and venality I have ever known. To me, the fact that large numbers of people find them humorously picaresque is mind numbing, on a level with telling fond tales of one's rapist.

0

Today, there are more opportunities for writers in terms of access to larger success, but it's more difficult to publish a literary novel in the lower ranges. In other words, you almost have to hit a home run. You can hit a triple, maybe, but nobody's interested in a single.

0

To misuse one's talent, to be cavalier about it, to set it aside because of fear or sloth is unpardonable.

0

I feel blessed in the knowledge that I probably belong to the last generation that will remember what we call "traditional America."

0

Write for the love of your art. Someplace down the road, the money, the fame, they'll come, but by that time you won't be thinking in terms of money or fame.

0

Don't ever quit. Never quit. Never show anybody you're hurt. Grin and walk through the cannon smoke. It will drive them up the wall. You always stay true to your own principles. You always believe in your gift. God doesn't make mistakes when he presents someone with a gift like that. It's there for a reason. Tell the naysayers, those who reject you, to drop dead! Who cares?

0

You have two choices in life. You either die or do something with your time. You're going to be doing something - why not write?

0

I believe every...man remembers the girl he thinks he should have married. She reappears to him in his lonely moments, or he sees her in the face of a young girl in the park, buying a snowball under an oak tree by the baseball diamond. But she belongs to back there, to somebody else, and that thought sometimes rends your heart in a way that you never share with anyone else.

0

Why do I always feel like you're trying to staple my umbilical cord to the corner of your desk?

0
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