A curse on this game. How can you stick at a game when the rules keep on changing? I shall call myself Alice and play croquet with the flamingos. In Wonderland everyone cheats and love is Wonderland, isn't it?

— Jeanette Winterson

The most instructive Jeanette Winterson quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

I like to look at how people work together when they are put into stressful situations, when life stops being cozy.

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Art can make a difference because it pulls people up short.

It says, don't accept things for their face value; you don't have to go along with any of this; you can think for yourself.

60

I don't know how to answer. I know what I think, but words in the head are like voices underwater. They are distorted.

57

Love demands expression. It will not stay still, stay silent, be good, be modest, be seen and not heard, no. It will break out in tongues of praise, the high note that smashes the glass and spills the liquid.

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I felt like a seed in a pomegranate. Some say that the pomegranate was the real apple of Eve, fruit of the womb, I would eat my way into perdition to taste you.

50

Happiness is a specific. Misery is a generalization. People usually know exactly why they are happy. They very rarely know why they are miserable.

48

Quest is at the heart of what I do-the holy grail, and the terror that you'll never find it, seemed a perfect metaphor for life.

48

I say I'm in love with her. What does that mean? It means I review my future and my past in the light of this feeling. It is as though I wrote in a foreign language that I am suddenly able to read. Wordlessly, she explains me to myself. LIke genius she is ignorant of what she does.

37

I would eat my way into perdition to taste you.

36

Perhaps all romance is like that; not a contract between equal parties but an explosion of dreams and desires that can find no outlet in everyday life. Only a drama will do and while the fireworks last the sky is a different colour.

35

Life cannot be calculated. That's the big mistake our civilization made. We never accepted that randomness is not a mistake in the equation -- it is part of the equation.

31

The body can endure compromise and the mind can be seduced by it.

Only the heart protests. The heart. Carbon-based primitive in a silicon world.

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About Jeanette Winterson

Quotes 524 sayings
Nationality British
Profession Novelist
Birthday October 16

More than sex. More than money. You know, life is not endless is it? Cash, cars, cocaine, and girls. It's more than that. And there is a spiritual dimension to people...we are driven to want something more.

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I have a theory that every time you make an important choice, the part of you left behind continues the other life you could have had.

23

This hole in my heart is in the shape of you. No one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?

20

I like being on my own better than I like anything else, but I can't give up love. Maybe it's the tension between longing and aloneness that I need. My own funicular railway, holding in balance the two things most likely to destroy me.

20

Wherever love is, I want to be, I will follow it as surely as the land-locked salmon finds the sea.

19

To be ill adjusted to a deranged world is not a breakdown.

19

I know now, after fifty years, that the finding/losing, forgetting/remembering, leaving/returning, never stops. The whole of life is about another chance, and while we are alive, till the very end, there is always another chance.

18

The curious are always in some danger. If you are curious you might never come home.

16

I didn't mind being unpopular at school, because everyone else was a heathen.

15

In the library I felt better, words you could trust and look at till you understood them, they couldn't change half way through a sentence like people, so it was easier to spot a lie.

15

I think heterosexuality and homosexuality are a kind of psychosis, and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

14

When I say 'I will be true to you' I am drawing a quiet space beyond the reach of other desires.

14

You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved.

14

It is just as likely that as I invent what I want to say, you will invent what you want to hear.

14

There are times when it will go so wrong that you will barely be alive, and times when you realise that being barely alive, on your own terms, is better than living a bloated half-life on someone else's terms.

14

Cheating is easy. There's no swank to infidelity. To borrow against the trust someone has placed in you costs nothing at first. You get away with it, you take a little more and a little more until there is no more to draw on. Oddly, your hands should be full with all that taking but when you open them there's nothing there.

13

He wrote on a piece of paper with his pencil.

Psychosis: out of touch with reality. Since then, I have been trying to find out what reality is, so that I can touch it.

13

It's hard to remember that this day will never come again.

That the time is now and the place is here and that there are no second chances at a single moment.

13

The body shuts down when it has too much to bear;

goes its own way quietly inside, waiting for a better time, leaving you numb and half alive.

12

Why is the measure of love loss?

12

They say that every snowflake is different.

If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?

12

Ordinary professionalism and 20 years' experience can accomplish a lot, but it can't access the hidden places.

12

Confidence and superiority: It's the usual fundamentalist stuff: I've got the truth, and you haven't.

12

Happy ending are only a pause. There are three kinds of big endings: Revenge. Tragedy. Forgiveness. Revenge and Tragedy often happen together. Forgiveness redeems the past. Forgiveness unblocks the future.

11

What you risk reveals what you value.

11

I've lived my life like a serial killer;

finish with one part, strangle it and move on to the next. Life in neat little boxes is life in neat little coffins, the dead bodies of the past laid out side by side. I am discovering, now, in the late afternoon of the day, that the dead still speak.

11

Art saved me; it got me through my depression and self-loathing, back to a place of innocence.

11

Tell me the story, Pew. . . . It was a woman. You always say that. There's always a woman somewhere, child; a princess, a witch, a stepmother, a mermaid, a fairy godmother, or one as wicked as she is beautiful, or as beautiful as she is good. Is that the complete list? Then there is the woman you love. Who's she? That's another story.

11

I live alone, with cats, books, pictures, fresh vegetables to cook, the garden, the hens to feed.

10

We don't go to Shakespeare to find out about life in Elizabethan England;

we go to Shakespeare to find out about ourselves now.

10

Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it.

9

Do it from the heart or not at all.

9

I was happy but happy is an adult word.

You don't have to ask a child about happy, you see it. They are or they are not. Adults talk about being happy because largely they are not. Talking about it is the same as trying to catch the wind. Much easier to let it blow all over you.

9

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.

What then kills love? Only this: Neglect.

8

Not much touches us, but we long to be touched.

We lie awake at night willing the darkness to part and show us a vision.

8

Life is so simple when you're just doing your job.

8

But not all dark places need light, I have to remember that.

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