For your information, a good novel can change the world. Keep that in mind before you attempt to sit down at a typewriter. Never waste time on something you don't believe in yourself.

— John Fante

The most practical John Fante quotes that will transform you to a better person

Almighty God, I am sorry I am now an atheist, but have You read Nietzsche?


Ask the dust on the road! Ask the Joshua trees standing alone where the Mojave begins. Ask them about Camilla Lopez, and they will whisper her name.


I felt his hot tears and the loneliness of man and the sweetness of all men and the aching haunting beauty of the living


Los Angeles, give me some of you! Los Angeles come to me the way I came to you, my feet over your streets, you pretty town I loved you so much, you sad flower in the sand, you pretty town!


It was a bad one, the Winter of 1933.

Wading home that night through flames of snow, my toes burning, my ears on fire, the snow swirling around me like a flock of angry nuns, I stopped dead in my tracks. The time had come to take stock. Fair weather or foul, certain forces in the world were at work trying to destroy me.


We talked, she and I. She asked about my work and it was a pretense, she was not interested in my work. And when I answered, it was a pretense. I was not interested in my work either. There was only one thing that interested us, and she knew it. She had made it plain by her coming.


Like my father, I am very impatient. I have a strong bullshit detector. I may finish one book in twenty that I have started.


Literary criticism is generally bunk.

Nonsense. Usually based on self-serving post-intellectual bullshit.


I write every morning. Two hours. Then I take a break and become my own secretary for a few hours. If I am "hot" I write in the afternoon and at night too.


The bible is a source of great inspiration to me.

It is a textbook of metaphysics. Within the bible are keys to personal growth, and lessons in personal actualization. The bible is a spiritual masterpiece.


Someday, as an exercise, you might ask a writer to give himself the questions he wants to answer. If you really want a writer's opinions, you have to ask for them. What you read might surprise you.


If there is work there is warmth, that when a man has freedom of movement it is enough, for then his blood is hot too


About John Fante

Quotes 27 sayings
Profession Novelist
Birthday October 16

So what’s the use of repentance, and what do you care for goodness, and what if you should die in a quake, so who the hell cares? So I walked downtown, so these were the high buildings, so let the earthquake come, let it bury me and my sins, so who the hell cares? No good to God or man, die one way or another, a quake or a hanging, it didn’t matter why or when or how.


Sick in my soul I tried to face the ordeal of seeking forgiveness.

From whom? What God, what Christ? They were myths I once believed and now they were beliefs I felt were myths.


Arturo Bandini: -What does happiness mean to you Camilla? Camilla: -That you can fall in love with whoever you want to, and not feel ashamed of it.


One night I was sitting on the bed in my hotel room on Buker Hill, down in the middle of Los Angeles. It was an important night in my life, because I had to make a decision about the hotel. Either I paid up or I got out: that was what the note said, the note the landlady had put under my door. A great problem, deserving acute attention. I solved it by turning out the lights and going to bed.


Look at the people who review. Look at their commitment to being "right" and "safe". If I had listened to my critics I would have given up years ago.


Ah, Los Angeles! Dust and fog of your lonely streets, I am no longer lonely.

Just you wait, all of you ghosts of this room, just you wait, because it will happen, as sure as there's a God in heaven.


So it happened at last: I was about to become a thief, a cheap milk-stealer.

Here was your lash-in-the-pen genius, your one story-writer: a thief.


Ah, Evelyn and Vivian, I love you both, I love you for your sad lives, the empty misery of your coming home at dawn. You too are alone, but you are not like Arturo Bandini, who is neither fish, fowl nor good red herring. So have your champagne, because I love you both, and you too, Vivian, even if your mouth looks like it had been dug out with raw fingernails and your old child's eyes swim in blood written like mad sonnets.


When stuck, hit the road.


(...) I let go, crying and unable to stop because God was such a dirty crook, contemptible skunk, that's what he was for doing that thing to that woman. Come down out of the skies, you God, come on down and I'll hammer your face all over the city of Los Angeles, you miserable unpardonable prankster. If it wasn't for you, this woman would not have been so maimed, and neither would the world, (...)


You are nobody, and I might have been somebody, and the road to each of us is love.


I have wanted women whose very shoes are worth all I have ever possessed.


When I go into a bookstore I always look for books by John Fante.

If they are out-of-stock on one of his titles, I tell the clerk to order what is missing. I do it because I want people to read my father's work.


Well, this is good for me, this is experience, I am here for a reason, these moments run into pages, the seamy side of life.