Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.

— John Gardner

The most bashful John Gardner quotes that are proven to give you inner joy

Talking, talking. Spinning a web of words, pale walls of dreams, between myself and all I see.

56

We read five words on the first page of a really good novel and we begin to forget that we are reading printed words on a page; we begin to see images.

22

What art ought to do is tell stories which are moment-by-moment wonderful, which are true to human experience, and which in no way explain human experience.

11

Fiction does not spring into the world fully grown, like Athena.

It is the process of writing and rewriting that makes a fiction original, if not profound.

9

Art, of course, is a way of thinking, a way of mining reality.

7

The true artist plays mad with his soul, labors at the very lip of the volcano, but remembers and clings to his purpose, which is as strong as the dream. He is not someone possessed, like Cassandra, but a passionate, easily tempted explorer who fully intends to get home again, like Odysseus.

6

An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

4

The primary subject of fiction is and has always been human emotion, values, and beliefs.

3

If you don't give your kid freedom to make choices with money, including stupid choices, he'll make plenty when he gets to college.

3

One must be just a little crazy to write a great novel.

One must be capable of allowing the darkest, most ancient and shrewd parts of one’s being to take over the work from time to time.

3

Writing a novel is like heading out over the open sea in a small boat.

It helps, if you have a plan and a course laid out.

2

One should fight like the devil the temptation to think well of editors.

They are all, without exception - at least some of the time, incompetent or crazy.

1

About John Gardner

Quotes 36 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Novelist
Birthday October 16

Art Gropes. It stalks like a hunter lost in the woods, listening to itself and to everything around it, unsure of itself, waiting to pounce.

1

When I was a child I truly loved: Unthinking love as calm and deep As the North Sea. But I have lived, And now I do not sleep.

1

i understand that the world was nothing: a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears. i understood that, finally and absolutely, i alone exist. all the rest, i saw, is merely what pushes me, or what i push against, blindly - as blindly as all that is not myself pushes back. i create the whole universe, blink by blink.

0

When people are serving, life is no longer meaningless.

0

We know that where community exists in confers upon its members identity, a sense of belonging, and a measure of security. . . . Communities are the ground-level generators and preservers of values and ethical systems.

0

One of the many interesting challenges nature presents us is its apparent disinterest in maintaining the order humans crave.

0

Poor Grendel's had an accident. So may you all.

0

I couldn't go on, too conscious all at once of my whispering, my eternal posturing, always transforming the world with words--changing nothing.

0

A common and usually unfortunate answer is “Write about what you know.

” Nothing can be more limiting to the imagination, nothing is quicker to turn on the psyche's censoring devices and distortion systems, than trying to write truthfully.

0

They watch on, evil, incredibly stupid, enjoying my destruction.

'Poor Grendel's had an accident,' I whisper. 'So may you all.

0

...ultimately it come down to, are you making or are you destroying? If you try very hard to create ways of living, create dreams of what is possible, then you win. If you don't, you may make a fortune in ten years, but you're not going to be read in twenty years, and that's that.

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It would be, for me, mere pointless pleasure, an illusion of order for this one frail, foolish, flicker-flash in the long dull fall of eternity.

0

I cannot believe such monstrous energy of grief can lead to nothing!

0

As a rule of thumb I say, if Socrates, Jesus and Tolstoy wouldn't do it, don't.

0

There is no limit to desire but desire's needs.

0

The image-managers encourage the individual to fashion himself into a smooth coin, negotiable in any market.

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Find a pile of gold and sit on it.

0

Our noblest hopes grow teeth and pursue us like tigers.

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People will tell you that writing is too difficult, that it's impossible to get your work published, that you might as well hang yourself. Meanwhile, they'll keep writing and you'll have hanged yourself.

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It's a staggering transition for high school students that found they could study five hours a week and make As and Bs.

0

So childhood too feels good at first, before one happens to notice the terrible sameness, age after age.

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The citizen can bring our political and governmental institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable, and keep them honest. No one else can.

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Great things happen nationally when topmost leadership is goaded and supported from below.

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