Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is also the recipient of the 2005 Prix Femina for The Falls. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and she has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. Pseudonyms ...
Let this list of 20 quotations by the American novelist Joyce Carol Oates lead you to an inspirational day. Recharge yourself with motivational love, boxing, universe sayings, and satisfy your hunger for a better life.
What are the best Joyce Carol Oates quotes?
We've made this hand-picked collection of quotes to show you what is Joyce Carol Oates truly willing to say and leave for generations. Whether an inspirational quote or a motivational message about giving your best, we can all benefit from the wisdom, captured within these words.
We are linked by blood, and blood is memory without language.
The worst cynicism: a belief in luck.
Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.
I never change, I simply become more myself.
To be knocked out doesn't mean what it seems. A boxer does not have to get up.
Boxing is about being hit rather more than it is about hitting, just as it is about feeling pain, if not devastating psychological paralysis, more than it is about winning.
Nothing is accidental in the universe -- this is one of my Laws of Physics -- except the entire universe itself, which is Pure Accident, pure divinity.
Night comes to the desert all at once, as if someone turned off the light.
In love there are two things - bodies and words.
Reading yields a wish to write, I think, except if the reading is dull and uninspiring.
We come away from the tragedies of [William] Shakespeare with a profound sense of having encountered reality in its most pristine form - yet the art-work is elaborately artificial, the very genre of tragedy in poetry an anti-naturalist perspective.
To the west, the Pacific Ocean, which revulses me, for its vastness cannot be fitted into any box.
Very few writers of distinction in fact were outstanding as undergraduates.
Writing allows for fictitious voices - the voices of persons unlike myself - that might otherwise be muted.
There is nothing "ordinary" about reality.
Though I am never exactly "blocked" I do have difficult periods.
I am led by a fascination with material - the challenge of presenting it in an original and engaging way. I have no problem imagining stories, characters, distinctive settings & themes - but the difficulty is choosing a voice & a language in which to present it.
The joyous fulfillment of your sex : the sacred duties of beloved wife, and helpmeet, and mother. In opposition to the vulgar and mercantile hurly-burly of the great world, the idyllic pleasures of the domestic hearth-the which, I firmly believe, make of one small room an everywhere, indeed; and provide us with that small measure of bliss, which is, if we are greatly fortunate, and deserving, Our Lord's promise to us, of the Heaven to come.
It's a taboo subject. How the dead are betrayed by the living. We who are living--we who have survived--understand that our guilt is what links us to the dead. At all times we can hear them calling to us, a growing incredulity in their voices, You will not forget me -- will you? How can you forget me? I have no one but you.
It's one of those secrets that's embarrassing to acknowledge, but we do love our students.
Though I revise constantly as I write, I will usually revise much of the work again after I've reached the ending.
I am more or less reading all the time.
One of the qualities of writing that is not much stressed is its problem-solving aspect, having to do with the presentation of material: how to structure it, what sort of sentences (direct, elliptical, simple or compound, syntactically elaborate), what tone (in art, "tone" is everything), pacing. Paragraphing is a way of dramatization, as the look of a poem on a page is dramatic; where to break lines, where to end sentences.
I've always been so interested in personal history.
I'm very fascinated by my parents' and my grandparents' generations. I seem to think that they had a resilience and an integrity that may be somewhat deficient in my own generation, and in subsequent generations as well, because America has been rather easy to live in since the Depression.
Boxing is a celebration of the lost religion of masculinity all the more trenchant for its being lost.
The folly of war is that it can have no natural end except in the extinction an entire people.
The television screen, so unlike the movie screen, sharply reduced human beings, revealed them as small, trivial, flat, in two banal dimensions, drained of color. Wasn't there something reassuring about it! -- that human beings were in fact merely images of a kind registered in one another's eyes and brains, phenomena composed of microscopic flickering dots like atoms. They were atoms -- nothing more. A quick switch of the dial and they disappeared and who could lament the loss?
Love commingled with hate is more powerful than love. Or hate.
This is my life now. Absurd, but unpredictable. Not absurd because unpredictable but unpredictable because absurd. If I have lost the meaning of my life, I might still find small treasured things among the spilled and pilfered trash.
Before I undertake a lengthy project, I have usually given much thought to it over a period of years. My files are filled with likely subjects - which perhaps, one day, I will develop.
I work very slowly. It's like building a ladder, where you're building your own ladder rung by rung, and you're climbing the ladder. It's not the best way to build a ladder, but I don't know any other way.
Much in our lives is chance.
Truths are the last thing you learn about your family.
By the time you learn, you're no longer their child.
America is a very religious nation. Not a mono-religious nation because there are many different strands of belief, but there's something about this nation that inspires people, or perhaps draws people, who are strongly idealistic.
Insomniac is an impassioned work-an inspired amalgam of academic and first-hand research, memoir, analysis, and the kind of obsessive brooding we associate with the insomniac state. Much here is fascinating, and much is upsetting; here is a cri de coeur from a lifetime insomniac that is sure to appeal to the vast army of fellow insomniacs the world over.
In a sense, I may not consciously know what I'm doing.
I feel that I'm telling a story. I'm a kind of medium by which something is transmitted.
There is the expectation that a younger generation has the opportunity to redeem the crimes and failings of their elders and would have the strength and idealism to do so.
Each genre exerts a considerable spell, as a kind of "form" to be filled, as a Shakespearean sonnet is filled.
My life is a very interior and solitary life. I tend not to care that much about external things.
A writer who has published as many books as I have has developed, of necessity, a hide like a rhino's, while inside there dwells a frail, hopeful butterfly of a spirit.
If food is poetry, is not poetry also food?
My first love was reading, which inspired me to write.
I tend to think in dramatic terms. In life, there may be an actual drama, but it would be the fictionalized, imagined drama that engaged me.
It would be difficult for a writer of realism to avoid suggesting a political/moral perspective in his or her fiction. "Politics" per se is absent from my writing but there is usually a moral (if ironic) compass.
Why is humanism not the preeminent belief of humankind?
Not to be alone. To be spared the possibility of knowing oneself, in aloneness.
I don't know whether I am different from other people.
Perhaps I am. Perhaps no one has a personality, and people are inventing themselves in the context in which they find themselves.
Because the meaning of a story does not lie on its surface, visible and self-defining, does not mean that meaning does not exist. Indeed, the ambiguity of meaning, its inner private quality, may well be part of the writer's vision.
Long ago I'd said that I am "fascinated by the phantasmagoria of human personality" - this is perhaps even truer now than years ago.
I learned long ago that being Lewis Carroll was infinitely more exciting than being Alice.
Ultimately, we measure ourselves against our own ideas of idealism and perfection, and we don't always come very close to them.
The mysteries of the female sex! We men can never hope to fathom your depths, but only try not to drown in them.