Your numbness is something perhaps you cannot help. It is what the world has done to you. But your coldness. That is what you do to the world.

— Lorrie Moore

The most vibrant Lorrie Moore quotes to get the best of your day

This is what happened in love. One of you cried a lot and then both of you grew sarcastic.

44

Usually she ordered a cup of coffee and a cup of tea, as well as a brownie, propping up her sadness with chocolate and caffeine so that it became an anxiety.

25

A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage.

A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.

21

But I believed in starting over. There was finally, I knew, only rupture and hurt and falling short between all persons, but, Shirley, the best revenge was to turn your life into a small gathering of miracles. If I could not be anchored and profound, I would try, at least, to be kind.

13

I count too heavily on birthdays, though I know I shouldn't.

Inevitably I begin to assess my life by them, figure out how I'm doing by how many people remember; it's like the old fantasy of attending your own funeral: You get to see who your friends are, get to see who shows up.

9

(Such a life)engaged gross quantities of hope and despair and set them wildly side by side, like a Third World country of the heart.

9

People love gossip because it's slightly removed from actuality.

It's a very literary thing... You can hear a great story, and it turns out that it's largely not true. Fiction writing is like gossip. It's not malicious gossip, but it's gossip.

9

Writing is both the excursion into and the excursion out of one's life.

That is the queasy paradox of the artistic life. It is the thing that, like love, removes one both painfully and deliciously from the ordinary shape of existence. It joins another queasy paradox: that life is an amazing, hilarious, blessed gift and that it is also intolerable.

8

Love drains you, takes with it much of your blood sugar and water weight.

You are like a house slowly losing its electricity, the fans slowing, the lights dimming and flickering; the clocks stop and go and stop.

8

Writers have no real area of expertise.

They are merely generalists with a highly inflamed sense of punctuation.

8

To write a short story, you have to be able to stay up all night.

7

No matter what terror the earth could produce - winds, seas - a person could produce the same, lived with the same, lived with all that mixed-up nature swirling inside, every bit. There was nothing as complex in the world - no flower or stone - as a single hello from a human being.

7

About Lorrie Moore

Quotes 131 sayings
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

Forgiveness lives alone and far off down the road, but bitterness and art are close, gossipy neighbors, sharing the same clothesline, hanging out their things, getting their laundry confused.

7

I don’t go back and look at my early work, because the last time I did, many years ago, it left me cringing. If one publishes, then one is creating a public record of Learning to Write.

6

But that inadequacy, or feeling of inadequacy, never really goes away.

You just have to trudge ahead in the rain, regardless.

6

I had never feared insomnia before--like prison, wouldn't it just give you more time to read?

5

Pleasantness was the machismo of the Midwest.

There was something athletic about it. You flexed your face into a smile and let it hover there like the dare of a cat.

5

All the way out I listen to the car AM radio, bad lyrics of trailer park love, gin and tonic love, strobe light love, lost and found love, lost and found and lost love, lost and lost and lost love—some people were having no luck at all. The DJ sounds quick and smooth and after-shaved, the rest of the world a mess by comparison.

4

Her life her life had taken on the shape of a terrible mistake.

She hadn't been given the proper tools to make a real life with, she decided, that was it. She'd been given a can of gravy and a hair-brush and told, "There you go." She'd stood there for years, blinking and befuddled, brushing the can with the brush.

4

If you're suicidal, and you don't actually kill yourself, you become known as 'wry.

4

This lunge at moral fastidiousness was something she'd noticed a lot in people around here. They were not good people. They were not kind. But they recycled their newspapers!

4

I don't think of any sentence as a "one-liner", but I do pay attention to how people actually speak when they are being funny. Rhythm is key.

3

Humor comes from the surprise release of some buried tension.

3

You know, as fiction writers, if our instincts are off, we can't pay our bills.

3

I wondered about the half-life of regret.

3

If prose can cast a spell, we will listen to it no matter what it's saying.

If a narrative uses language in a magical and enlivening way, we will listen to the story. But if the language doesn't cast a spell, we will listen to it only if it is telling us something that actually happened.

3

She hadn't been given the proper tools to make a real life with, she decided, that was it. She'd been given a can of gravy and a hairbrush and told, "There you go." -- Willing

3

I would never understand photography, the sneaky, murderous taxidermy of it.

3

When she packed up to leave, she knew that she was saying goodbye to something important, which was not that bad, in a way, because it meant that at least you had said hello to it to begin with.

3

Decide that you like college life. In your dorm you meet many nice people. Some are smarter than you. And some, you notice, are dumber than you. You will continue, unfortunately, to view the world in exactly these terms for the rest of your life.

3

I've come to realize that life, while being everything, is also strangely not much. Except when the light shines on it a different way and then you realize it's a lot after all!

3

Awkwardness is where tension is, and tension is where the story is.

It's also where the comedy is, which I'm interested in; when it resolves it tends to resolve toward melancholy, a certain resignation, which I find interesting as well.

3

[T]he normal and the everyday are often amazingly unstoppable, and what is unimaginable is the cessation of them. The world is resilient, and, no matter what interruptions occur, people so badly want to return to their lives and get on with them. A veneer of civilization descends quickly, like a shining rain. Dust is settled.

2

There was the usual dreaminess, I suppose.

Also a shyness that caused me - and others - to notice that I could express myself better by writing than by speaking. This is typical of many writers, I think. What is a drawback in childhood is an asset to a literary life. Not being fluent on one’s feet sends one to the page and a habit is born.

2

If you look at most womens writing, women writers will describe women differently from the way male writers describe women. The details that go into a woman writers description of a female character are, perhaps, a little more judgmental. Theyre looking for certain things, because they know what women do to look a certain way.

2

Plots are for dead people.

2

The affectionate farce I make of him ignores the ways I feel his lack of love for me. But we are managing.

2

shopping for clothes is like masturbation - everyone does it, but it isn't very interesting and therefore should be done alone, in an embarrassed fashion, and never be the topic of party conversation.

2

Twenty-year-olds have a kind of emotional idealism about relationships and about the world that enables them to say, 'No, you lied to me. Goodbye.' When they see wickedness, they walk away.

1

One should never turn one's back on a vivid imagination.

1

I don't care if I'm a fish, I still want a bicycle.

0

We were in dialogue that was about something other than what we were saying.

0

My new apartment might be a place where there are lots of children.

They might gather on my porch to play, and when I step out for groceries, they will ask me, "Hi, do you have any kids?" and then, "Why not, don't you like kids?" "I like kids," I will explain. "I like kids very much." And when I almost run over them with my car, in my driveway, I will feel many different things.

0

Sometimes I ask myself if writing novels is even respectable.

0

She was afraid, and the afraid, she realized, sought opportunities for bravery in love.

0

Perhaps we had at last reached that stage of intimacy that destroys intimacy.

0

Once love had seemed like magic. Now it seemed like tricks.

0

Abby began to think that all the beauty and ugliness and turbulence one found scattered through nature, one could also find in people themselves, all collected there, all together in a single place. No matter what terror or loveliness the earth could produce- wind, seas- a person could produce the same, lived with the same, lived with all that mixed-uup nature swirling inside, every bit. There was nothing as complex in the world- no flower or stone- as a single hello from a human being.

0

There seemed nothing so true as a yellow tree.

0