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Top 450 Joyce Carol Oates Quotes (2023 Update)
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Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “What is a family, after all, except memories? Haphazard and precious as the contents of a catch-all drawer in the kitchen.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “She wasn’t in love but she would love him, if that would save her.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Often in gothic novels there’s a large house, an estate, and it’s symbolic of that culture. Usually it’s sort of moldering or rotted or something, and sometimes it’s a whole community.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I don’t read for amusement, I read for enlightenment. I do a lot of reviewing, so I have a steady assignment of reading. I’m also a judge for the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which gives awards to literature and nonfiction.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “All that matters in life is forging deep ties of love and family and friends. Writing and reading come later.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “The worst thing: to give yourself away in exchange for not enough love.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “In a family, what isn’t spoken is what you listen for. But the noise of a family is to drown it out.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I write so much because my cat sits on my lap. She purrs so I don’t want to get up. She’s so much more calming than my husband.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I learned long ago that being Lewis Carroll was infinitely more exciting than being Alice.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Yet I will make you all love me and I will punish myself to spite your love.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “The great happiness in life in creativity belongs to amateurs.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Prose-it might be speculated-is discourse; poetry ellipsis. Prose is spoken aloud; poetry overheard.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “We inhabit ourselves without valuing ourselves, unable to see that here, now, this very moment is sacred; but once it’s gone – its value is incontestable.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I had forgotten that time wasn’t fixed like concrete but in fact was fluid as sand, or water. I had forgotten that even misery can end.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “If food is poetry, is not poetry also food?”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “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.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “If my favorite, most comfortable place is by our fireplace in cold weather, expedient places are on an airplane, in a waiting room or even waiting in line; frequently these days, while on the phone having been ‘put on hold.’”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “The secret of being a writer: not to expect others to value what you’ve done as you value it. Not to expect anyone else to perceive in it the emotions you have invested in it. Once this is understood, all will be well.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Homo sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Productivity is a relative matter. And it’s really insignificant: What is ultimately important is a writer’s strongest books.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “These are the moments for which we live.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I’m nobody’s daughter now. I’m through with that.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “The institution of marriage is just formalizing an emotion, an attempt to make it seem permanent. The emotion will last or it won’t last; nothing can guarantee it.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “As a farm girl, even when I was quite young, I had my ‘farm chores’ – but I had time also to be alone, to explore the fields, woods and creek side. And to read.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I was trying not to be happy, hopeful. I did not believe I deserved happiness or even hope, if you knew my soul.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “It is only through disruptions and confusion that we grow, jarred out of ourselves by the collision of someone else’s private world with our own.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “A good, sympathetic review is always a wonderful surprise.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Not what the mind sees, but what the mind imagines the eye must see.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “God’s blessing is not always to be distinguished from His wrath.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “The suicide does not play the game, does not observe the rules. He leaves the party too soon, and leaves the other guests painfully uncomfortable.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I think all art comes out of conflict. When I write I am always looking for the dramatic kernel of an event, the junctures of people’s lives when they go in one direction, not another.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “The relationship between parents and children, but especially between mothers and daughters, is tremendously powerful, scarcely to be comprehended in any rational way.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “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.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Never can you climb over this wall, you’re not strong enough; girls aren’t strong enough; girls aren’t big enough; your body is fragile and breakable, like a doll; your body is a doll; your body is for others to admire and to pet; your body is to be used by others, not used by you; your body is a luscious fruit for others to bite into and to savor; your body is for others, not for you.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “The innocence of such children doesn’t answer our deepest questions about this vale of tears to which we are condemned, but it helps to dispel them. That is the secret to family life.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “At all crucial moments in our lives we want to speak without knowing what to say.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “When my brother called to inform me, on the morning of May 22, 2003, that our mother Caroline Oates had died suddenly of a stroke, it was a shock from which, in a way, I have yet to recover.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “A man will reveal his true self, or so it seems, on the tennis court.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Writing is a consequence of having been ‘haunted’ by material. Why this is, no one knows.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Writing is a solitary occupation, and one of its hazards is loneliness. But an advantage of loneliness is privacy, autonomy and freedom.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I am infatuated with the private life, and with anonymity; perhaps even invisibility.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “For once a truth is known it cannot be unknown, it can only be denied.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Any kind of creative activity is likely to be stressful. The more anxiety, the more you feel that you are headed in the right direction. Easiness, relaxation, comfort – these are not conditions that usually accompany serious work.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I wrote a novel called ‘Blonde,’ which is about Norma Jean Baker, who becomes Marilyn Monroe, which I called a fictitious biography. That uses the material as if it were myth – that Marilyn Monroe is like this mythical figure in our culture.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Out of obscurity I came. To obscurity I can return.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “She examined me, she looked at me critically and said, “Why are you trying to starve yourself?” To keep myself from feeling love, from feeling lust, from feeling anything at all.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Stories come to us as wraiths requiring precise embodiments.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “It feels good, honey, but it isn’t love.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “And this is the forbidden truth, the unspeakable taboo – that evil is not always repellent but frequently attractive; that it has the power to make of us not simply victims, as nature and accident do, but active accomplices.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Boxing is rough. Even if you win, you get hurt.”
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