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Top 450 Joyce Carol Oates Quotes (2023 Update)
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Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “But this controversy did not involve the corporal who refused to give thought to what his life had become as a case. God did not think of a man as a case. For a case is to be solved – and a man cannot be solved.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Criticism is, for me, like essay writing, a wonderful way of relaxation; it doesn’t require a heightened and mediated voice, like prose fiction, but rather a calm, rational, even conversational voice.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I can’t say I was a very successful sorority girl.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “It is a terrible thing to feel that you might break down, you might utter a confession that could not then be retrieved.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Early publication can be a dubious blessing: we all know writers who would give anything not to have published their first book, and go about trying to buy up all existing copies.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “You can’t deny Eros. Eros wills trike, like lightning. Our human defenses are frail, ludicrous. Like plasterboard houses in a hurricane. Your triumph is in perfect submission. And the god of Eros will flow through you, as Lawrence says, in the ’perfect obliteration of blood consciousness.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “And I like your laugh, Sabbath; it’s inaudible.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “It was hard not to exude the air of a martyr, if one did just slightly more than the other, as it seemed Mickey frequently did.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Before you can write a novel you have to have a number of ideas that come together. One idea is not enough.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “How strange it is, to be walking away. Is it possible that I am really going to leave Ray – here? Is it possible that he won’t be coming home with me in another day or two, as we’d planned? Such a thought is too profound for me to grasp. It’s like fitting a large unwieldy object in a small space. My brain hurts, trying to contain it.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Life and people are complex. A writer as an artist doesn’t have the personality of a politician. We don’t see the world that simply.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Like the philosophy credited to Jack Dempsey: The more punches a man takes, the closer he is to the end. Because a man has only a fixed number of punches he can take in his lifetime. “Pa?”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “The gym cat appears to those who will die. He is our totem.” This thought came to me a few weeks ago. I shared it with no one of course.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “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.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “On the way home Mary Lou said, “Some things are so sad you can’t say them.” But I pretended not to hear.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “And the thought consoled me, as it does now: everything you believe you have imagined is real. You have only to outlive it.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Nor do I like being told upsetting news – unless there is a good reason. I can’t help but feel that there is an element of cruelty, if not sadism, in friends telling one another upsetting things for no reason except to observe their reactions.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “In dreams sometimes it is like this. I am lying very still, my arms and legs are numb or paralyzed. There is a medical term – peripheral neuropathy. A tingling sensation in fingers and toes that moves upward bringing with it a loss of feeling, a spreading numbness, a kind of amnesia of the body.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Dorie herself was not very surprised, because a daydreamer is prepared for most things and in a way she had planned even this, though she had not guessed how it would come about.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “People might be surprised to know how much I throw away. For every page I publish, I throw 10 pages away.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I think whenever we think of our hometowns, we tend to think of very specific people: with whom you rode on the school bus, who was your next door neighbor you were playing with, who your girlfriend was. It’s always something very specific.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “The act of sending a letter is an act of generosity, even if, in retrospect, it might seem reckless. Why regret one’s generosity? Why regret one’s impulsiveness, one’s misjudgment of others? The inevitable discovery that someone is selling letters you’d written in trust is simply to discover an obvious human truth: there are those who don’t cherish us as we’d cherished them, and had wished to be cherished by them.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “They were astronomers plotting the trajectories of stars.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “An actress wants to be seen. An actress wants to be loved. By multitudes of people, not just one lone man.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Maybe he’d been mistaken, trying so hard to make his wife and young children happy. Maybe it’s always a mistake, trying to assure the happiness of others.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Popular! In America, what else matters?”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Of all miracles, none is more daunting than normal. To be – to become – normal. This gift seemingly so ordinary is not a gift given to all who seek it.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “If Hannah knew where he was! – frankly eyeing a hatcheck girl his faughter Geraldine’s age, noting her legs in black patterned stockings, her feet in black stiletto-heeled shoes, feeling the first dim stirrings of desire so faint and so sad it was like hearing a telephone ringing and ringing in a distant room you couldn’t hope to get to and if you did the call wouldn’t be for you.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I know that there are many essential biological differences between the sexes, of course. But not so many ‘culturally-mandated’ differences. In First World countries we’ve evolved beyond mere biology -it isn’t the fate of the human female to be pregnant continously until she wears out and dies.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “To claim – to claim repeatedly – that you are innocent of what it is claimed by others that you have done, or might have done, or are in some quarters strongly suspected of having done, is never enough unless others, numberous others, will say it for you.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “That I was sleeping at a time when my husband was dying is so horrible a thought, I can’t confront it.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “There could be no romance in the terrible possibility that Gretel Nissenbaum had fled on foot, alone, not to her family but simply to escape from her life; in what exigency of need, what despondency of spirit, no name might be given it by any who have not experienced it.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I suggest to my students that they write under a pseudonym for a week. That allows young men to write as women, and women as men. It allows them a lot of freedom they don’t have ordinarily.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “When a marriage ends, who is left to understand it?”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “On their own, your eyes did not naturally discover the sky.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “NO KISS FORGOTTEN; it resides in the memory as in the flesh, and so Katya many times felt the press of Marcus Kidder’s warm mouth on hers in the days and especially in the nights following. And her heartbeat quickened in protest: How could you! Kiss him! That old man! Kiss him! Let him put his arms around you ad kiss you and kiss him back! The old man’s mouth and Katya Spivak’s mouth! How could you.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I would know of myself through the witnessing and naming of others. As Jesus in the Gospels is only seen and spoken of and recorded by others. I would know my existence and the value of that existence through others’ eyes, which I believed I could trust as I could not trust my own.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “For, in movie logic, aesthetics has the authority of ethics: to be less than beautiful is sad, but to be willfully less than beautiful is immoral.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “The appeal of writing is primarily the investigation of mystery.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “For the writer, the serial killer is, abstractly, an analogue of the imagination’s caprices and amorality; the sense that, no matter the dictates and even the wishes of the conscious social self, the life or will or purpose of the imagination is incomprehensible, unpredictable.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “We are the species that clamors to be lied to.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I learned you don’t discover the evidence of any cause in its result.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “How lawyers make work for one another! You’re all priests, worshipping the same god. No wonder you adore one another.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “In so sick a society as ours how is it possible that any citizen is healthy, at all?”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “But thinking it my duty to stretch the flayed skin of my childhood on some sort of skeleton of convention.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I’m drawn to write about upstate New York in the way in which a dreamer might have recurring dreams. My childhood and girlhood were spent in upstate New York, in the country north of Buffalo and West of Rochester. So this part of New York state is very familiar to me and, with its economic difficulties, has become emblematic of much of American life.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Laughter too depends upon memory – a memory of previous laughter. Dr.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Love you in that cheerleader’s costume. Last Friday. You didn’t see me I guess. But I was there.”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “Who is to blame for this most recent of sports disgraces in America? The culture that flings young athletes like Tyson up out of obscurity, makes millionaires of them and watches them self-destruct?”
Joyce Carol Oates Quote: “I have read on a Kindle. But the Kindle we had only worked for about eight months then it stopped working. You don’t have to get books repaired.”
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