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Tobias Wolff Quotes

Tobias Wolff Quote: “We are made to persist. that’s how we find out who we are.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “The human heart is a dark forest.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Memory is funny. Once you hit a vein the problem is not how to remember but how to control the flow.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “You don’t teach information in a writing workshop.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Want! You must want something. What do you want?”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “It’s probably why I’m a short story writer. I tend to remember things in the past in narrative form, in story form, and I grew up around people who told stories all the time.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “We each after a while have to become reconciled to what it is that our talents and appetites lead us to.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “I was giving up – being realistic, as people liked to say, meaning the same thing. Being realistic made me feel bitter.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “The beauty of a fragment is that it still supports the hope of brilliant completeness.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Fearlessness in those without power is maddening to those who have it.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “When your power comes from others, on approval, you are their slave. Never sacrifice yourselves – never! Whoever urges you to self-sacrifice is worse than a common murderer, who at least cuts your throat himself, without persuading YOU to do it.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “One can imagine a world without essays. It would be a little poorer, of course, like a world without chess, but one could live in it.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Real maturity is the ability to imagine the humanity of every person as fully as you believe in your own humanity.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Because I don’t have to be careful of people’s feelings when I teach literature, and I do when I’m teaching writing.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “But as my brother was doing his research for a book about my father, it became his opinion that the most influential anti-semitism my father encountered when he was growing up was from Jews, because his relatives were German Jews, and doctors.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “I believe that the short story is as different a form from the novel as poetry is, and the best stories seem to me to be perhaps closer in spirit to poetry than to novels.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Time, which is your enemy in almost everything in this life, is your friend in writing.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “What writers do is they tell their own story constantly through other people’s stories. They imagine other people, and those other people are carrying the burden of their struggles, their questions about themselves.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “I teach one semester a year, and this year I’m just teaching one course during that semester, a writing workshop for older students in their late 20s and early 30s, people in our graduate program who are already working on a manuscript and trying to bring it to completion.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Everything has to be pulling weight in a short story for it to be really of the first order.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “You felt it as a depth of ease in certain boys, their innate, affable assurance that they would not have to struggle for a place in the world; that is already reserved for them.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “There are writers who do start doing the same thing again and again and almost inevitably fall into self-parody.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “There’s a joy in writing short stories, a wonderful sense of reward when you pull certain things off.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Writers cannot let themselves be servants of the official mythology. They have to, whatever the cost, say what truth they have to say.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Reasons always came with a purpose, to give the appearance of a struggle between principle and desire. Principle had power only until you found what you had to have.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Our memories tell us who we are and they cannot be achieved through committee work, by consulting other people about what happened. That doesn’t mean that at all times memories are telling us the absolute truth, but that the main source of who we are is that memory, flawed or not.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “One of the things that draws writers to writing is that they can get things right that they got wrong in real life by writing about them.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “I love Chekhov. I could go on all day about him.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Had he learned nothing from all those years of teaching Hawthorne? Through story after story he’d led his boys to consider the folly of obsession with purity – its roots sunk deep in pride, flowering condemnation and violence against others and self.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Like so many writers I started writing stories because I didn’t have much time for anything else.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “To be a writer you need to see things as they are, and to see things as they are you need a certain basic innocence.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “You have to be kind of clued into them, they are a world of their own, and most people find them disappointing because the best short stories are not constructed like novels.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Work for most people is really very social, and the actual thinking is often done in community.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “I try to help people become the best possible editors of their own work, to help them become conscious of the things they do well, of the things they need to look at again, of the wells of material they have not even begun to dip their buckets into.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Perhaps that is why the novel flourished in England. You had these communities that would stay put and people would see one another all the time and cause one another to change and have the opportunity to observe the changes over time.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “There are very few professions in which people just sit down and think hard for five or six hours a day all by themselves. Of course it’s why you want to become a writer – because you have the liberty to do that, but once you have the liberty you also have the obligation to do it.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “One of the last courses I taught was on the Russian short story, which I love.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “But a lot of writers – and I’m one of them – do tend to feel dissatisfied. It makes you a little hard to live with, but it’s a goad and does keep you alert and restless.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Happiness is endless hapiness, innocent of its own sure passing. Pain is endless pain.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “I recognized no obstacle to miraculous change but the incredulity of others. This was an idea that died hard, if it ever really died at all.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “But for now Anders can still make time. Time for the shadows to lengthen on the grass, time for the tethered dog to bark at the flying ball, time for the boy in right field to smack his sweat-blackened mitt and softly chant, They is, they is, they is.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “She’d laugh at odd times as we talked and this flustered me pleasantly and made me laugh too, as if we both understood something we couldn’t say.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Getting from La Jolla to Alta Vista State Hospital isn’t easy, unless you have a car or a breakdown. April’s Father had a breakdown and they got him there in no time.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “It takes a childish or corrupt imagination to make symbols of other people.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “I am thinking of Achilles’ grief, he said. That famous, terrible, grief. Let me tell you boys something. Such grief can only be told in form. Form is everything. Without it you’ve got nothing but a stubbed-toe cry – sincere, maybe, for what that’s worth, but with no depth or carry. No echo. You may have a grievance but you do not have grief, and grievances are for petitions, not poetry.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “Whatever it is that makes closeness possible between people also puts them in the way of hard feelings if that closeness ends.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “And I learned that it’s a bad idea to curse if you’re in trouble, but a good idea to sing, if you can.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “I have never been able to understand the complaint that a story is “depressing” because of its subject matter. What depresses me are stories that don’t seem to know these things go on, or hide them in resolute chipperness; “witty stories,” in which every problem is the occasion for a joke; “upbeat” stories that flog you with transcendence. Please. We’re grown ups now.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “I was a sitting duck myself, and Arthur had a map of my nerves.”
Tobias Wolff Quote: “It was like fishing a swamp, where you feel the tug of something that at first seems promising and then resistant and finally hopeless as you realize that you’ve snagged the bottom, that you have the whole planet on the other end of your line.”
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