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All Quotes by author - Joyce Carol Oates
" A good, sympathetic review is always a wonderful surprise. "
" 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. "
" Anyone who teaches knows that you don't really experience a text until you've taught it, in loving detail, with an intelligent and responsive class. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" Except that awards are competitive, which is a negative thing, they are wonderful for singling out deserving individuals and bringing their work to the attention of many potential readers who might otherwise have been totally unaware of them. "
" For some reason, voters can be brainwashed, and they vote sometimes against their own best interests, let alone voting against the interests of people who need them, like people who are disenfranchised and people who are poor and so forth. "
" 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. "
" If a book I've committed myself to review turns out to be 'disappointing' I make an effort to present it objectively to the reader, including a good number of excerpts from the text, so that the reader might form his or her own opinion independent of my own. "
" In love there are two things - bodies and words. "
" I should say, one of the things about being a widow or a widower, you really, really need a sense of humor, because everything's going to fall apart. "
" It seems disingenuous to ask a writer why she, or he, is writing about a violent subject when the world and history are filled with violence. "
" I would suggest the widow do things the husband used to do, so he seems to be there with you. You will feel like just going to bed. It's so wonderful, going to bed. "
" I write in longhand and assemble lots of notes, and then I try to collate them into a coherent chronology. It's like groping along in the dark. I like writing and find it challenging, but I don't find it easy. "
" My own way of writing is very meditated and, despite my reputation, rather slow-moving. So I do spend a good deal of time contemplating endings. The final ending is usually arrived at simply by intuition. "
" My reputation for writing quickly and effortlessly notwithstanding, I am strongly in favor of intelligent, even fastidious revision, which is, or certainly should be, an art in itself. "
" No, the thing is, we all love storytelling, and as a writer you get to tell stories all the time. "
" 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. "
" Obviously the imagination is fueled by emotions beyond the control of the conscious mind. "
" The cleaning is something I use as a reward if I get some work done. I go into a very happy state of mind when I'm vacuuming. "
" The great menace to the life of an industry is industrial self-complacency. "
" The relationship between parents and children, but especially between mothers and daughters, is tremendously powerful, scarcely to be comprehended in any rational way. "
" We are stimulated to emotional response, not by works that confirm our sense of the world, but by works that challenge it. "
" When I was very little, four or five, I did comic strip drawings, so my first novel had no words. I couldn't write and thought adult handwriting was a mysterious scribble. When I was 14, my grandmother gave me a typewriter and I started writing in a different way. "
" When I wrote 'We Were The Mulvaneys,' I was just old enough to look back upon my own family life and the lies of certain individuals close to me, with the detachment of time. I wanted to tell the truth about secrets: How much pain they give, yet how much relief, even happiness we may feel when at last the motive for secrecy has passed. "
" Yes, 'Black Girl/White Girl' might be described as a 'coming-of-age' novel, at least for the survivor Genna. It is also intended as a comment on race relations in America more generally: we are 'roommates' with one another, but how well do we know one another? "
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