- Birthday, Books, Quotes, Reading, Writing

“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.”

 

Happy birthday, Zora Neale Hurston! Here are some quotes from the author:

 

“If writers were too wise, perhaps no books would get written at all. It might be better to ask yourself ‘Why?’ afterwards than before. Anyway, the force from somewhere in Space, which commands you to write in the first place, gives you no choice. You take up the pen when you are told, and write what is commanded. There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.”

 

“I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusions.”

 

“I want a busy life, a just mind, and a timely death.”

 

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”

 

“If you haven’t got it, you can’t show it. If you have got it, you can’t hide it.”

 

“Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.”

 

“Love, I find, is like singing. Everybody can do enough to satisfy themselves, though it may not impress the neighbors as being very much.”

 

“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”

 

“I did not just fall in love. I made a parachute jump.”

 

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”

 

“The present was an egg laid by the past that had the future inside its shell.”

 

“People can be slave ships in shoes.”

 

“Gods always behave like the people who make them.”

 

“Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at the sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.”

 

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. It is a seeking that he who wishes may know the cosmic secrets of the world and they that dwell therein.”

 

“I love myself when I am laughing…and then again when I am looking mean and impressive.”

 

“If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other folks then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding.”

 

“It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it.”

 

“You hear me. You ain’t blind.”

 

“‘An envious heart makes a treacherous ear.'”

 

“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”

 

“A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it.”

 

“No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.”

 

“No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”

 

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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