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Joyce Carol Oates's Quotes

Joyce Carol Oates profile photo

Born: 1938-06-16
Profession: Novelist
Nation: American
Biography of Joyce Carol Oates

See the gallery for quotes by Joyce Carol Oates. You can to use those 7 images of quotes as a desktop wallpapers.
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I really love to set things in places that are real to me.

Tags: Love, Places, Real

I was brought up to be sympathetic toward others.

Tags: Brought, Others, Toward

I was writing novels in high school and apprenticed myself in a way both to Faulkner and to Hemingway.

Tags: High, School, Writing

If food is poetry, is not poetry also food?

Tags: Food, Poetry

If I'm writing, I'll say something metaphorical or approximate, whereas scientists are very precise.

Tags: Precise, Scientists, Writing

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.

Tags: History, Why, Writing

Like most people, I can be very easily hurt.

Tags: Easily, Hurt

Love commingled with hate is more powerful than love. Or hate.

Tags: Hate, Love, Powerful

Love is an indescribable sensation - perhaps a conviction, a sense of certitude.

Tags: Love, Perhaps, Sense

No, the thing is, we all love storytelling, and as a writer you get to tell stories all the time.

Tags: Love, Tell, Time

Obviously the imagination is fueled by emotions beyond the control of the conscious mind.

Tags: Control, Emotions, Mind

Our enemy is by tradition our savior, in preventing us from superficiality.

Tags: Enemy, Savior, Tradition

Productivity is a relative matter. And it's really insignificant: What is ultimately important is a writer's strongest books.

Tags: Books, Matter, Writer

The great menace to the life of an industry is industrial self-complacency.

Tags: Great, Industry, Life

The third man in the ring makes boxing possible.

Tags: Boxing, Makes, Possible

To be Jewish is to be specifically identified with a history. And if you're not aware of that when you're a child, the whole tradition is lost.

Tags: History, Lost, Whole

To be knocked out doesn't mean what it seems. A boxer does not have to get up.

Tags: Knocked, Mean, Seems

We are linked by blood, and blood is memory without language.

Tags: Blood, Language, Memory

Where we come from in America no longer signifies. It's where we go, and what we do when we get there, that tells us who we are.

Tags: America, Longer, Tells

A lot of widows feel that they have betrayed their spouse by continuing to live. It's deranged thinking. I know that, but that doesn't stop you feeling it.

Tags: Feeling, Stop, Thinking

After my parents passed away - in 2000 and 2003 - I felt I could take the time to think about the past and imagine what it would have been like to be my grandmother.

Tags: Parents, Past, Time

A typical biography relying upon individuals' notorious memories and the anecdotes they've invented contains a high degree of fiction, yet is considered 'nonfiction.'

Tags: Fiction, High, Memories

As a teacher at Princeton, I'm surrounded by people who work hard so I just make good use of my time. And I don't really think of it as work - writing a novel, in one sense, is a problem-solving exercise.

Tags: Good, Time, Work
Much more quotes by Joyce Carol Oates below the page.

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.

Tags: Rather, Wonderful, Writing

Honorary degrees and lifetime achievement awards are very encouraging. I know that it might sound strange that a writer who has published many books still needs encouragement, but this is true.

Tags: Might, Strange, True

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.

Tags: Another, Art, Write

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.

Tags: Book, Good, Opinion

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.'

Tags: Place, Put, Waiting

It is not her body that he wants but it is only through her body that he can take possession of another human being, so he must labor upon her body, he must enter her body, to make his claim.

Tags: Another, Her, Human

Probably nothing serious or worthwhile can be accomplished without one's willingness to be alone for sustained periods of time, which is not to say that one must live alone, obsessively.

Tags: Alone, Serious, Time

Sometimes I read reviews, and without exception I will read critical essays that are sent to me. The critical essays are interesting on their own terms.

Tags: Critical, Read, Sometimes

The books I read I do enjoy, very much; otherwise I wouldn't read them. Most of them are for review, for the New York Review of Books, and substantial.

Tags: Books, Enjoy, Read

When I complete a novel I set it aside, and begin work on short stories, and eventually another long work. When I complete that novel I return to the earlier novel and rewrite much of it. In the meantime the second novel lies in a desk drawer.

Tags: Another, Short, Work

Yes, I've listened to just a few audiobooks - but hope to listen to more. I've wanted to investigate how my own books sound in this format and find the experience of listening, and not reading, quite fascinating.

Tags: Experience, Hope, Wanted

In love there are two things - bodies and words.

Tags: Bodies, Love, Words

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.

Tags: Accident, Physics, Universe

Night comes to the desert all at once, as if someone turned off the light.

Tags: Light, Night, Someone

Our house is made of glass... and our lives are made of glass; and there is nothing we can do to protect ourselves.

Tags: House, Lives, Ourselves

Boxing has become America's tragic theater.

Tags: America, Become, Sports

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.

Tags: Artist, Life, Writer

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.

Tags: Feeling, Pain, Winning

If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework you can still be writing, because you have that space.

Tags: Car, Writing, Yourself

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.

Tags: Anyone, Experience, Until

Homo sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions.

Tags: Authority, Inventions, Passion

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.

Tags: Happy, Mind, Work

When people say there is too much violence in my books, what they are saying is there is too much reality in life.

Tags: Life, Reality, Saying

As a child. I grew up on a small farm, so I did a lot of drawings of animals, chickens and people. At the bottom of every page, I'd put a strange scribble. I was emulating adult handwriting, though I didn't actually know how to write.

Tags: Put, Small, Strange

Before you can write a novel you have to have a number of ideas that come together. One idea is not enough.

Tags: Enough, Together, Write

The worst cynicism: a belief in luck.

Tags: Belief, Luck, Worst

You need so much energy and encouragement to write that if someone says something negative, some of that energy goes.

Tags: Energy, Negative, Someone

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.

Tags: Negative, Wonderful, Work

A good, sympathetic review is always a wonderful surprise.

Tags: Good, Surprise, Wonderful

A writer can't subtract or excise any of his/her past because doing so would erase the work produced during that time.

Tags: Past, Time, Work

Boxing is a celebration of the lost religion of masculinity all the more trenchant for its being lost.

Tags: Boxing, Lost, Religion

I can't say I was a very successful sorority girl.

Tags: Girl, Successful

I consider tragedy the highest form of art.

Tags: Art, Consider, Tragedy

I could never take the idea of religion very seriously.

Tags: Idea, Religion, Seriously

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.

Tags: Books, Read, Working

I probably spend 90% of my time revising what I've written.

Tags: Spend, Time, Written