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Richard Powers's Quotes

Richard Powers profile photo

Born: 1957-06-18
Profession: Novelist
Nation: American
Biography of Richard Powers

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What we can do should never by itself determine what we choose to do, yet this is the way technology tends to work.

Tags: Choose, Technology, Work

A book is still atemporal. It is you, in silence, hearing voices in your head, unfolding at a time that has nothing to do with the timescale of reading. And for the hours that we retreat into this moratorium, with the last form of private and silent human activity that isn't considered pathological, we are outside of time.

Tags: Book, Human, Time

I think that if the novel's task is to describe where we find ourselves and how we live now, the novelist must take a good, hard look at the most central facts of contemporary life - technology and science.

Tags: Good, Life, Science

I write the way you might arrange flowers. Not every try works, but each one launches another. Every constraint, even dullness, frees up a new design.

Tags: Another, Design, Try

If you're going to immerse yourself in a project for three years, why not stake out a chunk of the world that is completely alien to you and go traveling?

Tags: Three, Why, Yourself

Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about reverence, not mastery.

Tags: Control, Face, Science

This idea that a book can either be about character and feeling, or about politics and idea, is just a false binary. Ideas are an expression of the feelings and the intense emotions we hold about the world.

Tags: Character, Feeling, Politics

We build our technologies as a way of addressing all our anxieties and desires. They are our passions congealed into these prosthetic extensions of ourselves. And they do it in a way that reflects what we dream ourselves capable of doing.

Tags: Build, Dream, Ourselves

Only white men have the luxury of ignoring race.

Tags: Men, Race, White

Reading is the last act of secular prayer.

Tags: Last, Prayer, Reading

The desire to live in our imagination is driven by this suspicion that we're disembodied sensibilities cobbled into our bodies. That idea has infused most of human thought since the very beginning.

Tags: Human, Idea, Thought

All the different ways we know the world all come from the brain, and they all depend on each other to make sense.

Tags: Brain, Sense, Ways

Everything interests me.

Tags: Interests

For me, university was just awful because it was closing one door after the other of all these candy shops of professional possibilities.

Tags: After, Door, University

I don't mind arguing with myself. It's when I lose that it bothers me.

Tags: Arguing, Lose, Mind

I keep a quotes journal - of every sentence that I've wanted to remember from my reading of the past 30 years.

Tags: Keep, Past, Remember

I like to travel and connect.

Tags: Connect, Travel

I really like science because it seems to be that place where you get the big picture, everything connects.

Tags: Big, Place, Science

I used to work for 12 or 14 hours at a time but the digital age has made such happy immersions almost impossible.

Tags: Age, Time, Work

I would say the flip side to my fascination with systems is a fascination with components. So many of my books are dialogues between little and big.

Tags: Between, Big, Books

I'd like, each time out as a writer, to reinvent who I am and what I'm doing. That's one of the great pleasures and rewards of the occupation.

Tags: Great, Time, Writer

In 25 years of writing novels, I've never had anything that felt like writer's block.

Tags: Felt, Writer, Writing

My dream has always been to suspend myself in space when I write, and lying horizontal in bed is the closest to doing that.

Tags: Dream, Space, Write
Much more quotes by Richard Powers below the page.

My goal for technology has always been to reach a point where the technological mediation becomes invisible.

Tags: Goal, Point, Technology

Novel-writing is the only place where someone who would have liked to do anything can still do that vicariously.

Tags: Liked, Place, Someone

Out of grad school, I worked as a tech writer for a while before going into computer coding for a living.

Tags: Living, School, While

The 'information novel' shouldn't be a curiosity. It should be absolutely mainstream.

Tags: Curiosity, Mainstream, Novel

The Midwest is such a tabula rasa.

Tags: Midwest

The thing that makes reading and writing suspect in the eyes of the market economy is that it's not corrupted.

Tags: Eyes, Makes, Writing

Type a few lines of code, you create an organism.

Tags: Create, Few, Lines

Until I was 42, I could fit everything that I owned into two suitcases.

Tags: Fit, Owned, Until

We don't consider the roles that we're taking in making the world the way it is.

Tags: Consider, Making, Taking

We will live with racism for ever. But senses of self, senses of belonging, senses of us and of others? Those are up for grabs.

Tags: Others, Racism, Self