Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine
L’Engle
1918
1986

American Novelist, Poet, Short Story Writer best known for novel "A Wrinkle In Time" winning the John Newbery Medal

Author Quotes

You've got to learn to walk through a pigpen and not get dirty.

When a promise is broken, the promise still remains. In one way or another, we are all unfaithful to each other, and physical unfaithfulness is not the worst kind there is.

Why do you write for children? My immediate response to this question is, I don't... If it's not good enough for adults, it's not good enough for children. If a book that is going to be marketed for children does not interest me, a grownup, then I am dishonoring the children for whom the book is intended, and I am dishonoring books. And words. Sometimes I answer that if I have something I want to say that is too difficult for adults to swallow, then I will write it in a book for children. This is usually good for a slightly startled laugh, but it's perfectly true. Children still haven't closed themselves off with fear of the unknown, fear of revolution, or the scramble for security. They are still familiar with the inborn vocabulary of myth. It was adults who thought that children would be afraid of the Dark Thing in Wrinkle, not children, who understand the need to see thingness, non-ness, and to fight it.

When I am constantly running there is no time for being. When there is no time for being there is no time for listening.

Wild nights are my glory!

When I am grappling with ideas which are radical enough to upset grown-ups, then I am likely to put these ideas into a story which will be marketed for children, because children understand what their parents have rejected and forgotten.

With each book I write, I become more and more convinced that [the books] have a life of their own, quite apart from me.

When I have something to say that I think will be too difficult for adults, I write it in a book for children. Children are excited by new ideas; they have not yet closed the doors and windows of their imaginations. Provided the story is good... nothing is too difficult for children.

With our human limitations we're not always able to understand the explanations.

When I have something to say that is too difficult for adults, I write for children. They have not closed the shutters. They like it when you rock the boat.

With the people I love most I can sit in silence indefinitely. We need both for our full development; the joy of the sense of sound; and the equally great joy of its absence.

When I start a new seminar I tell my students that I will undoubtedly contradict myself, and that I will mean both things. But an acceptance of contradiction is no excuse for fuzzy thinking. We do have to use our minds as far as they will take us, yet acknowledge that they cannot take use all the way.

Yes. I believe things have an explanation. But I think that with our human limitations we?re not always able to understand the explanations. But you see, just because we don?t understand doesn?t mean that the explanation doesn?t exist.

When the bright angel dominates, out comes a great work of art, a Michelangelo David or a Beethoven symphony.

You and I have good enough minds to know how very limited and finite they really are. The naked intellect is an extraordinarily inaccurate instrument.

When the work takes over, then the artist is enabled to get out of the way, not to interfere. When the work takes over, then the artist listens.

You are given the form, but you must write the sonnet for yourself.

What grievous pain a little fault doth give thee!

When we are self-conscious, we cannot be wholly aware; we must throw ourselves out first. This throwing ourselves away is the act of creativity. So, when we wholly concentrate, like a child in play, or an artist at work, then we share in the act of creating. We not only escape time, we escape our self-conscious selves.

You can always tell Schubert by that sadness that's under everything he writes, even the merriest stuff.

What happens to what's happened?

When we are writing, or painting, or composing, we are, during the time of creativity, freed from normal restrictions, and are opened to a wider world, where colors are brighter, sounds clearer, and people more wondrously complex than we normally realize.

You cannot see the past that did not happen any more than you can foresee the future.

What I must learn is to love with all of me, giving all of me, and yet remain whole in myself. Any other kind of love is too demanding of the other; it takes, rather than gives. To love so completely that you lose yourself in another person is not good. You are giving a weight, not the sense of lightness and light that loving someone should give.

When we fall as we always do, we pick ourselves up and start again. And when our trust is betrayed the only response that is not destructive is to trust again. Not stupidly you understand, but fully aware of the facts, we still have to trust.

Author Picture
First Name
Madeleine
Last Name
L’Engle
Birth Date
1918
Death Date
1986
Bio

American Novelist, Poet, Short Story Writer best known for novel "A Wrinkle In Time" winning the John Newbery Medal