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.

What is a self-image? Who started talking about one? I rather fancy it was Madison Avenue. Picture Satan in a business suit, with well-groomed horns and a superbly switching tail, sitting at his huge executive's desk, thinking, 'Aha! If I can substitute images for reality I can get a lot more people under my domination.

when you put something into words, it leads to so many other thoughts

You mean you're comparing our lives to a sonnet? A strict form, but freedom within it? Yes. Mrs. Whatsit said. You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.

What is forever? It cannot be in time, because time can be measured, and forever cannot. Time is inextricably tangled up with place, and can be measured only against place (dark of night in New York; grey of morning in Beja). Time has meaning only in relation to its position in space, the movement of a planet about a sun, of a night through stars.

Where love blooms bright and wild. Had Mary been filled with reason there'd have been no room for the child.

You see, though we travel together, we travel alone.

What is my own shadow? If we all had the ability to recognize our shadows we might not be driven by them.

Wherever there is unity in diversity, then we are free to be ourselves; it cannot be done in isolation; we need each other.

You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.

When a child who has been conceived in love is born to a man and a woman, the joy of that birth sings throughout the universe. The joy of writing or painting is much the same, and the insemination comes not from the artist himself but from his relationship with those he loves, with the whole world. All real art is, in its true sense, religious; it is a religious impulse; there is not such thing as a non-religious subject.

Wherever there's laughter, there is heaven.

You're going to get hurt yourself, and badly, if you take everything so hard.

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.

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