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

There's more to life than just the things that can be explained by encyclopedias and facts. Facts alone are not adequate.

To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take.

We do not know what things look like. We know what things are like. It must be a very limiting thing,this seeing.

The truth is that I hate to think about other people reading my books, Miranda said. It's like watching someone go through the box of private stuff that I keep under my bed.

They are very young. And on their earth, as they call it, they never communicate with other planets. They revolve about all alone in space.

To put it into Euclid or old fashioned plane geometry, a starlight line is not the shortest distance between two points.

We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are.

The uncommon man has done the impossible and there has been that much more light in the world because of it. Children respond to heroes by thinking creatively and sometimes in breaking beyond the bounds of the impossible in their turn, and so becoming heroes themselves.

They're lots easier to face than people, I can tell you.

To stake one's life for the truth.

We human beings grow through our failures, not our virtues.

The walls have ears.

They've never known a time when people drank rain water because it was pure, or could eat snow, or swim in any river or brook. The last time I drove to Washington the traffic was so bad that I could have made better time with a horse.

Unless we are creators, we are not fully alive.

We know you have a great mind and all, Mother, but you don?t have much sense.

The way of peacemaking given us may be something so small that it seems hardly worth doing, but it is these small offerings which build our reflexes for the larger ones.

'Thinking I'm a moron gives people something to feel smug about,' Charles Wallace said. 'Why should I disillusion them?'

Very few children have any problem with the world of the imagination; it?s their own world, the world of their daily life, and it?s our loss that so many of us grow out of it.

We lived on 82nd Street and the Metropolitan Museum was my short cut to Central Park. I wrote: I go into the museum and look at all the pictures on the walls. Instead of feeling my own insignificance I want to go straight home and paint. A great painting, or symphony, or play, doesn't diminish us, but enlarges us, and we, too, want to make our own cry of affirmation to the power of creation behind the universe. This surge of creativity has nothing to do with competition, or degree of talent. When I hear a superb pianist, I can't wait to get to my own piano, and I play about as well now as I did when I was ten. A great novel, rather than discouraging me, simply makes me want to write. This response on the part of any artist is the need to make incarnate the new awareness we have been granted through the genius of someone else.

The work proves the craftsman.

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 also escape our self-conscious selves. The Greeks had a word for ultimate self-consciousness which I find illuminating: hubris: pride: pride in the sense of putting oneself in the center of the universe. The strange and terrible thing is that this kind of total self-consciousness invariably ends in self-annihilation.

Was she strong enough to allow both of them to be themselves? Bahama had instilled in her an honoring of promises, but she could not keep her promise unless she was willing to allow Nik to be Nik, not a projection of someone who could fill in all her empty spaces, heal all her wounds.

We rebel against the impossible. I sense a wish in some professional religion-mongers to make God possible, to make him comprehensible to the naked intellect, domesticate him so that he's easy to believe in. Every century the Church makes a fresh attempt to make Christianity acceptable. But an acceptable Christianity is not Christian; a comprehensible God is no more than an idol.

The world has been abnormal for so long that we've forgotten what it's like to live in a peaceful and reasonable climate. If there is to be any peace or reason, we have to create it in our own hearts and homes.

This wasn't the first time that I'd come close to death, but it was the first time I'd been involved in this part of it, this strange, terrible saying goodbye to someone you've loved.

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