Madeleine L’Engle


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

Author Quotes

We think because we have words, not the other way around. The more words we have, the better able we are to think conceptually.

The part of us that has to be burned away is something like the deadwood on the bush; it has to go, to be burned in the terrible fire of reality, until there is nothing left but . . . what we are meant to be.

There are forces working in the world as never before in the history of mankind for standardization, for the regimentation of us all, or what I like to call making muffins of us, muffins all like every other muffin in the muffin tin. This is the limited universe, the drying dissipating universe that we can help our children to avoid by providing them with ?explosive material capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly'.

To be born is to start the journey towards death.

We cannot always cry at the right time and who is to say which time is right?

We turn to stories and pictures and music because they show us who and what and why we are, and what our relationship is to life and death, what is essential, and what, despite the arbitrariness of falling beams, will not burn.

The prayer of words cannot be eliminated. And I must pray them daily, whether I feel like praying or not. Otherwise, when God as something to say to me, I will not know how to listen. Until I have worked through self, I will not be enabled to get out of the way.

There are many distinct voices in the world of YA literature today, and the chief thing they have in common is their honoring of the human spirit. Their protagonists are always subjects, and never objects. One definition of pornography I was given is treating people as objects. In most YA novels we are able to enter into the subject, to feel empathy, to be willing to be part of the story.

To be in a state of unforgiveness is to know hell, at least in a small way.

We cannot Name or be Named without language. If our vocabulary dwindles to a few shopworn words, we are setting ourselves up for takeover by a dictator. When language becomes exhausted, our freedom dwindles ? we cannot think; we do not recognize danger; injustice strikes us as no more than ?the way things are.?

We, and I think I'm speaking for many writers, don't know what it is that sometimes comes to make our books alive. All we can do is write dutifully and day after day, every day, giving our work the very best of what we are capable. I don't that we can consciously put the magic in; it doesn't work that way. When the magic comes, it's a gift.

The rational intellect doesn't have a great deal to do with love, and it doesn't have a great deal to do with art. I am often, in my writing, great leaps ahead of where I am in my thinking, and my thinking has to work its way slowly up to what the "super-conscious" has already shown me in a story or poem.

There is in God, some say, a deep but dazzling darkness.

To deny friendship is un-love.

We cannot seem to escape paradox; I do not think I want to.

We're right now at a new paradigm shift, and I don't think any of us have really caught on to it, but it is far more terrifying than anything that Darwin suggested.

The scientists think it likely that there may be other planets out there, but this far nobody?s been able to communicate with anybody else. Maybe we?d better learn to communicate with each other first.

There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation.

To forget is a form of suicide

We do have to use our minds as far as they will take us, yet acknowledging that they cannot take us all the way. We can give a child a self-image. But is this a good idea? Hitler did a devastating job at that kind of thing. So does Chairman Mao... I haven't defined a self, nor do I want to. A self is not something static, tied up in a pretty parcel and handed to the child, finished and complete. A self is always becoming.

What can we give a child when there is nothing left? All we have, I think, is the truth, the truth that will set him free, not limited, provable truth, but the open, growing, evolving truth that is not afraid.

The seahorse might well be a symbol for the more extreme branches of women's lib, because the female seahorse lays her eggs in the male's pouch and then he has to carry eggs to term, go through labor pains and bear the babies.

There was no light. The darkness was deep and there was no dazzle.

To grow up is to find the small part you are playing in the extraordinary drama written by somebody else.

We do learn and develop when we are exposed to those who are greater than we are. Perhaps this is the chief way we mature.

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