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

We are all strangers in a strange land.

We tend to defend vigorously things that in our deepest hearts we are not quite certain about. If we are certain of something we know, it doesn't need defending!

The moment that humility becomes self-conscious, it becomes hubris. One cannot be humble and aware of oneself at the same time. Therefore, the act of creating--painting a picture, singing a song, writing a story--is a humble act? This was a new thought to me. Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else.

Their love was a bright flower, youthful and radiantly beautiful.

Thou cannot harm a butterfly, without troubling a star.

We are suspicious of grace. We are afraid of the very lavishness of the gift.

We tend to think things are new because we just discovered them.

The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly.

Then there are real people. They're a very small class, and very wonderful. They're not creators, they're not artists, but they can understand and appreciate consciously.

To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, not even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one?s life would not make sense if God did not exist.

We are the song of the universe. We sing with the angelic host. We are the musicians. The farae and the stars are the singers. Our song orders the rhythm of creation.

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

Stories are like children. They grow in their own way.

The best way to help the world is to start by loving each other, not blandly, blindly, but realistically, with understanding and forbearance and forgiveness.

Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.

The books I read most as a child were by Lucy Maud Montgomery, who's best known for her Anne of Green Gables stories, but I also liked Emily of New Moon. Emily was an only child, as I was. Emily lived on an island, as did I. Although Manhattan Island and Prince Edward Island are not very much alike, they are still islands. Emily's father was dying of bad lungs, and so was mine. Emily had some dreadful relatives, and so did I. She had a hard time in school, and she also understood that there's more to life than just the things that can be explained by encyclopedias and facts. Facts alone are not adequate. I loved Emily.

Story always tells us more than the mere words, and that is why we love to write it, and to read it.

The concentration of a small child at play is analogous to the concentration of the artist of any discipline. In real play, which is real concentration, the child is not only outside time, he is outside himself. He has thrown himself completely into whatever it is he is doing. A child playing a game, building a sand castle, painting a picture, is completely in what he is doing. His self-consciousness is gone; his consciousness is wholly focused outside himself.

Story makes us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving. Why does anybody tell a story? It does indeed have something to do with faith, faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matter cosmically.

The creative impulse can be killed, but it cannot be taught...What a teacher can do...in working with children, is to give the flame enough oxygen so that it can burn. As far as I'm concerned, this providing of oxygen is one of the noblest of all vocations.

Suddenly she knew. She knew! Love. That was what she had that IT did not have. She had Mrs. Whatsit's love, and her father's, and mother's, and the real Charles Wallace's love, and the twins', and Aunt Beast's. And she had her love for them. But how could she use it? What was she meant to do?

The deeper and richer a personality is, the more full it is of paradox and contradiction. It is only a shallow character who offers us no problems of contrast.

Suddenly there was a great burst of light through the Darkness. The light spread out and where it touched the Darkness the Darkness disappeared. The light spread until the patch of Dark Thing had vanished, and there was only a gentle shining, and through the shining came the stars, clear and pure.

The degree of talent, the size of the gift, is immaterial. All artists must listen, but not all hear great symphonies, see wide canvasses, conceive complex, character-filled novels. No matter, the creative act is the same, and it is an act of faith.

Surely, George Macdonald is the grandfather of us all -- all who struggle to come to terms with truth through fantasy.

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