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

Only a fool is not afraid.

Reading about the response of people in stories, plays, poems, helps us to respond more courageously and openly at our own moments of turning.

Our country in general assumes that the pursuit of happiness really means the pursuit of pleasure and that therefore pleasure is the greatest good.

Right now I am like the unborn baby in the womb, knowing nothing except the comforting warmth of the amniotic fluid in which I swim, the comforting nourishment entering my body from a source I cannot see or understand. My whole being comes from an unseen, unknown nurturer. By that nurturer I am totally loved and protected, and that love is forever. It does not end when I am precipitated out of the safe waters of the womb into the unsafe world. It will. It end when I breathe my last, mortal breath. That love manifested itself joyously in the creation of the universe, became particular for us in Jesus, and will show itself most gloriously in the Second Coming. We need not fear.

Meg, when people don't know who they are, they are open either to being Xed, or Named.

Nobody can teach creative writing?run like mad from anybody who thinks he can. But one can teach practices, like finger exercises on the piano; one can share the tools of the trade, and what one has gleaned from the great writers: it is the great writers themselves who do the teaching.

Like and equal are not the same thing at all.

Most of the time nowadays we human beings are referred to as consumers. What does the consumer think? What does the consumer want? How ugly. Forest fires consume. Cancer consumes. I want us to be nourishers.

Nothing is hopeless, we must hope for everything.

Like it or not, we either add to the darkness of indifference and out-and-out evil which surrounds us or we light a candle to see by.

Mostly, no matter how inadequate my playing, the music is all that matters: I am outside time, outside self, in play, in joy. When we can play with the unself-conscious concentration of a child, this is: art: prayer: love.

Nothing, no one, is too small to matter. What you do is going to make a difference.

It's a strange thing, how you can love somebody, how you can be all eaten up inside with needing them--and they simply don't need you. That's all there is to it, and neither of you can do anything about it. And they'll be the same way with someone else, and someone else will be the same way about you and it goes on and on--this desperate need--and only once in a rare million do the same two people need each other.

Listen, she said, cherubim have come to my planet before. I know that. Where do you think I got my information? What do you know about us? I have heard that your host planet is shadowed, that it is troubled. It is beautiful, Meg said defensively. She felt a rippling of his wings. In the middle of your cities? Well-no-but I don't live in a city. And is your planet peaceful? Well-no-it isn't very peaceful. I had the idea, Proginoskes moved reluctantly within her mind, that there are wars on your planet. People fighting and killing each other. Yes, that's so, but- And children go hungry. Yes. And people don't understand each other. Not always. And there's-there's hate? Yes. She felt Proginoskes pulling away. All I want to do, he was murmuring to himself, is go someplace quiet and recite the names of the stars.

Mother says she can never stay mad at Daddy no matter how hard she tries. And Daddy says, 'Stay mad! You won't even let me get mad at you,' and then they laugh. Aren't you sorry for people who don't laugh, Vicky? Yes. And people who don't love music and books. And people, John said.

Now the red eyes and the light above seemed to bore into Charles, and again the pupils fo the little boy's eyes contracted. When the final point of black was lost in blue he turned away from the red eyes, looked at Meg, and smiled sweetly, but the smile was not Charles Wallace?s smile.

It's a very American trait, this wanting people to think well of us. It's a young want, and I am ashamed of it in myself. I am not always a good daughter, even though my lacks are in areas different from her complaints. Haven't I learned yet that the desire to be perfect is always disastrous and, at the least, loses me in the mire of false guilt?

Love can't be pinned down by a definition, and it certainly can't be proved, any more than anything else important in life can be proved.

My dear, I'm seldom sure of anything. Life at best is a precarious business, and we aren't told that difficult or painful things won't happen, just that it matters. It matters not just to us but to the entire universe.

Now wonder our youth is confused and in pain; they long for God, for the transcendent, and they are offered, far too often, either piosity or sociology, neither of which meets their needs, and they are introduced to churches which have become buildings that are a safe place to go to escape the awful demands of God.

It's hard to let go anything we love. We live in a world which teaches us to clutch. But when we clutch we're left with a fistful of ashes.

Love does not triumph easily or without pain, but story gives us the courage to endure the pain.

My father answered the waiter in French, but his French, instead of sounding all curves and music like Chopin or the ballet, was as square and angular as a problem in algebra.

Of course. I am well aware that the streets of New York are not safe, but then there is no longer any place in the world which is safe. One cannot live in perpetual fear, one has to be as prudent as possible, and get on with life. - A Severed Wasp

It's idiotic, it's crazy. If you die and then you're just nothing, there isn't any point to anything. Why do we live at all if we die and stop being? Father wasn't ready to be stopped. No one's ready to be stopped. We don't have *time* to be ready to be stopped. It's all crazy?Look at my glasses. I can't even see that there are any stars in the sky without them, but it's not the glasses that are doing the seeing, it's me, Madeleine. I don't think Father's eyes are seeing now, but *he* is. And maybe his brain isn't thinking, but a brain's just something to think through, the way my glasses are something to see through.

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