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

Let's be exclusive' Charles Wallace said.

Maybe the theatre isn't any place for a reasonable human being after all. It keeps your emotions in such a constant state of upheaval. It's really terribly wearing. I wonder if I could stand it, one emotional upset after the other just going on and on for the rest of my life.

My young friend who was taught that she was so sinful the only way an angry God could be persuaded to forgive her was by Jesus dying for her, was also taught that part of the joy of the blessed in heaven is watching the torture of the damned in hell. A strange idea of joy. But it is a belief limited not only to the more rigid sects. I know a number of highly sensitive and intelligent people in my own communion who consider as a heresy my faith that God's loving concern for his creation will outlast all our willfulness and pride. No matter how many eons it takes, he will not rest until all of creation, including Satan, is reconciled to him, until there is no creature who cannot return his look of love with a joyful response of love...Origen held this belief and was ultimately pronounced a heretic. Gregory of Nyssa, affirming the same loving God, was made a saint. Some people feel it to be heresy because it appears to deny man his freedom to refuse to love God. But this, it seems to me, denies God his freedom to go on loving us beyond all our willfulness and pride. If the Word of God is the light of the world, and this light cannot be put out, ultimately it will brighten all the dark corners of our hearts and we will be able to see, and seeing, will be given the grace to respond with love ? and of our own free will.

One of the most pusillanimous things we of the female sex have done throughout the centuries is to have allowed the male sex to assume that mankind is masculine. It is not. It takes both male and female to make the image of God. The proper understanding of mankind is that it is only a poor, broken thing if either male or female is excluded.

Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.

Maybe we have to sin, to know ourselves human, faulty and flawed, before there is any possibility of greatness.

No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have been times when I've been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again ? till next time. I've learned that there will always be a next time, and that I will submerge in darkness and misery, but that I won't stay submerged. And each time something has been learned under the waters; something has been gained; and a new kind of love has grown. The best I can ask for is that this love, which has been built on countless failures, will continue to grow. I can say no more than that this is mystery, and gift, and that somehow or other, through grace, our failures can be redeemed and blessed.

One reason nearly half my books are for children is the glorious fact that the minds of children are still open to the living word; in the child, nightside and sunside are not yet separated; fantasy contains truths which cannot be stated in terms of proof.

Light and darkness dancing together, born together, born of each other, neither preceding, neither following, both fully being in joyful rhythm.

Meg, don't you think you'd make a better adjustment to life if you faced facts?

No matter how true I believe what I am writing to be, if the reader cannot also participate in that truth, then I have failed.

Like all great fantasists, he has taught me about life, life in eternity rather than chronology, life in that time in which we are real.

Meg, I give you your faults. My faults! Meg cried. Your faults. But I'm always trying to get rid of my faults! Yes, Mrs. Whatsit said. However, I think you'll find they'll come in very handy on Camazotz.

No! Alike and equal are not the same thing at all!

If our love for each other really is participatory, then all other human relationships nourish it; it is inclusive, never exclusive. If a friendship makes me love Hugh more, then I can trust that friendship. If it thrusts itself between us, then it should be cut out, and quickly.

In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there's no danger that we will confuse God's work with our own, or God's glory with our own.

It has only recently struck me that we need our shadow-casters, metaphorically as well as physically. What in me casts shadows, and what kind?

It's a lot simpler to adapt to low gravity, or no atmosphere, or even sandstorms than it is to hustle inhabitants.

If our usual response to an annoying situation is a curse, we're likely to meet emergencies with a curse. In the little events of daily living we have the opportunity to condition our reflexes, which are built up out of ordinary things. And we learn to bless first of all by being blessed. My reflexes of blessing have been conditioned by my parents, my husband, my children, my friends

In art, either as creators or participators, we are helped to remember some of the glorious things we have forgotten, and some of the terrible things we were asked to endure.

It is... through the world of the imagination which takes us beyond the restrictions of provable fact, that we touch the hem of truth.

It's a peculiar thing about pain. We can help each other bear it. Not just by caring, by making it bearable because we care - though that helps.

If she could give love to IT perhaps it would shrivel up and die, for she was sure that IT could not withstand love.

In Egypt, I learned why the women drew black lines of kohl around their eyes: to produce shadow, to protect their eyes from the fierceness of the sun. We see because of the sun, but if there were no shadows that light would quickly blind us. We need the shadows of buildings to protect us at least a little from heat.

It is a vehicle of truth, but it is not a blueprint, and we tend to confuse the two.

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