Pearl S. Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu

Pearl S.
Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu
1892
1973

American Novelist and Humanitarian, Nobel Prize in Literature and Pulitzer Prize Winner

Author Quotes

There was no need to hurry that future?yet the length of his own youth pressed upon him. Whatever he was to do next he wanted to begin now. But how to begin and on what?

We should so provide for old age that it may have no urgent wants of this world to absorb it from meditation on the next. It is awful to see the lean hands of dotage making a coffer of the grave.

Strangely enough, there were certain scholars who envied the freedom of obscurity, and who, burdened with certain private sorrows which they dared not tell anyone, or who perhaps wanting only a holiday from the weariness of the sort of art they had themselves created, wrote novels too, under assumed and humble names. And when they did so they put aside pedantry and wrote as simply and naturally as any common novelist.

There will be no real content among American women unless they are made and kept more ignorant or unless they are given equal opportunity with men to use what they have been taught. And American men will not be really happy until their women are.

Western scholars, contemptible in their pretentious and shallow scholarship, have translated Tao as Way. How foolish! Tao is Spirit, the Spirit that permeates all heaven and all earth, even those far beyond ours. Tao includes all that is not, and all that is; Lao Tzu describes it in these words. Silent, aloof, alone, It changes not, nor fails, but touches all.I do not know its name, One name for it is Tao.Pressed for designation,I call it -- Tao.Tao means Outgoing, Outgoing, Far-reaching, Far-reaching, Return.

The bitterest creature under heaven is the wife who discovers that her husband's bravery is only bravado, that his strength is only a uniform, that his power is but a gun in the hands of a fool.

These Chinese novels are not perfect according to Western standards. They are not always planned from beginning to end, nor are they compact, any more than life is planned or compact. They are often too long, too full of incident, too crowded with character, a medley of fact and fiction as to material, and a medley of romance and realism as to method, so that an impossible event of magic or dream may be described with such exact semblance of detail that one is compelled to belief against all reason

Whatever came to him was good. It was life. It was knowledge.

The Chinese novel was written primarily to amuse the common people. And when I say amuse I do not mean only to make them laugh, though laughter is also one of the aims of the Chinese novel. I mean amusement in the sense of absorbing and occupying the whole attention of the mind. I mean enlightening that mind by pictures of life and what that life means.

They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.

When hope is taken away from the people moral degeneration follows swiftly after.

The common sense of people will surely prove to them someday that mutual support and cooperation are only sensible for the security and happiness of all. Such faith keeps me continually ready and purposeful with energy to do what one person can towards shaping the environment in which the human being can grow with freedom.

This scroll, five hundred years old and more, had been inspired by her favorite, the great Wang Wei, master of landscape art, who had painted the scenes from his own home, where he lived for thirty years before he died. Now behind the palace walls on this winter?s day, where she could see only sky and falling snow, Tzu His gazed upon the green landscapes of continuing spring. One landscape melted into another as slowly she unrolled the scroll, so that she might dwell upon every detail of tree and brook and distant hillside. So did she, in imagination, pass beyond the high walls which enclosed her, and she traveled through a delectable country, beside flowing brooks and spreading lakes, and following the ever-flowing river she crossed over wooden bridges and climbed the stony pathways upon a high mountainside and thence looked down a gorge to see a torrent fed by still higher springs, and breaking into waterfalls as it traveled toward the plains. Down from the mountain again she came, past small villages nestling in pine forests and into the warmer valleys among bamboo groves, and she paused in a poet?s pavilion, and so reached at last the shore where the river lost itself in a bay. There among the reeds a fisherman?s boat rose and fell upon the rising tide. Here the river ended, its horizon the open sea and the misted mountains of infinity. This scroll, Lady Miao had once told her, was the artist?s picture of the human soul, passing through the pleasantest scenes of earth to the last view of the unknown future, far beyond.

When men destroy their old gods they will find new ones to take their place.

The creative instinct is, in its final analysis and in its simplest terms, an enormous extra vitality, a super-energy, born inexplicably in an individual, a vitality great beyond all the needs of his own living ? an energy which no single life can consume.

This was his mind, a storehouse, a computer programmed to life, minute by minute, hour by hour, day and night.

When people work beyond their destiny, all they do fails.

The feet bear the burden of the body, the head the burden of the mind, and the heart the burden of the spirit.

Throw eggs at a rock, and though one uses all the eggs in the world, the rock remains the same.

When we know what we want to prove, we go out and find our facts. They are always there.

The instinct which creates the arts is not the same as that which produces art. The creative instinct is, in its final analysis and in its simplest terms, an enormous extra vitality, a super-energy, born inexplicably in an individual, a vitality great beyond all the needs of his own living ? an energy which no single life can consume. This energy consumes itself then in creating more life, in the form of music, painting, writing, or whatever is its most natural medium of expression. Nor can the individual keep himself from this process, because only by its full function is he relieved of the burden of this extra and peculiar energy ? an energy at once physical and mental, so that all his senses are more alert and more profound than another man's, and all his brain more sensitive and quickened to that which his senses reveal to him in such abundance that actuality overflows into imagination. It is a process proceeding from within. It is the heightened activity of every cell of his being, which sweeps not only himself, but all human life about him, or in him, in his dreams, into the circle of its activity.

To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.

Why should we hate them? Because ours is the only true civilization! Even in science -- consider that we invented the sternpost rudder twelve hundred years before the Europeans did! Fore-and-aft sails in the third century! Treadmill paddle wheel for boats five hundred years later! Warships with rams and twenty paddle wheels by the twelfth century -- the British thought we had copied theirs, the fools! In the thirteenth century we had ships with fifty cabins for passengers, six-masts, double planking, water-tight compartments! Only in the last century did the barbarians even have transverse bulkheads! Five hundred years ago we already had ships four hundred and fifty feet long, and we grew fresh vegetables aboard in tubs! WE sailed the high seas to Sumatra and India, to Aden and Africa and even to Madagascar -- sixty years before the Portuguese bit a piece from the thigh of India! I curse Confucius and all those mad saints who persuaded us against war! Did you ever hear of Sun Wa, who lived three thousand years ago? No? Read the Art of War! 'If you are not in danger, do not fight,' he wrote. Now we are in danger!

The people of China forged their own literature apart from letters. And today this is what lives, to be part of what is to come, and all the formal literature, which was called art, is dead. The plots of these novels are often incomplete, the love interest is often not brought to solution, heroines are often not beautiful and heroes often are not brave. Nor has the story always an end; sometimes it merely stops, in the way life does, in the middle of it when death is not expected.

Author Picture
First Name
Pearl S.
Last Name
Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu
Birth Date
1892
Death Date
1973
Bio

American Novelist and Humanitarian, Nobel Prize in Literature and Pulitzer Prize Winner