American Novelist, Short-Story Writer and Dramatist
Thomas Wolfe, fully Thomas Clayton Wolfe
American Novelist, Short-Story Writer and Dramatist
All things belonging to the earth will never change--the leaf, the blade, the flower, the wind that cries and sleeps and wakes again, the trees whose stiff arms clash and tremble in the dark, and the dust of lovers long since buried in the earth--all things proceeding from the earth to seasons, all things that lapse and change and come again upon the earth--these things will always be the same, for they come up from the earth that never changes, they go back into the earth that lasts forever. Only the earth endures, but it endures forever. The tarantula, the adder, and the asp will also never change. Pain and death will always be the same. But under the pavements trembling like a pulse, under the buildings trembling like a cry, under the waste of time, under the hoof of the beast above the broken bones of cities, there will be something growing like a flower, something bursting from the earth again, forever deathless, faithful, coming into life again like April.
Few buildings are vast enough to hold the sound of time, and now it seemed to George that there was a superb fitness in the fact that the one which held it better than all others should be a railroad station. For here, as nowhere else on earth, men were brought together for a moment at the beginning or end of their innumerable journeys, here one saw their greetings and farewells, here, in a single instant, one got the entire picture of the human destiny. Men came and went, they passed and vanished, and all were moving through the moments of their lives to death, all made small tickings in the sound of time--but the voice of time remained aloof and unperturbed, a drowsy and eternal murmur below the immense and distant roof.
If a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged, a liberal is a conservative who's been arrested
Man is born to live, to suffer, and to die, and what befalls him is a tragic lot. There is no denying this in the final end. But we must ... deny it all along the way.
Some things will never change. Some things will always be the same. Lean down your ear upon the earth and listen. The voice of forest water in the night, a woman's laughter in the dark, the clean, hard rattle of raked gravel, the cricketing stitch of midday in hot meadows, the delicate web of children's voices in bright air--these things will never change. The glitter of sunlight on roughened water, the glory of the stars, the innocence of morning, the smell of the sea in harbors, the feathery blur and smoky buddings of young boughs, and something there that comes and goes and never can be captured, the thorn of spring, the sharp and tongueless cry--these things will always be the same.
The provincial, the middle-class, the bourgeois, are to be found everywhere; they are necessary, I suppose ? only, when you differ from their own narrow molds, they may try to crucify you.
To believe that new monsters will arise as vicious as the old, to believe that the great Pandora's Box of human frailty, once opened, will never show a diminution of its ugly swarm, is to help, by just that much, to make it so forever.
You can't go home again.
All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.
Fields are won by those who believe in the winning.
If a man has a talent and cannot use it, he has failed. If he has a talent and uses only half of it, he has partly failed. If he has a talent and learns somehow to use the whole of it, he has gloriously succeeded, and won a satisfaction and a triumph few men ever know.
Men do not escape from life because life is dull, but life escapes from men because men are little.
Someday, before we all die, perhaps I shall get from home a letter in which all the news will be pleasant. I never have thus far.
The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.
To every man his chance ? to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity ? to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever his manhood and his vision can combine to make him ? this, seeker, is the promise of America.
You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.
Almost, I am tempted to say, I will believe in God, yes, in spite of the church and the ministers.
For all that you have done, I am ever mindful. How can you doubt that I ever forgot it ? but don't remind me of it too much at this time.
If such people ask news of me, ? be silent, or say that I am dead. Let me be dead to them as they are dead to me.
Men will often say they have 'found themselves' when they have really been worn down into a groove by the brutal and compulsive force of circumstance.
Something has spoken to me in the night, burning the tapers of the waning year; something has spoken in the night, and told me I shall die, I know not where. Saying: ?To lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.
The seed of our destruction will blossom in the desert, the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, and our lives are haunted by a Georgia slattern, because a London cutpurse went unhung. Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years. The minute-winning days, like flies, buzz home to death, and every moment is a window on all time.
We are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we're in the present, but we aren't. The present we know is only a movie of the past.
America - it is a fabulous country, the only fabulous country; it is the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time.
For he had learned some of the things that every man must find out for himself, and he had found out about them as one has to find out --through error and through trial, through fantasy and illusion, through falsehood and his own damn foolishness, through being mistaken and wrong and an idiot and egotistical and aspiring and hopeful and believing and confused.