Tom Robbins, fully Thomas Eugene "Tom" Robbins

Tom
Robbins, fully Thomas Eugene "Tom" Robbins
1936

American Novelist

Author Quotes

The protagonist, Amanda, discusses her sex relationship with her husband, John Paul — As long as it’s done with honesty and grace, John Paul doesn’t mind if I go to bed with other men. Or with other girls, as is sometimes my fancy. What has marriage got to do with it? Marriage is not a synonym for monogamy any more than monogamy is a synonym for ideal love. To live lightly on the earth, lovers and families must be more flexible and relaxed. The ritual of sex releases its magic inside or outside the marital bond. I approach that ritual with as much humility as possible and perform it whenever it seems appropriate. As for John Paul and me, a strange spurt of semen is not going to wash our love away.

There are only two mantras, yum and yuk. Mine is yum.

They nailed him on Guam. His flight was diverted. I saw him on CNN. In handcuffs. They were hauling your stuff away. It’s been three or four days now. In Dickie’s tone there was both the pig iron of despair and the stained glass of hysteria.

To achieve the impossible, it is precisely the unthinkable that must be thought.

We are our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.

When they tell you to grow up, they mean stop growing.

You know what I mean? Real and unreal, beautiful and strange, like a dream. It got me high as a kite, but it didn’t last long enough. It ended too soon and left nothing behind. That’s how it is with dreams, said Priscilla. They’re the perfect crime.

The rich are the most discriminated-against minority in the world. Openly or covertly, everybody hates the rich because, openly or covertly, everybody envies the rich. Me, I love the rich. Somebody has to love them. Sure, a lot o’ rich people are assholes, but believe me, a lot o’ poor people are assholes, too, and an asshole with money can at least pay for his own drinks.

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better.

They snuggled closer, and when they were as close as they could get without being behind one another, they commenced to kiss again.

To be or not to be isn't the question. The question is how to prolong being.

We had a lot of young players this season. I thought they have improved over the course of the year. Overall, I have been pleased. As far as the sectional goes, I like our draw and I feel like we are playing our best basketball right now.

When two people meet and fall in love, there's a sudden rush of magic. Magic is just naturally present then. We tend to feed on that gratuitous magic without striving to make any more. One day we wake up and find that the magic is gone. We hustle to get it back, but by then it's usually too late, we've used it up. What we have to do is work like hell at making additional magic right from the start. It's hard work, but if we can remember to do it, we greatly improve our chances of making love stay.

You mean, if you allow the master to be uncivil, to treat you any old way he likes, and to insult your dignity, then he may deem you fit to hear his view of things? Quite the contrary. You must defend your integrity, assuming you have integrity to defend. But you must defend it nobly, not by imitating his own low behavior. If you are gentle where he is rough, if you are polite where he is uncouth, then he will recognize you as potentially worthy. If he does not, then he is not a master, after all, and you may feel free to kick his ass.

The shaman lives outside the social system, refusing to have any part of it. Yet he seems to connect the populace to the heavens and the earth far more directly than the priest.

There exists a false aristocracy based on family name, property, and inherited wealth. But there likewise exists a true aristocracy based on intelligence, talent and virtue.

They were old enough to know better. Some of them were old enough to remember when old Macdonald had a farm.

To diminish the worth of women, men had to diminish the worth of the moon. They had to drive a wedge between human beings and the trees and the beasts and the waters, because trees and beasts and waters are as loyal to the moon as to the sun. They had to drive a wedge between thought and feeling...At first they used Apollo as the wedge, and the abstract logic of Apollo made a mighty wedge, indeed, but Apollo the artist maintained a love for women, not the open, unrestrained lust that Pan has, but a controlled longing that undermined the patriarchal ambition. When Christ came along, Christ, who slept with no female...Christ, who played no musical instrument, recited no poetry, and never kicked up his heels by moonlight, this Christ was the perfect wedge. Christianity is merely a system for turning priestesses into handmaidens, queens into concubines, and goddesses into muses.

We modern human beings are looking at life, trying to make some sense of it; observing a ‘reality’ that often seems to be unfolding in a foreign tongue–only we’ve all been issued the wrong librettos. For a text, we’re given the Bible. Or the Talmud or the Koran. We’re given Time magazine, and Reader’s Digest, daily papers, and the six o’clock news; we’re given schoolbooks, sitcoms, and revisionist histories; we’re given psychological counseling, cults, workshops, advertisements, sales pitches, and authoritative pronouncements by pundits, sold-out scientists, political activists, and heads of state. Unfortunately, none of these translations bears more than a faint resemblance to what is transpiring in the true theater of existence, and most of them are dangerously misleading. We’re attempting to comprehend the spiraling intricacies of a magnificently complex tragicomedy with librettos that describe the barrom melodramas or kindergarten skits. And when’s the last time you heard anybody bitch about it to the management?

When we accept small wonders, we qualify ourselves to imagine great wonders.

You risked your life, but what else have you ever risked? Have you risked disapproval? Have you ever risked economic security? Have you ever risked a belief? I see nothing particularly courageous about risking one's life. So you lose it, you go to your hero's heaven and everything is milk and honey 'til the end of time. Right? You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences. That's not courage. Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one's clichés.

The sky was the color of Edgar Allan Poe's pajamas.

There is a comfort in conformity, a security in control, that is appealing. There is a thrill in domination, and we are all secretly attracted to violence.

They'd be no threat to me. I have a black belt in Haiku. And a black vest in the cleaners.

To emphasize the afterlife is to deny life. To concentrate on heaven is to create hell.

Author Picture
First Name
Tom
Last Name
Robbins, fully Thomas Eugene "Tom" Robbins
Birth Date
1936
Bio

American Novelist