American Author, Editor and Novelist
Peter De Vries
American Author, Editor and Novelist
Life is a crowded superhighway with bewildering cloverleaf exits on which a man is liable to find himself speeding back in the direction he came.
Marriage is to courting as humming is to singing.
Sometimes I write drunk and revise sober, and sometimes I write sober and revise drunk. But you have to have both elements in creation ? the Apollonian and the Dionysian, or spontaneity and restraint, emotion and discipline.
The murals in restaurants are on par with the food in museums.
The satirist shoots to kill while the humorist brings his prey back alive and eventually releases him again for another chance.
There's nothing wrong with a scatterbrained woman as long as it's brains that she's scattering.
We all learn by experience but some of us have to go to summer school.
We live this life by a kind of conspiracy of grace: the common assumption, or pretense, that human existence is 'good' or 'matters' or has 'meaning,' a glaze of charm or humor by which we conceal from one another and perhaps even ourselves the suspicion that it does not, and our conviction in times of trouble that it is overpriced - something to be endured rather than enjoyed.
We turned on one another deep, drowned gazes, and exchanged a kiss that reduced my bones to rubber and my brain to gruel.
Why is the awfulness of families such a popular reason for starting another?
You can make a sordid thing sound like a brilliant drawing-room comedy. Probably a fear we have of facing up to the real issues. Could you say we were guilty of Noel Cowardice??
How I hate this world. I would like to tear it apart with my own two hands if I could. I would like to dismantle the universe star by star, like a tree full of rotten fruit. Nor do I believe in progress. A vermin-eaten saint scratching his filth for heaven is better off than you damned in clean linen. Progress doubles our tenure in a vale of tears. Man is a mistake, to be corrected only by his abolition, which he gives promise of seeing to himself. Oh, let him pass, and leave the earth to the flowers that carpet the earth wherever he explodes his triumphs. Man is inconsolable, thanks to that eternal Why? when there is no Why, that question mark twisted like a fishhook in the human heart. Let there be light, we cry, and only the dawn breaks.
Human nature is pretty shabby stuff, as you may know from introspection.
I am not impressed by the Ivy League establishments. Of course they graduate the best -- it's all they'll take, leaving to others the problem of educating the country. They will give you an education the way the banks will give you money -- provided you can prove to their satisfaction that you don't need it.?
I made a tentative conclusion. It seemed from all of this that uppermost among human joys is the negative one of restoration: not going to the stars, but learning that one may stay where one is.
Every novel should have a beginning, a muddle, and an end.
Anyone informed that the universe is expanding and contracting in pulsations of eighty billion years has a right to ask. What's in it for me?
Words fashioned with somewhat over precise diction are like shapes turned out by a cookie cutter.
When I can no longer bear to think of the victims of broken homes, I begin to think of the victims of intact ones.
What baffles me is the comfort people find in the idea that somebody dealt this mess. Blind and meaningless chance seems to me so much more congenial - or at least less horrible. Prove to me that there is a God and I will really begin to despair.
We must love one another, yes, yes, that's all true enough, but nothing says we have to like each other. It may be the very recognition of all men as our brothers that accounts for the sibling rivalry, and even enmity, we have toward so many of them.
We are not primarily put on this earth to see through one another, but to see one another through.
There are times when parenthood seems nothing more than feeding the hand that bites you.
The tuba is certainly the most intestinal of instruments, the very lower bowel of music.