Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Katherine Anne Porter, born Callie Russell Porter

American Journalist, Essayist, Short-Story Writer, Novelist and Political Activist, Pulitzer Prize Winner

"You learn something the day you die. Learn how to die."

"Experience is what really happens to you in the long run; the truth that finally overtakes you."

"The whole effort for the past one hundred years has been to remove the moral responsibility from the individual and make him blame his own human wickedness on his society, but he helps to make his society, you see, and he will not take his responsibility for his part in it."

"The past is never where you think you left it."

"One of the marks of a gift is to have the courage of it."

"I get so tired of moral bookkeeping."

"Trust your happiness and the richness of your life at this moment. It is as true and as much yours as anything else that ever happened to you."

"It is a simple truth that the human mind can face better the most oppressive government, the most rigid restrictions, than the awful prospect of a lawless, frontierless world. Freedom is a dangerous intoxicant and very few people can tolerate it in any quantity; it brings out the old raiding, oppressing, murderous instincts; the rage for revenge, for power, the lust for bloodshed. The longing for freedom takes the form of crushing the enemy- there is always the enemy!- into the earth; and where and who is the enemy if there is no visible establishment to attack, to destroy with blood and fire? Remember all that oratory when freedom is threatened again. Freedom, remember, is not the same as liberty."