Catherine Drinker Bowen
Quotations


For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.

I have noted that, barring accidents, artists whose powers wear best and last longest are those who have trained themselves to work under adversity. Great artists treasure their time with a bitter and snarling miserliness.

If art has a purpose, it is to interpret life, reproduce it in fresh visions.

In writing biography, fact and fiction shouldn't be mixed. And if they are, the fictional points should be printed in red ink, the facts printed in black ink.

Many a man who has known himself at ten forgets himself utterly between ten and thirty.

My last work is no sooner on the stands than letters come, suggesting a subject. The grandmothers of strangers are crying from the grave, it seems, for literary recognition; it is bewildering, the number of salty grandfathers, aunts, and uncles that languish unappreciated.

People who carry a musical soul about them are, I think, more receptive than others. They smile more readily. One feels in them a pleasant propensity toward the lesser sins, a pleasing readiness also to admit the possibility that on occasion they may be in the wrong--they may be mistaken.

The professors laugh at themselves, they laugh at life; they long ago abjured the bitch-goddess Success, and the best of them will fight for his scholastic ideals with a courage and persistence that would shame a soldier. The professor is not afraid of words like truth; in fact he is not afraid of words at all.

There is a marvelous turn and trick to British arrogance; its apparent unconsciousness makes it twice as effectual.

Your great artist looks on his talent as a responsibility laid on him by God, or perhaps a curse set on him by the devil. Whichever way he looks at it, while he is writing that book or composing that symphony, DOOM hangs over him. He is afraid something will interfere to stop him. Artists often think they are going to die before their time. They seem to possess a heightened sense of the passing of the hours. I think artists dread death because they love life. Artists, even at their gloomiest, seem to maintain a constant love affair with life, marked by all the ups and downs, the depressions and ecstasies of infatuation. Artists have so much to do, and so little time to do it!



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