"Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship."
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (via excessivebookshelf)
"Poets also know how to transform things,” Ricardo Murga added. “They look at the world and they absorb it like a drink. And then when they start talking, nothing is the same. It is like magic. Each day I try to look at the world with such eyes. This is what keeps me going."
The Killer’s Tears (Anne-Laure Bondoux)
"Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns. These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them; they should not be confounded: appearances should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ."
Charlotte Brontë (under the name Currer Bell); Preface to Jane Eyre; December 21st, 1847
"Stories have a way of changing faces. They are unruly things, undisciplined, given to delinquency and the throwing of erasers. This is why we must close them up into thick, solid books, so they cannot get out and cause trouble."
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
"Why is it that we are willing to read bad books, sit through bad movies, or watch bad TV shows? Do we really have that much time on our hands? Are we really that bored? I don’t think so. It’s because we need those stories. We need them as much as we need food or air or water. In some primeval way, we’ve been hardwired for stories. They help us understand the world around us, help guide us how to live, and show us the potential of what we can become. And today, there are billions and billions of stories in the world, not just in entertainment, but in politics, advertising, and religion. Add to that all of our own personal stories. The ones we tell ourselves about why we are the way we are."
Mike DiMartino: Why Story Matters