Selected Joyce Carol Oates Quotations
• Critics sometimes appear to be addressing themselves to works other than those I remember writing.
• When people say there is too much violence in my books, what they are saying is there is too much reality in life.
• Our house is made of glass . . . and our lives are made of glass; and there is nothing we can do to protect ourselves.
• We inhabit ourselves without valuing ourselves, unable to see that here, now, this very moment is sacred; but once it's gone -- its value is incontestable.
• In love there are two things -- bodies and words.
• Love commingled with hate is more powerful than love. Or hate.
• When you're 50 you start thinking about things you haven't thought about before. I used to think getting old was about vanity -- but actually it's about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial.
• Where we come from in America no longer signifies. It's where we go, and what we do when we get there, that tells us who we are.
• The worst cynicism: a belief in luck.
• Nothing is accidental in the universe - this is one of my Laws of Physics - except the entire universe itself, which is Pure Accident, pure divinity.
• The use of language is all we have to pit against death and silence.
• If food is poetry, is not poetry also food?
• When poets write about food it is usually celebratory. Food as the thing-in-itself, but also the thoughtful preparation of meals, the serving of meals, meals communally shared: a sense of the sacred in the profane.
• If you explore beneath shyness or party chit-chat, you can sometimes turn a dull exchange into an intriguing one. I've found this to be particularly true in the case of professors or intellectuals, who are full of fascinating information, but need encouragement before they'll divulge it.
Related Resources for Joyce Carol Oates
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About These Quotes
Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2005. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Joyce Carol Oates Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/jc_oates.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)