Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Quote File: Secrets

"Most of us live in a condition of secrecy: secret desires, secret appetites, secret hatreds and relationship with the institutions which is extremely intense and uncomfortable. These are, to me, a part of the ordinary human condition. So I don’t think I'm writing about abnormal things. ... Artists, in my experience, have very little center. They fake. They are not the real thing. They are spies. I am no exception." — John Le Carre

"Most writers are secretly worried that they're not really writers. That it's all been happenstance, something came together randomly, the letters came together, and they won't coalesce ever again." — Nicholson Baker

"My story is important not because it is mine. . . but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is yours. Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track . . . of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity . . . that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally . . . to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but spiritually. I not only have my secrets, I am my secrets. And you are yours. Our secrets are human secrets, and our trusting each other enough to share them with each other has much to do with the secret of what it means to be human." — Frederick Buehner

"Literature, like magic, has always been about the handling of secrets, about the pain, the destruction, and the marvelous liberation that can result when they are revealed. If a writer doesn't give away secrets, his own or those of the people he loves, if he doesn't court disapproval, reproach and general wrath, whether of friends, family or party apparatchiks... the result is pallid, inanimate, a lump of earth." — Michael Chabon

"Good books don't give up all their secrets at once." — Stephen King

"It's hard to explain how much one can love writing. If people knew how happy it can make you, we would all be writing all the time. It's the greatest secret of the world." — Andrea Barrett

"Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. It is a seeking that he who wishes may know the cosmic secrets of the world and they that dwell therein." — Zora Neale Hurston

"Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity." — Lord Acton

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity." — Louis Pasteur

"The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made." — Jean Giraudoux

"It is not what you say that matters but the manner in which you say it; there lies the secret of the ages." — William Carlos Williams

"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word — excellence. To know how to do something is to enjoy it." — Pearl S. Buck

"In the midst of all the doubts which have been discussed for four thousand years in four thousand ways, the safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret we can enjoy life and have no fear of death." — Voltaire

"Perhaps the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company." — Rachel Naomi Remen


  1. Good, good stuff. Thanks for sharing!

  2. "To know that one has a secret is to know half the secret itself" --Henry Ward Beecher

  3. Great quotes. I love collecting quotes and special lines of poetry.

  4. I really, really adore this post. Beautiful quotes. Thank you, Cheryl.