Selected Literary Quotations


In addition to our other features, each month a group member identifies a selected quotation for consideration of the group.  This quotation can address a variety of topics within the realm of literature.  This feature began in 2016, and a complete record of selected quotations can be viewed below.


CHAPTER ONE MISSION QUOTE: “Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.” — Ezra Pound, author of The Cantos



“Change is the principal feature of our age and literature should explore how people deal with it. The best science fiction does that, head-on.” — David Brin, author of The Postman



“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” — Robert Frost, author of Fire and Ice



“Nonsense and beauty have close connections.” — E.M. Forster, author of A Room with a View



“I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” — Virginia Woolf, author of A Room of One’s Own



“Everything is becoming science fiction; from the margins of an almost invisible literature has sprung the intact reality of the 20th century.” — J.G. Ballard, author of High Rise



“Old cookbooks connect you to your past and explain the history of the world.” — José Andrés, chef



“The novelist says in words what cannot be said in words.” — Ursula K. Le Guin, author of The Left Hand of Darkness



“A good story, just like a good sentence, does more than one job at once. That’s what literature is: a story that does more than tell a story, a story that manages to reflect in some way the multilayered texture of life itself.” — Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles



“The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.” — T.S. Eliot, author of The Waste Land and The Hollow Men



“Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.” — Stephen King, author of The Shining and Pet Sematary



“There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.” — Irving Stone, author of Lust for Life and The Agony and the Ecstasy



“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” — Italo Calvino, author of Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler



“Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.” — Helen Keller, author of The Story of My Life and Out of the Dark



“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” — Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments



“Great literature must do some good to the reader: must quicken his perception though dull, and sharpen his discrimination though blunt, and mellow the rawness of his personal opinions.” — A.E. Housman, author of A Shropshire Lad



“It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.” — Oscar Wilde, author of The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest



“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss, author of The Cat in the Hat and I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!



“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise



“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates, author of Black Water and Blonde



“Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.” — Boris Pasternak, author of The Last Summer and Doctor Zhivago



“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” — Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Reunion



“The world of literature is a world where there is no reality except that of the human imagination.” — Northrop Frye, author of Fearful Symmetry and Anatomy of Criticism



“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” — Mark Twain, author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court