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Quotes of the day: William Styron
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Published Wednesday, June 10, 2015 @ 9:18 AM EDT
Jun 10 2015

William Clark Styron, Jr. (June 11, 1925 - November 1, 2006) was an American novelist and essayist who won major literary awards for his work. For much of his career, Styron was best known for his novels, Lie Down in Darkness (1951), his acclaimed first novel, published at age 26; The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), narrated by Nat Turner, the leader of an 1831 Virginian slave revolt; Sophie's Choice (1979), a story "told through the eyes of a young aspiring writer from the South, about a Polish Catholic survivor of Auschwitz and her brilliant but troubled Jewish lover in postwar Brooklyn." In 1985, he suffered his most serious bout with depression. Out of this grave and menacing experience, he was later able to write the memoir Darkness Visible (1990), the work Styron became best known for during the last two decades of his life. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.

Depression is a disorder of mood, so mysteriously painful and elusive in the way it becomes known to the self- to the mediating intellect- as to verge close to being beyond description.

I thought there's something to be said for honor in this world where there doesn't seem to be any honor left. I thought that maybe happiness wasn't really anything more than the knowledge of a life well spent, in spite of whatever immediate discomfort you had to undergo, and that if a life well spent meant compromises and conciliations and reconciliations, and suffering at the hands of the person you love, well then better that than live without honor.

It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul.

Mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from natural experience, the gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain.

Reading- the best state yet to keep absolute loneliness at bay.

The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis, and we'd have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads.

The madness of depression is, generally speaking, the antithesis of violence. It is a storm indeed, but a storm of murk. Soon evident are the slowed-down responses, near paralysis, psychic energy throttled back close to zero. Ultimately, the body is affected and feels sapped, drained.

The most futile thing a man can do is to ponder the alternatives, to stew and fret over the life that might have been lived if circumstances had not pointed his future in a certain direction.

The writer's duty is to keep on writing.

There are friends one makes at a youthful age in whom one simply rejoices, for whom one possesses a love and loyalty mysteriously lacking in the friendships made in after-years, no matter how genuine.

We each devise our means of escape from the intolerable.

We would have to settle for the elegant goal of becoming ourselves.

The pain is unrelenting; one does not abandon, even briefly, one's bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes.


Categories: Quotes of the day, William Styron


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