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Quotes of the day: Eudora Welty

Published Sunday, April 12, 2015 @ 4:30 PM EDT
Apr 12 2015

Eudora Alice Welty (April 13, 1909 - July 23, 2001) was an American author of short stories and novels about the American South. Her novel The Optimist's Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Welty was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous awards including the Order of the South. She was the first living author to have her works published by the Library of America. Her house in Jackson, Mississippi has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public as a house museum.

The name of the email program Eudora, developed by Steve Dorner in 1990, was inspired by Welty's story "Why I Live at the P.O." Welty was reportedly "pleased and amused" by the tribute. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.

All experience is an enrichment rather than an impoverishment.

Art is never the voice of a country, it is an even more precious thing, the voice of the individual, doing its best to speak, not comfort of any sort, but truth.

Beauty is not a means, not a way of furthering a thing in the world. It is a result; it belongs to ordering, to form, to aftereffect.

Don't give anybody up... or leave anybody out... There's room for everything, and time for everybody, if you take your day the way it comes along and try not to be much later than you can help.

Greater than scene is situation. Greater than situation is implication. Greater than all of these is a single, entire human being, who will never be confined in any frame.

Human life is fiction's only theme.

If you haven't surprised yourself, you haven't written.

In the end, it takes phenomenal neatness of housekeeping to put it through the heads of men that they are swine.

Is there any sleeping person you can be entirely sure you have not misjudged?

it doesn t matter if it takes a long time getting there; the point is to have a destination.

It is our inward journey that leads us through time- forward or back, seldom in a straight line, most often spiraling. Each of us is moving, changing, with respect to others. As we discover, we remember; remembering, we discover; and most intensely do we experience this when our separate journeys converge. Our living experience at those meeting points is one of the charged dramatic fields of fiction.

It's always taken a lot out of me, being smart.

Never think you've seen the last of anything.

One place understood helps us understand all places better.

People are mostly layers of violence and tenderness wrapped like bulbs, and it is difficult to say what makes them onions or hyacinths.

People give pain, are callous and insensitive, empty and cruel... but place heals the hurt, soothes the outrage, fills the terrible vacuum that these human beings make.

The difficulty that accompanies you is less like the dark than a trusted lantern to see your way by.

The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order the continuous thread of revelation.

The excursion is the same when you go looking for your sorrow as when you go looking for your joy.

The fantasies of dying could be no stranger than the fantasies of living. Survival is perhaps the strangest fantasy of them all.

There is absolutely everything in great fiction but a clear answer.

We are the breakers of our own hearts.

When somebody, no matter who, gives everything, it makes people feel ashamed for him.

Write about what you don't know about what you know.


(April 13 is also the birthday of Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Beckett.)

Categories: Eudora Welty, Quotes of the day


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