Erica Jong quotes

  • Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Inspirational #Life #Success

  • I was always a feminist. My mother was a feminist; my grandmother was a feminist. I always understood women had to fight very hard to do what they wanted to do in the world - that it wasn't an easy choice. But I think the most important part is that we all want the right to be taken seriously as human beings, and to use our talents without reservation, and that's still not possible for women.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Mother #Taken #Fighting

  • Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Spiritual #Witty #Women

  • The absolute bedrock of our independence is having control over our own bodies. You cannot be independent if the government or someone else says whether or not you can use birth control. Unless you're in charge of your body, you're not in charge of anything. I think that's really the bottom line of feminism.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Independent #Thinking #Government

  • Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Inspirational #Motivational #Being Strong

  • It's useful to know how much society's holding you back. My mother would talk about how she was told by the head of her art school that she was the best painter, but that she wouldn't get the biggest prize because she would waste her talent by having children. I think we have to get honest with girls about how they can expect the world to block them, and we have to prepare girls, and ourselves, to break through those blocks.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Girl #Mother #Art

  • You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Love #Witty #Women

  • I hope we don't have to keep going back over the same territory and winning the same rights over and over again. The battle for birth control. The battle for abortion. The parity of women's health. It's very depressing to think that you win these rights, but then you have to win them again, and again, and again, and fight the same battles over and over.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Depressing #Fighting #Winning

  • I have accepted fear as a part of life - specifically the fear of change... I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Inspirational #Change #Courage

  • Not everybody has to be a parent. In fact, in an overpopulated world where our resources are shrinking, it would be wonderful if people who didn't want children felt free to say so. In the 1970s, there was more tolerance for the idea that not everybody needs to be a biological parent.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Children #Ideas #People

  • We are so scared of being judged that we look for every excuse to procrastinate.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Fear #Procrastination #Looks

  • Feminism is really the right of women to be full human beings and to not be defined only by their childbearing function. Feminism is really the right of women to be human beings. That's it, yet that's so frightening to a lot of people. A full human being wants satisfying work and love. A full human being is entitled to both, and is not simply defined by only one aspect of her being.
    -- Erica Jong

    #People #Feminism #And Love

  • I am old enough to know that laughter, not anger, is the true revelation.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Laughter #Enough #Revelations

  • We don't have a clear path forward, and that's been the case for feminism since the 18th century, when the idea of the rights of women actually began.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Rights #Ideas #Feminism

  • I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Fear #Fearful

  • Every time women make tremendous strides, the right wing gets terrified and creates laws making it hard to get an abortion or birth control.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Law #Wings #Abortion

  • Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Love #Life #Inspiring

  • We've shown again and again, in every UN report on the status of women, that wherever women control their own bodies and have access to education, societies prosper. Men's fortunes go up, children's fortunes go up. This is not news - it's been proven repeatedly. Anywhere those things are threatened, we have to defend them.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Children #Men #News

  • Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Inspirational #Jealousy #Fun

  • Love is everything it's cracked up to be. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Relationship #Marriage #Fighting

  • They keep saying the right person will come along. I think mine got hit by a truck.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Thinking #Truck #Persons

  • Fame means millions of people have the wrong idea of who you are.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Inspirational #Mean #Idols

  • I write lustily and humorously. It isn't calculated; it's the way I think. I've invented a writing style that expresses who I am.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Writing #Thinking #Who I Am

  • Is a currency worth anything if no one wants it? We used to buy shoes in Italy. Remember?
    -- Erica Jong

    #Shoes #Want #Remember

  • I don't think you will ever fully understand how you've touched my life and made me who I am. I don't think you could ever know just how truly special you are that even on the darkest nights you are my brightest star
    -- Erica Jong

    #Stars #Night #Thinking

  • Always do the things you fear the most. Courage is an acquired taste, like caviar.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Caviar #Taste #Acquired Taste

  • In a bad marriage, friends are the invisible glue. If we have enough friends, we may go on for years, intending to leave, talking about leaving -instead of actually getting up and leaving.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Talking #Years #Leaving

  • Many people today believe that cynicism requires courage. Actually, cynicism is the height of cowardice. It is innocence and open-heartednes s that requires the true courage -- however often we are hurt as a result of it.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Hurt #Believe #People

  • Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love and loyalty. They depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog; it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs, your heart is very big.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Loyalty #Dog #Heart

  • Someday every woman will have orgasms- like every family has color TV- and we can all get on with the business of life.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Sex #Women #Color

  • I stand in the mist and cry, thinking of myself standing in the mist and crying, and wondering if I will ever be able to use this experience in a book.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Book #Writing #Thinking

  • Nothing quite has reality for me till I write it all down--revising and embellishing as I go. I'm always waiting for things to be over so I can get home and commit them to paper.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Home #Writing #Reality

  • I don't know what the definition of ***** is and nobody else does either. Pornography is somebody else's erotica that you don't like. People are interested in their own sexuality and they've always reflected it in their art. End of story.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Art #People #Doe

  • A book burrows into your life in a very profound way because the experience of reading is not passive.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Book #Reading #Profound

  • Life has no plot. It is by far more interesting than anything you can say about it...
    -- Erica Jong

    #Interesting #Plot

  • I am thinking of the onion again. . . . Not self-righteous like the proletarian potato, nor a siren like the apple. No show-off like the banana. But a modest, self-effacing vegetable, questioning, introspective, peeling itself away, or merely radiating halos like ripples.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Thinking #Self #Vegetables

  • Driving me away is easier than saying goodbye.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Goodbye #Over You #Driving

  • If you imagine the world listening, you'll never write a line. That's why privacy is so important. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Writing #Listening #Important

  • Critics write out of intellectual exercise, not poets. Poets write straight from the heart.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Writing #Heart #Exercise

  • If we can be sufficient unto ourselves, we need fear no entangling webs.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Needs

  • The soul is awakened through service.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Spiritual #Soul

  • Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Women #Equality #Sisterhood

  • We all parent the best we can. Being human, we're ambivalent. We want perfection for our babies, but we also need sleep.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Baby #Sleep #Perfection

  • My mother wanted me to be her wings, to fly as she never quite had the courage to do. I love her for that. I love the fact that she wanted to give birth to her own wings.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Daughter #Mother #Wings

  • Poetry is what we turn to in the most emotional moments of our life - when a beloved friend dies, when a baby is born or when we fall in love.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Baby #Falling In Love #Emotional

  • Great loves have legs and wings. They are substantial. They do not dissapate so easily... Great loves have staying power. Or so I told myself.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Wings #Great Love #Legs

  • Motherhood cannot finally be delegated. Breast-feeding may succumb to the bottle; cuddling, fondling, and paediatric visits may also be done by fathers...but when a child needs a mother to talk to, nobody else but a mother will do.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Mom #Mother #Children

  • No one ever found wisdom without also being a fool. Writers, alas, have to be fools in public, while the rest of the human race can cover its tracks.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Thinking #Race #Track

  • It takes courage to lead a life. Any life.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Adventure

  • The hardest part is believing in yourself at the notebook stage. It is like believing in dreams in the morning.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Notebook #Dream #Morning

  • I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged...I had poems which were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Writing #Years #Way

  • And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Love #Inspirational #Life

  • If, every day, I dare to remember that I am here on loan, that this house, this hillside, these minutes are all leased to me, not given, I will never despair.
    -- Erica Jong

    #House #Despair #Remember

  • What I would like to give my daughter is freedom. And this is something that must be given by example, not by exhortation.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Daughter #Freedom #Giving

  • The greatest feminists have also been the greatest lovers. I'm thinking not only of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, but of Anais Nin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and of course Sappho. You cannot divide creative juices from human juices. And as long as juicy women are equated with bad women, we will err on the side of being bad.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Daughter #Mother #Women

  • I have lived my life according to this principle: If I'm afraid of it, then I must do it.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Inspirational #Principles

  • Though my friends envied me because I always seemed so cheerful and confident, I was secretly terrified of practically everything.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Cheerful

  • Anger is really disappointed hope.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Inspirational #Anger #Disappointed

  • The truth is simple, you do not die from love. You only wish you did.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Love You #Simple #Wish

  • Gossip is the opiate of the oppressed.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Reality #Envy #Gossip

  • The trick is not how much pain you feel--but how much joy you feel. Any idiot can feel pain. Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses, excuses.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Inspirational #Hurt #Pain

  • Humor is one of the most serious tools we have for dealing with impossible situations.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Tools #Serious #Impossible

  • It's easier to write about pain than about joy. Joy is wordless.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Pain #Writing #Joy

  • Souls have neither Sex nor Colour.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Sex #Soul #Colour

  • People in the land of LaLa look like expensive wax fruit. And they work hard to achieve that look.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Hard Work #Land #People

  • Despite all the cynical things writers have said about writing for money, the truth is we write for love. That is why it is so easy to exploit us.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Writing #Cynical #Truth Is

  • Perhaps it is because Venice is both liquid and solid, both air and stone, that it somehow combines all the elements crucial to make our imaginations ignite and turn fantasies into realities.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Reality #Air #Venice

  • Venice, that capital city of dream and intrigue, that double city (one above and seemingly solid, one below, wavering and reflected in the waters), which never disappoints ...
    -- Erica Jong

    #Dream #Cities #Venice

  • From Roman times to the present, Italy has been a country to fall in love with - a tribute to all that is enduring, crazy, pagan, joyous, melancholy, at once banal and divine, in the human spirit.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Country #Falling In Love #Crazy

  • Whenever I go anywhere but Italy for a vacation, I always feel vaguely disappointed, as if I have made a mistake.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Mistake #Vacation #Made

  • Venice is ever the fragile labyrinth at the edge of the sea and it reminds us how brief and perilous the journeys of our lives are; perhaps that is why we love it so. City of plagues and brief liaisons, city of lingering deaths and incendiary loves, city of chimeras, nightmares, pigeons, bells. You are the only city in the world whose dialect has a word for the shimmer of canal water reflected on the ceiling of a room.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Journey #Sea #Cities

  • In any triangle, who is the betrayer, who the unseen rival, and who the humiliated lover? Oneself, oneself, and no one but oneself!
    -- Erica Jong

    #Infidelity #Unseen #Triangles

  • in freeing myself from the romantic dream of finding another man to come along and rescue me, I learned that no one can rescue me except myself.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Dream #Men #Independence

  • Images are ... a kind of emotional shorthand.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Emotional #Kind

  • Each artist or writer who works in Venice comes to believe that the city yields its most special secret to him or her alone.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Believe #Artist #Yield

  • Never joke with the press. Irony does not translate into newsprint.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Doe #Irony #Journalism

  • the Lives of Great Men are more oft' at variance with their profess'd Phillosophies than consistent with 'em ...
    -- Erica Jong

    #Men #Hypocrisy #Ems

  • It is not surprising that Venice is known above all for mirrors and glass since Venice is the most narcissistic city in the world, the city that celebrates self-mirroring.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Glasses #Mirrors #Self

  • If we are all made of God, it is our friends who remind us. We pass the gift of God to them. They pass it back to us when we need it most.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Needs #Made #Gift From God

  • Keeping a journal implies hope.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Journal

  • Underneath it all, you longed to be annihilated by love...
    -- Erica Jong

  • I convinced myself that sadness and compromise were the ways of the world...
    -- Erica Jong

    #Sadness #World #Way

  • All people believe their suffering is greater than others.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Believe #People #Suffering

  • It's only when you're forbidden to talk about the future that you suddenly realize how much the future normally occupies the present.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Realizing #Forbidden

  • Exceptional people are often called crazy by the ordinary world.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Crazy #People #World

  • I'm very dependant. I fall apart regularly.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Fall #Falling Apart

  • Sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Sex #Creativity #Dictator

  • Pleasure is terrifying because it breaks down the boundaries between people. Embracing passion means living with fear.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Sex #Passion #Mean

  • To name oneself is the first act of both the poet and the revolutionary.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Names #Firsts #Revolutionary

  • Why do analysts always answer a question with a question?
    -- Erica Jong

    #Answers #Analysts #Psychoanalysis

  • There were 117 psychoanalysts on the Pan Am flight to Vienna and I'd been treated by at least six of them. And married a seventh.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Vienna #Six #Married

  • At times it is strangely sedative to know the extent of your own powerlessness.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Powerlessness

  • To name oneself is the first act of both the poet and the revolutionary. When we take away the right to an individual name, we symbolically take away the right to be an individual. Immigration officials did this to refugees; husbands routinely do it to wives.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Husband #Names #Wife

  • I thought of the nameless inventor of the bathtub. I was somehow sure it was a woman. And was the inventor of the bathtub plug a man?
    -- Erica Jong

    #Men #Invention #Plugs

  • I knew I was in England by the smell.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Smell #England

  • If you apologize for something that isn't your fault in the first place, you, in effect, confirm their belief that it is your fault.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Firsts #Faults #Belief

  • Is perception equivalent to existence?
    -- Erica Jong

    #Perception #Existence

  • I look forward and see myself look back.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Looks

  • In a world where women work three times as hard for half as much, our achievement has been denigrated, both marriage and divorce have turned against us, our motherhood has been used as an obstacle to our success, our passion as a trap, our empathy for others as an excuse to underpay us.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Passion #Divorce #Motherhood

  • Before things are written down they don't exist in quite the same way. The act of fixing them in words gives them a kind of currency that can be traded.
    -- Erica Jong

    #Giving #Way #Fixing