Wallace Stegner quotes

  • Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence . . .
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Zoos #Dirty #Book

  • She had rooms in her mind that she would not look into.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Mind #Rooms #Looks

  • Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed ... We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Country #People #Needs

  • Hard writing makes easy reading.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Reading #Writing #Easy

  • Wisdom. . .is knowing what you have to accept.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Wisdom #Knowing #Understanding

  • Be proud of every scar on your heart, each one holds a lifetime’s worth of lessons.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Motivation #Heart #Lessons

  • Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Home #Appreciate #Homeless

  • National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Ideas #Parks #Democratic

  • You can plan all you want to. You can lie in your morning bed and fill whole notebooks with schemes and intentions. But within a single afternoon, within hours or minutes, everything you plan and everything you have fought to make yourself can be undone as a slug is undone when salt is poured on him. And right up to the moment when you find yourself dissolving into foam you can still believe you are doing fine.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Notebook #Morning #Lying

  • We are the most dangerous species of life on the planet, and every other species, even the earth itself, has cause to fear our power to exterminate. But we are also the only species which, when it chooses to do so, will go to great effort to save what it might destroy.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Effort #Earth #Might

  • wherever you find the greatest good, you will find the greatest evil, because evil loves paradise as much as good.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Evil #Paradise

  • Most things break, including hearts. The lessons of life amount not to wisdom, but to scar tissue and callus.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Broken Heart #Encouragement #Inspirational Life

  • We simply need that wild country available to us... For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Country #Nature #Mean

  • Talent can't be taught, but it can be awakened.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Taught #Crafts #Talent

  • You have to get over the color green; you have to quit associating beauty with gardens and lawns; you have to get used to an inhuman scale; you have to understand geological time.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Garden #Color #Green

  • One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native home of hope. When it fully learns that cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the quality that most characterizes and preserves it, then it will have achieved itself and outlived its origins. Then it has a chance to create a society to match its scenery.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Optimistic #Home #Quality

  • Largeness is a lifelong matter. You grow because you are not content not to. You are like a beaver that chews constantly because if it doesn't, it's teeth grow long and lock. You grow because you are a grower; you're large because you can't stand to be small.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Long #Locks #Matter

  • [I]t is dangerous for a bride to be apologetic about her husband.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Husband #Wife #Apologetic

  • A teacher enlarges people in all sorts of ways besides just his subject matter.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Teacher #Teaching #People

  • The Westerner is less a person than a continuing adaptation. The West is less a place than a process.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #West #Adaptation #Process

  • Touch. It is touch that is the deadliest enemy of chastity, loyalty, monogamy, gentility with its codes and conventions and restraints. By touch we are betrayed and betray others ... an accidental brushing of shoulders or touching of hands ... hands laid on shoulders in a gesture of comfort that lies like a thief, that takes, not gives, that wants, not offers, that awakes, not pacifies. When one flesh is waiting, there is electricity in the merest contact.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Loyalty #Lying #Hands

  • There must be some other possibility than death or lifelong penance ... some meeting, some intersection of lines; and some cowardly, hopeful geometer in my brain tells me it is the angle at which two lines prop each other up, the leaning-together from the vertical which produces the false arch. For lack of a keystone, the false arch may be as much as one can expect in this life. Only the very lucky discover the keystone.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Two #Hopeful #Brain

  • You married me...but you didn't marry what you could make out of me.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Married

  • Civilizations grow by agreements and accomodations and accretions, not by repudiations. The rebels and the revolutionaries are only eddies, they keep the stream from getting stagnant but they get swept down and absorbed, they're a side issue. Quiet desperation is another name for the human condition. If revolutionaries would learn that they can't remodel society by day after tomorrow -- haven't the wisdom to and shouldn't be permitted to -- I'd have more respect for them ... Civilizations grow and change and decline -- they aren't remade.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Agreement #Civilization #Names

  • it is an easy mistake to think that non-talkers are non-feelers.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Mistake #Thinking #Easy

  • We write to make sense of it all.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Writing #Make Sense

  • Death is a convention, a certification to the end of pain, something for the vital statistics book, not binding upon anyone but the keepers of graveyard records.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Death #Pain #Book

  • What is such a resource worth? Anything it costs. If we never hike it or step into its shade, if we only drive by occasionally and see the textures of green mountainside change under wind and sun, or the fog move soft feathers down the gulches, or the last sunset on the continent redden the sky beyond the ridge, we have our money's worth. We have been too efficient at destruction; we have left our souls too little space to breathe in. Every green natural place we save saves a fragment of our sanity and gives us a little more hope that we have a future.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Moving #Sunset #Wind

  • No place is a place until it has found its poet.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Poet #Found

  • No place is a place until things that have happened in it are remembered in history, ballads, yarns, legends, or monuments. Fictions serve as well as facts.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Yarn #Legends #Facts

  • Thanks to the growing strength of environmental organizations, there will always be some back country to provide us with a touch of wonder and a breath of fresh air.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Country #Air #Organization

  • I may not know who I am, but I know where I am from.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Who I Am #May

  • There is a sense in which we are all each other's consequences
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Beautiful #Scene #Consequence

  • There it was, there it is, the place where during the best time of our lives friendship had its home and happiness its headquarters.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Home #Headquarters

  • [Friendship] is a relationship that has no formal shape, there are no rules or obligations or bonds as in marriage or the family, it is held together by neither law nor property nor blood, there is no glue in it but mutual liking. It is therefore rare.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Blood #Law #Together

  • It should not be denied... that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led West.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Law #Mind #West

  • Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed ... so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Nature #Rocks #People

  • If there is such a thing as being conditioned by climate and geography, and I think there is, it is the West that has conditioned me. It has the forms and lights and colors that I respond to in nature and in art. If there is a western speech, I speak it; if there is a western character or personality, I am some variant of it; if there is a western culture in the small-c , anthropological sense, I have not escaped it. It has to have shaped me. I may even have contributed to it in minor ways, for culture is a pyramid to which each of us brings a stone.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Art #Character #Thinking

  • Creation is a knack which is empowered by practice, and like almost any skill, it is lost if you don't practice it.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Writing #Practice #Skills

  • Youth hasn't got anything to do with chronological age. It's times of hope and happiness.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Age #Youth

  • No life goes past so swiftly as an eventless one, no clock spins like a clock whose days are all alike.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Past #Clock

  • Hope was always out ahead of fact, possibility obscured the outlines of reality.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Reality #Facts #Possibility

  • Young writers should be encouraged to write, and discouraged from thinking they are writers.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Teaching #Writing #Thinking

  • You'll do what you think you want to do, or what you think you ought to do. If you're very lucky, luckier than anybody I know, the two will coincide.
    -- Wallace Stegner

    #Thinking #Two #Want