Chang-Rae Lee quotes

  • For sometimes you can't help but crave some ruin in what you love.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Ruins #Helping #Sometimes

  • It is 'where we are' that should make all the difference, whether we believe we belong there or not.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Believe #Differences #Should

  • The truth, finally, is who can tell it.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

  • In this difficult era the most valuable commodity is the unfailing turn of the hours and how they retrieve for us the known harbor of yesterday.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Yesterday #Eras #Commodity

  • I wanted to write about the Korean War, but I had no entry into it that made the kind of sense it needs to make for a novelist.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #War #Writing #Novelists

  • Most people dont think about race as much as I do. They dont have to.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Thinking #Race #People

  • Like most people, Im fascinated by characters who are completely flawed personalities, riven by anguish and doubt, and are psychologically suspect.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Character #People #Personality

  • For each of us has a perch on the tree. After we are gone, that perch is marked by a notch, permanent, yes, but with its edges muting over time, assuming the tree is ever growing. Years from now someone can see that you were here, or there, and although you had little conception or care for the wider branching, in the next life there might be a sigh of wonder at how quietly flourishing it all was, if never majestic.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Years #Tree #Gone

  • My family immigrated when I was 3, and our predecessors inhabited the Korean Peninsula for as long as can be recalled.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Long #Korean #My Family

  • What hasty preparations we make for our future. Think of it: it seems almost tragic, the things we're sure we ought to bring along. We pack too heavy with what we hope we'll use, and too light of what we must. We thus go forth misladen, ill equipped for the dawn.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Thinking #Light #Preparation

  • To be honest, Im not that much of a reader of Korean fiction, since so little is translated.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Fiction #Littles #Honest

  • For no matter the shadows of an age, the picture of a young couple in love, we are told, speaks most luminously of the future, as the span of that passion makes us believe we can overleap any walls, obliterate whatever obstacles.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Wall #Couple #Believe

  • Part of writing a novel is being willing to leap into the blackness. You have very little idea, really, of what's going to happen. You have a broad sense, maybe, but it's this rash leap. It's like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here. And I can't get back to the right hole. I'm not going to be able to get this section back to the right hole - so I'm just going to have to cut it.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Writing #Cutting #Thinking

  • As for what's the most challenging aspect of teaching, it's convincing younger writers of the importance of reading widely and passionately.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Teaching #Reading #Challenges

  • Imagination might not be limitless. It's still tethered to the universe of what we know.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Imagination #Might #Limitless

  • For if there is ever a moment when we are most vulnerable, it’s when we’re closest to the idea of the attained desire, and thus farthest from ourselves, which is when we’ll tread through any flame.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Flames #Ideas #Desire

  • You can be affected by a person because of something particular they said or did but sometimes how a person was, a manner of being, that gets most deeply absorbed, and prompts you to revisit certain parts of your life with an enhanced perspective, flowing forward right up to now.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Perspective #Sometimes #Said

  • What if loving something means you should mostly feel frustrated and thwarted? And then a little ruined, too, by the pursuit? But you keep coming back for more?
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Mean #Frustrated #What If

  • Don’t sanctuaries become prisons, and vice versa, foremost in the mind?
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Mind #Vices #Sanctuary

  • We have hopes and make plans, and if they are dashed or waylaid, we naturally rationalize and redraw the map to locate ourselves anew. Or else we brood and too firmly root. Very few can step forward again and again in what amounts to veritable leaps into the void, where there are no ready holds, where little is familiar, where you get constantly stuck in the thickets of your uncertainties and fears.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Roots #Maps #Littles

  • And it occurred to me that in this new millennial life of instant and ubiquitous connection, you don't in fact communicate so much as leave messages for one another, these odd improvisational performances, often sorry bits and samplings of ourselves that can't help but seem out of context. And then when you do finally reach someone, everyone's so out of practice or too hopeful or else embittered that you wonder if it would be better not to attempt contact at all.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Sorry #Practice #Hopeful

  • A tale, like the universe, they tell us, expands ceaselessly each time you examine it, until there’s finally no telling exactly where it begins, or ends, or where it places you now.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Ends #Tales #Universe

  • For at some point, each of us will be asked to embody what we feel and know.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Feels

  • Do not discount the psychic warmth of the hive.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Psychics #Discounts #Warmth

  • No place is perfect, but I admire Oahu for its offering of the tropical and the urban, and then its Asian-inflected culture and cuisines.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #Offering #Perfect #Asian