Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This blog is on vacation

No new quotes are being added to this blog over the summer. Perhaps we (really, I) will come back in the fall, refreshed and ready to go. Or perhaps, more likely, we'll/I'll stop this blog at its current number of 55 quotes. (I had hoped to reach 100 quotes). 

For more about this, see: the June 23rd posting at my other blog, Writing Home.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The pleasure of prose

At the time of writing, I don't write for my friends or myself, either; I write for it, for the pleasure of it. I believe if I stopped to wonder what So-and-so would think, or what I'd feel like if this were read by a stranger, I would be paralyzed. I care what my friends think, very deeply—and it's only after they've read the finished thing that I really can rest, deep down.

--Eudora Welty, interviewed in Women Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, p. 162. (1972)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why Dorothy Parker was a writer

All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn't sit in the same room with me.

INTERVIEWER: What, then, would you say is the source of most of your work?

PARKER: Need of money, dear.

--Dorothy Parker, interviewed in Women Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, p. 109. (1956)

Monday, May 4, 2009

The dichotomy of the artist and lover

This dichotomizing of the two aspects of female energy, caretaking versus generative action, has been the dominant impact of the cultural narrative about love. We have thought of ourselves either as ... lover or artist—but rarely both. Rarely do assume that the same process involved in creating must inform our loving, or that in loving we create. Rarely would we assume the agency to create, because to have agency means the quality of moving or exerting power, the state of being in action, and as women this has not been our common sense of ourselves.

--Claudia Bepko and Jo-Ann Krestan, Singing at the Top of Our Lungs: Women, Love, and Creativity, p. 25.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What about the ovarian idea?

The animus is the deposit, as it were, of all woman's ancestral experiences of man — and not only that, he is also a creative and procreative being, not in the sense of masculine creativity, but in the sense that he brings forth something we might call the the spermatic word. Just as a man brings forth his work as a complete creation out of his inner feminine nature, so the inner masculine side of a woman brings forth creative seeds which have the power to fertilize the feminine side of the man.

-- Carl G. Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, p. 209.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Maybe they just needed to get their hair out of their eyes

It seems that women have made few contributions to the discoveries and inventions in the history of civilization; there is, however, one technique which they may have invented—that of plaiting and weaving. If that is so, we should be tempted to guess the unconscious motive for the achievement.

--Sigmund Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, p. 164.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Naturally exuding creativity

Just as we are born with hundreds of thousands more eggs than we will ever use, we also have far more creative ideas than we will ever be able to bring into being. Some of these eggs and ideas are destined to take root and grow if we're willing to fertilize and support them. Others end in miscarriage or stillbirth. This is not a sign of failure. Nor is it a design flaw. Instead, this process simply reflects the adaptability of Nature, a force that keeps creating and experimenting with form and function in a variety of changing environments. When one thing doesn't work, she tries another, and just keeps sending out more eggs, sperms, seed pods—and ideas!

--Christiane Northrup, "Defining and Refining Our Purpose and Passion," in Mother-Daughter Wisdom, p. 42.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The fury of words

I was lying on the grass ... reading William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. ... Suddenly in the middle of a passage, the power of the words rose up and whacked me on the forehead. I felt the earth move as if a huge safe were being swiveled open and afterwards felt flushed and stunned as you are after sex. I'd had this reaction before—to other books, and to music and painting, but this time as I stared at the light—green blades of grass in front of me, vibrating, I was aware that it was the writer who had done something to me. And I thought, I'd like to do that to someone back.

--Susan Minot, “A Real-Life Education,” in The Writing Life: Writers on How They Think and Work, p. 50.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The woman artist as inner-critic

Why have we not had more female writers, painters, scientists, sculptors, or artists. One explanation offered is that many women do not perceive themselves as creators, follow their interests into career preparation, or place importance on the works they produce. Moreover, the problem may be further exacerbated even when a women produces an original, creative work of art, as some researchers have found that women are more conscious of criticism and find it more difficult to deal with negative perceptions of their work.

--Sally M. Reis, "Women and Creativity," in Encyclopedia of Creativity, edited by Mark A. Runco and Steven R. Pritzker, p. 701.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

She's no lady, she's Madonna

I'm a perfectionist. and I'm under lots of pressure. Sometimes you have to be a bitch to get things done. I can be something of a tyrant. In a working situation. Well, in a living situation too.

Madonna, quoted in the chapter, "Fame and Power," in Madonna: The Style Book, by Debbi Voller, p. 82.