Quotes by Katherine Anne Porter

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Katherine Ann Porter (15 May 1890 - 18 September 1980) was a celebrated American journalist, essayist, short story writer and novelist. She is known for her flawless prose and penetrating psychological insight. Her works deal ...

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It is a man's world, and you men can have it.

There seems to be a kind of order in the universe, in the movement of the stars and the turning of the earth and the changing of the seasons, and even in the cycle of human life. But human life itself is almost pure chaos. Everyone takes his stance, asserts his own rights and feelings, mistaking the motives of others, and his own.
Our being is subject to all the chances of life. There are so many things we are capable of, that we could be or do. The potentialities are so great that we never, any of us, are more than one-fourth fulfilled.
A cultivated style would be like a mask. Everybody knows it's a mask, and sooner or later you must show yourself -- or at least, you show yourself as someone who could not afford to show himself, and so created something to hide behind. You do not create a style. You work, and develop yourself; your style is an emanation from your own being.
You can't write about people out of textbooks, and you can't use jargon. You have to speak clearly and simply and purely in a language that a six-year-old child can understand; and yet have the meanings and the overtones of language, and the implications, that appeal to the highest intelligence.
They had both noticed that a life of dissipation sometimes gave to a face the look of gaunt suffering spirituality that a life of asceticism was supposed to give and quite often did not.
I have not much interest in anyone's personal history after the tenth year, not even my own. Whatever one was going to be was all prepared before that.
The real sin against life is to abuse and destroy beauty, even one's own --even more, one's own, for that has been put in our care and we are responsible for its well-being.
… all that she had had, and all that she had missed, were lost together, and were twice lost in this landslide of remembered losses.
The mind and the heart sometimes get another chance, but if anything happens to the poor old human frame, why, it’s just out of luck, that’s all.
Such ignorance. All the boys were in military schools and all the girls were in the convent, and that’s all you need to say about it.
They exchanged one or two universal if minor truths—pleasure was so often more exhausting than the hardest work ….