Padgett Powell Famous Quotes & Sayings

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74 Padgett Powell Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

Padgett Powell Sayings: I associate the truest spirit of Christmas with certain years when I had to spend I associate the truest spirit of Christmas with certain years when I had to spend it at my parents' house as an adult who had, presumably, escaped.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: If you could have a famous writer, dead or alive, write an obituary for you If you could have a famous writer, dead or alive, write an obituary for you and really puff you up to have been something you weren't, perhaps, or otherwise take liberties with your memory, what writer would you choose?
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Padgett Powell Sayings: My mother will emerge with a towel on her head, Nefertiti fashion, and a good My mother will emerge with a towel on her head, Nefertiti fashion, and a good terry-cloth robe, and make herself a tall gin-and-tonic and look like a movie star for an hour. Being around her is like being on safari; there is an elusive something we are after, in difficult conditions, and we will look good in the getting there.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: As a boy, I was a member of a club run by the famous reptile As a boy, I was a member of a club run by the famous reptile showman Ross Allen, and the club sent its members pseudoscientific papers mimeographed on construction paper with a three-hole punch.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: I was always the new kid, and I got to know the language and the I was always the new kid, and I got to know the language and the politics of being on the outside, looking in. Never being in the clique - always being a student of the clique, a subversive, and I could look around and identify the other guys who were excluded.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: I sat down and wrote, 'Are your emotions pure? Are they the stuff of heroes I sat down and wrote, 'Are your emotions pure? Are they the stuff of heroes or the alloyed mess of the beaten? How do you stand in relation to the potato?' And it was a lot of fun, and I kept going and woke up at some point in some horror that I had about 142 pages of this.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: Can you imagine doing something in your life that will be fully satisfying and redeeming Can you imagine doing something in your life that will be fully satisfying and redeeming for your having tried to do it, whether you succeeded in it or failed, and that, correspondingly, would be fully shameful had you not tried to do it?
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Padgett Powell Sayings: That's part of fiction, creating a world better than the one you live in. That's part of fiction, creating a world better than the one you live in.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: Today is a good day to give no one a hard time about anything, or Today is a good day to give no one a hard time about anything, or today is a good day to give everyone a hard time about everything.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: In a new world behave in a new way as a new man. unhorse the In a new world behave in a new way as a new man. unhorse the conquistador.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: Travel writing is harrowing. You are in paradise, more or less, having to prove it Travel writing is harrowing. You are in paradise, more or less, having to prove it is paradise. It is hard to have a good time trying to figure out a way to say you are having a good time, whether you are having it or not, even in paradise.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: Many parks in Florida have information kiosks with colorful enamel signs showing the special flora Many parks in Florida have information kiosks with colorful enamel signs showing the special flora and fauna in the park. The gopher tortoise, the scrub jay, the indigo snake. At no park with an indigo snake on its kiosk signs could I find an indigo.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: I know about the sweet home. I went to school with 'em boys, what became I know about the sweet home. I went to school with 'em boys, what became Lynyrd Skynyrd; I knew Allen Collins, the skinny girl-beautiful guitarist. I put Allen Collins in every travel piece I do. Travel writing is harrowing, going to Bermuda with a banjo on my knee.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: The zombies, after all, were pretty slow to appreciate someone other than themselves, and they The zombies, after all, were pretty slow to appreciate someone other than themselves, and they had been schooled not to denigrate the different.
Mrs. Hollingsworth's Men
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Padgett Powell Sayings: At every Christmas, I fail to remember the daughters' shoe sizes, and they are not At every Christmas, I fail to remember the daughters' shoe sizes, and they are not growing, but grown. After ostensible hard thought about who needs what, I have failed to give good gifts; I have failed to receive good gifts.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: Isn't it true that there is a rare kind of person who perceives, as does Isn't it true that there is a rare kind of person who perceives, as does a good dog, that life is doing something meaningful, and who discovers what it is and goes about doing it with a spirit of moderate hustle, and there is a not rare kind of person who perceives none of this and who goes about doing what is necessary in a spirit of aggrievedness?
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Padgett Powell Sayings: Have you decided yet what historical moment you would have most like to have witnessed Have you decided yet what historical moment you would have most like to have witnessed with your own eyes and ears?
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Padgett Powell Sayings: There's a lot of phones; but I'm out of that field. They make me feel There's a lot of phones; but I'm out of that field. They make me feel like a prisoner of war; there's not going to be any texting for me. The pre-paid phone is the frontier of my technological advance.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: Life is a sandwich of activity between two periods of bed-wetting, Life is a sandwich of activity between two periods of bed-wetting,
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Padgett Powell Sayings: Now she understood a few things: that the American academy, which one might have thought Now she understood a few things: that the American academy, which one might have thought the place to defend freedom of speech, had been the seat and soul of abrogating freedom of speech, if the first assault on its freedom can be said to be restricting, or handcuffing speech. The day she heard "redneck" on NPR, she turned NPR off, not because broadcasters were still using the term, but because she knew one day they would not be. In fact, she had a vision of the quiet moment backstage at a Boston studio when a good, surprised correspondent was let go for saying "redneck" the last time it would be said.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: Conversations are the most direct way to connect with people. Conversations are the most direct way to connect with people.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: If I tell you that I have robbed a bank, prepare the correct reaction. If I tell you that I have robbed a bank, prepare the correct reaction.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: The main thing is: Don't take any shit.That's the main thing.The unmain thing is: You The main thing is: Don't take any shit.
That's the main thing.
The unmain thing is: You are not going to figure anything out except how to get other people to take shit, so forget about everything except not taking any yourself.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: If I slip up and receive a good gift, I will not have given a If I slip up and receive a good gift, I will not have given a good gift. This is probably a natural law that affects us all and needs a name. The Gift Reciprocal Law.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: She thought it funny how the poor environment had been raped just fine until there She thought it funny how the poor environment had been raped just fine until there was a sufficient excess of the people who had effected the raping to produce sufficient numbers of themselves who were sufficiently idle that they might begin to protest the raping of the environment, which was irretrievably lost to the raping by that point.
And this would be the great soothing cathedral music, the stopping of the chainsaws amid the patter of acid rain, that all good citizens would listen to for the quarter-century it took them all to wire up to cyberspace and forget about the lost hopeless run-over gang-ridden land, reproducing madly still all the while, inside their bunkers listening to NPR.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: In my experience, great reviews almost always ensure no sales. In my experience, great reviews almost always ensure no sales.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: They got into fact checking at the 'Paris Review,' and it was mortifying. There was They got into fact checking at the 'Paris Review,' and it was mortifying. There was a wrangle about Hemingway's lost stories that nearly killed me. It turns out he didn't lose those stories. They weren't stolen from the platform.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: I met Donald Barthelme when I was 30, and it's fair to say that before I met Donald Barthelme when I was 30, and it's fair to say that before that moment, I was pre-modern, and after I met him, I was nudged rather forcefully towards this other end of the spectrum.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: I've sat down and written with a more or less supportable or insupportable idea or I've sat down and written with a more or less supportable or insupportable idea or thing to say, and it ends. When it's not 200 pages, people want to call it a story. I guess they're entitled to do that. In my view, if it were a supportable idea, it would have gone 200 pages, and it didn't.
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Padgett Powell Sayings: Alternate the theories you entertain about all things. Alternate the theories you entertain about all things.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Every other year, I was the new boy. I found that the only way to Every other year, I was the new boy. I found that the only way to survive was to embrace it, make a little fortress on the outside and to pretend to blend in but not to invest too much because you'll be somewhere else next year.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Christmas is the season I use to clock failure in life. It stops time, as Christmas is the season I use to clock failure in life. It stops time, as it were, on the year - where you are in it, where you are in your travail unto the grave.
Padgett Powell Sayings: The Father wipes the silver chalice with a beautiful linen rag large as a small The Father wipes the silver chalice with a beautiful linen rag large as a small tablecloth, turns the cup two inches each time to keep you from having to drink where the last worshipper lipped it, as if that takes care of the germs. But I don't care, I always reach out very piously - that's to say, in slow motion, the way you move for some reason to take and eat the body of Our Savior - reach out and lay my hand over the Father's in somber reverence to the moment and then press down as the silver rim clears my upper lip and suck a slug of wine that should have fed six communers. I have to, because the bread of His body is stuck to the roof of my mouth like a rubber tire patch, and if I can't wash it loose by swishing His blood around, I'm going to have to dig it off with a finger, in slow motion, and possibly gag. When
Padgett Powell Sayings: Do you appreciate that an oyster has, among its other organs, a heart? Do you appreciate that an oyster has, among its other organs, a heart?
Padgett Powell Sayings: I don't write with a scheme or a plan. I write word to word, so I don't write with a scheme or a plan. I write word to word, so whatever that first sentence is, having said that, one more or less had to say what comes next and next and next. Guilty of no cogitation or forethought.
Padgett Powell Sayings: I don't write anything if I'm not agreeable and liking it. I'm not one of I don't write anything if I'm not agreeable and liking it. I'm not one of these slavers who wads up paper. It comes or it doesn't.
Padgett Powell Sayings: The new world may be in fact a very, very, very, very old world. The new world may be in fact a very, very, very, very old world.
Padgett Powell Sayings: the levity of the doomed has no equal. the levity of the doomed has no equal.
Padgett Powell Sayings: I think William Trevor is as good as it gets. Whenever I want a book I think William Trevor is as good as it gets. Whenever I want a book to do exactly what it says it will, I read him.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Don't hesitate to insulate your house, especially the floor. Don't hesitate to insulate your house, especially the floor.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Ease up. the day was rued when we came upon it, or when it came Ease up. the day was rued when we came upon it, or when it came upon us, and beheld us marring the horizon, sitting here like unconquerable savages, men missing their dogs and talking pointlessly unless talk to the dead. let's sharpen something.
Padgett Powell Sayings: But crossing into Louisiana I got this haunted little rill of feeling -- there was But crossing into Louisiana I got this haunted little rill of feeling -- there was moss and mud everywhere and an inexplicable, hollow sensation that Louisiana is what would be left of the South after it has been nuked -- that I and everything around me were irretrievably rotten.
Padgett Powell Sayings: If the observation were made to you that "Strangers become intimate, and as intimacy grows If the observation were made to you that "Strangers become intimate, and as intimacy grows they lower their guards and less mind their manners until errors are made, which decreases intimacy until estrangement exceeds that which existed before the strangers ever met," would you be inclined to agree?
Padgett Powell Sayings: Military brats have this toughness: they're almost like orphans or foster children; they develop little Military brats have this toughness: they're almost like orphans or foster children; they develop little mechanisms. It sets you up to look at things a little differently.
Padgett Powell Sayings: I stuff animals I find; I do roadkill. They're strangely fun to have. They're like I stuff animals I find; I do roadkill. They're strangely fun to have. They're like easy-to-control pets.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Cholesterol to go with alcohol; all the bad things in English-speaking life end in -ol. Cholesterol to go with alcohol; all the bad things in English-speaking life end in -ol.
Padgett Powell Sayings: jejune longing is the chewing gum of life. jejune longing is the chewing gum of life.
Padgett Powell Sayings: You can't disturb a nobody with evidence he's a nobody. A nobody is not disturbed You can't disturb a nobody with evidence he's a nobody. A nobody is not disturbed by anything significant.
Padgett Powell Sayings: It's hard to say conversation has become a minimal thing, because look at the rise It's hard to say conversation has become a minimal thing, because look at the rise of mobile communications in the last 10 years. It used to be only the president had a mobile phone. Now everyone on earth, even if they have nothing else, they have a cell phone.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Have you seen a person recently so delicious-looking that, were you and this person to Have you seen a person recently so delicious-looking that, were you and this person to be scrambling for ice-cream change with your arms in the sofa and your faces laid on the cushions looking at each other as you felt for coins and the ice-cream truck dinged on by and your hands in there felt only the lint of the sofa scrofula and your faces were fairly close across a distance of that knobby nylon terrain, you might feel compelled to slide you face toward this delicious-looking person's and kiss him or her - have you seen anyone like this recently?
Padgett Powell Sayings: Disputing nothing is the first step through the difficult door of happiness Disputing nothing is the first step through the difficult door of happiness
Padgett Powell Sayings: Writing books is a nice retreat. There's nothing quite like diving into a book for Writing books is a nice retreat. There's nothing quite like diving into a book for a few hours. That is a big time vacation.
Padgett Powell Sayings: I've had an addiction for a long time to the whole business of maximizing one's I've had an addiction for a long time to the whole business of maximizing one's potential, what I call human activation. The vehicle for actualizing oneself is choice, options, seeking out the proper choices.
Padgett Powell Sayings: I knew I was supposed to be a writer; I had made that declaration in I knew I was supposed to be a writer; I had made that declaration in the closet of my soul.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Life is a time when you get pleasure until somebody get your ass. and one Life is a time when you get pleasure until somebody get your ass. and one of the ways to prolong pleasure is to not chop up time with syllables.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Notable American Women is a weird nougat of a book that suggests Coetzee, Kafka, Beckett, Notable American Women is a weird nougat of a book that suggests Coetzee, Kafka, Beckett, Barthelme, O'Brien, Orwell, Paley, Borges-and none of them exactly. Finally you just have to chew it for its own private juice.
Padgett Powell Sayings: I was a commercial roofer before this, until about age thirty. I will not work I was a commercial roofer before this, until about age thirty. I will not work others under me and do not want to work under others.
Padgett Powell Sayings: In the event that armed men of any sort enter the building, watch their feet In the event that armed men of any sort enter the building, watch their feet closely.
Padgett Powell Sayings: A whole section of the family tree is pruned and primped and assessed as I A whole section of the family tree is pruned and primped and assessed as I politely sit there. Overall, I detect that the tree is fine: its leaves gently turning in the breeze of life. We have no scandal blight, no limb-wrenching storms of fate, no bad apples. I wonder what it is like when the Kennedys sit around for a disk check like this.
Padgett Powell Sayings: I don't know any more about America than one knows being trapped in it. I don't know any more about America than one knows being trapped in it.
Padgett Powell Sayings: If you're going to write a book that might, in its very best accidental career, If you're going to write a book that might, in its very best accidental career, sell 30,000 copies, you've got to have a day job.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Have you come over time to think that you know more now than you did Have you come over time to think that you know more now than you did when you were young, know less now than when young, know now there is so much more to know than you knew there was to know when young that it is moot whether you think you knew more then than now or less, or do you now know that you never knew anything at all and never will and only the bluster of youth persuaded you that you did or would?
Padgett Powell Sayings: apply shingles from the bottom up. apply shingles from the bottom up.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Even if you're the worst writer in the world, at least you'll have the evidence. Even if you're the worst writer in the world, at least you'll have the evidence.
Padgett Powell Sayings: When I write, I want something to sound good itself. When I write, I want something to sound good itself.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Is a gesture of charity genuine or is it a kind of deep moral tax Is a gesture of charity genuine or is it a kind of deep moral tax write-off?
Padgett Powell Sayings: All this is rather pretentious and fey to even talk about, but Flannery O'Connor sat All this is rather pretentious and fey to even talk about, but Flannery O'Connor sat down to write stories. The rest of us, some of us, don't have that kind of wit and genius. We don't do that. We sit down and have some accidents.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Try to recall the person you thought you were and the moment you began to Try to recall the person you thought you were and the moment you began to realize you are not that person, and try to grasp and appreciate the high quality of lunacy required for you to have ever thought you were that person.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Potato salad in the South is nothing less than the principal smuggler of cholesterol into Potato salad in the South is nothing less than the principal smuggler of cholesterol into the festive, careless heart. It is pure poison beneath the facade of bland puritan propriety. It is the food of choice at any food banquet of smiling relatives who celebrate tacitly among themselves the dark twining of two of their promising youth.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Bermuda is not even tropical. The charm of the tropics - the heat, the chaos Bermuda is not even tropical. The charm of the tropics - the heat, the chaos - is not there.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper. Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.
Padgett Powell Sayings: I am writing a book more improbable than 'The Interrogative Mood' that I call 'Manifesto'. I am writing a book more improbable than 'The Interrogative Mood' that I call 'Manifesto'. It's two guys talking who speak artificially conveniently.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Heavy booze is a big time vacation, but you come back with a headache. Heavy booze is a big time vacation, but you come back with a headache.
Padgett Powell Sayings: Do you try to listen to calssical music but feel you don't ever really advance Do you try to listen to calssical music but feel you don't ever really advance past knowing it's better than it sounds?