Q. Why did the non-fiction author break up with the novelist?
A. Because they could agree if fact was stranger than fiction.
Novelists and writers:
Zora Neale Hurston: “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”
James Baldwin: “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
Novelist Iris Murdoch: “Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.”
Also: “People often start by falling in love, and they go on for years without realizing that love must change into some other love which is unlike the original.”
W. Somerset Maugham: “We are not the same person this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.”
Ursula K. Le Guin: “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” [Editor’s note: Is this what is meant by love being “kneady”?]
Andre Maurois: “A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.”
Norman Mailer: “Love asks us that we be a little braver than is comfortable, a little more generous, a little more flexible. It means living on the edge more than we care to.”
Psychological and religious thinkers
Some love advice, courtesy of psychologist James Hillman: “For a relationship to stay alive, love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining.”
Words from a Buddhist about love: “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, but that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anyone, deserve your love and affection.”
A statement attributed to French poet Paul Valery. “Love is being stupid together,” he said. [Editor’s note: does that mean it is better than being stupid apart?]
Poet Pablo Neruda: “I hunger for your sleek laugh and your hands the color of a furious harvest. I want to eat the sunbeams flaring in your beauty.”
Also: “Our love is like a well in the wilderness where time watches over the wandering lightning. Our sleep is a secret tunnel that leads to the scent of apples carried on the wind. When I hold you, I hold everything that is–swans, volcanoes, river rocks, maple trees drinking the fragrance of the moon, bread that the fire adores. In your life I see everything that lives.”
The words of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.”
Two final thoughts:
Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote this in Women Who Run With the Wolves. “The desire to force love to live only in its most positive form is what causes love ultimately to fall over dead.”
And from The Simpsons‘ creator Matt Groening: “Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.”
An alien crash lands on earth, wanders into a small town, finds the only house with a novelist in it and knocks on the door.
The novelist answers and after the initial shock of seeing such a strange creature, the creature hands him a note. It reads: “In your language, I have come to invade and conquer.”
The novelist scribbles something on a piece of notebook paper, tears it out, and hands it to the alien: “Why?”
The alien types in something on his keyboard and out prints his response: “Because you are weak and we are strong and this world has many things to offer us.”
“Does that include the asteroid on a collision course toward earth?” the novelist asks.
The alien thinks about that. After a moment, the alien turns and leaves.
The novelist turns back to his writing, knowing nobody would believe him if he put this incident in his novel: an alien with good grammar. Unbelievable. After all, fiction had to be believable.
Critic: He wanted to be a novelist. He has achieved his ambition: a bad novelist.
Reminds me of the joke,
Question: “What’s the difference between a writer and a bad writer?”
Answer: “The critic.”
“A ‘critic’ is a man who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative men. There is logic in this; he is unbiased—he hates all creative people equally.”
– Robert A. Heinlein, novelist