James Agee Quotes

Enjoy the top 61 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by James Agee.

James Agee Quotes

Under your shelter all things come and go.
Children are violent and valiant, they run and they shout like the winners of impossible victories, but before long now, even like me, they will be brought into their sleep.
Those who are grown great talk with confidence and are at all times skillful to serve and to protect, but before long now they too, before long, even like me, will be taken in and put to bed.
Soon come those hours when no one wakes. Even the locusts, even the crickets, silent shall be, as frozen brooks
In your break sheltering. [sic]
— James Agee —

And somewhat as in blind night, on a mild sea, a sailor may be made aware of an iceberg, fanged and mortal, bearing invisibly near, by the unwarned charm of its breath, nothingness now revealed itself: that permanent night upon which the stars in their expiring generations are less than the glinting of gnats, and nebulae, more trivial than winter breath; that darkness in which eternity lies bent and pale, a dead snake in a jar, and infinity is the sparkling of a wren blown out to sea; that inconceivable chasm of invulnerable silence in which cataclysms of galaxies rave mute as amber.

— James Agee

In every child who is born, under no matter what circumstances, and no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again.

— James Agee

We are talking now of summer evenings in Knoxville Tennessee in the time that I lived there so successfully disguised to myself as a child.

— James Agee

Well, now, some people learn a little quicker than others. It's nice to learn fast but it's nice to take your time too.

— James Agee

By some chance, here they are, all on this earth; and who shall ever tell the sorrow of being on this earth, lying, on quilts, on the grass, in a summer evening, among the sounds of the night. May God bless my people, my uncle, my aunt, my mother, my good father, oh, remember them kindly in their time of trouble; and in the hour of their taking away.
After a little I am taken in and put to bed. Sleep, soft smiling, draws me unto her: and those receive me, who quietly treat me, as one familiar and well-beloved in that home: but will not, oh, will not, not now, not ever; but will not ever tell me who I am.

— James Agee

You never live an inch without involvement and hurting people and fucking yourself everlastingly.

— James Agee

You must be in tune with the times and prepared to break with tradition.

— James Agee

Kate, the mother of thirteen, is forty-nine; delicately made; her skin creamlike where the weather has not got at it. She is smaller than several of her children. Her legs and feet, like those of most women in this country, are beautifully shaped by shoelessness on the earth. Her eyes, which are watchful not at all for herself but for her family, are those of a small animal which expects another kick as a matter of course and which is too numbed to dodge it or even much care. She calls her children "my babies." They call her mama, treat her protectively as they might a deformed child, and love her carelessly and gaily. An old photograph shows her fiber and bearing as a young woman, and perhaps it is the relinquishment of that unusual spirit, under the beating and breakage of the past two decades, that has made her now the most abandoned of these people: more than any of them, she is lost in some solitary region of her own. She is only half sane.

— James Agee

Several tons of dynamite are set off in this picture - none of it under the right people.

— James Agee

I believe that every human being is potentially capable within his 'limits' of fully 'realizing' his potentialities; that this, his being cheated and choked of it, is infinitely the ghastliest, commonest, and most inclusive of all the crimes of which the human world can assure itself.

— James Agee

The camera is just a machine, which records with impressive and as a rule very cruel faithfulness.

— James Agee

It is clear enough by now to most people that the camera never lies is a foolish saying. Yet it is doubtful whether most people realize how extraordinarily slippery a liar the camera is.

— James Agee

He used this great, sad, motionless face to suggest various related things: a one-track mind near the track's end of pure insanity; mulish imperturbability under the wildest of circumstances; how dead a human being can get and still be alive ...

— James Agee

One thing I feel is this: that a great deal of poetry is the product of adolescence-or of an emotionally adolescent frame of mind: and that as this state of mind changes, poetry is likely to dry up.

— James Agee

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