N. Scott Momaday Quotes

Enjoy the top 54 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by N. Scott Momaday.

N. Scott Momaday Quotes

In the white mans world, language, too
and the way which the white man thinks of it
has undergone a process of change. The white man takes such things as words and literatures for granted, as indeed he must, for nothing in his world is so commonplace. On every side of him there are words by the millions, an unending succession of pamphlets and papers, letters and books, bills and bulletins, commentaries and conversations. He has diluted and multiplied the Word, and words have begun to close in on him. He is sated and insensitive; his regard for language
for the Word itself
as an instrument of creation has diminished nearly to the point of no return. It may be that he will perish by the Word.
— N. Scott Momaday —

I wonder if, in the dark night of the sea, the octopus dreams of me.

— N. Scott Momaday

Coyotes have the gift of seldom being seen; they keep to the edge of vision and beyond, loping in and out of cover on the plains and highlands. And at night, when the whole world belongs to them, they parley at the river with the dogs, their higher, sharper voices full of authority and rebuke. They are an old council of clowns, and they are listened to.

— N. Scott Momaday

To encounter the sacred is to be alive at the deepest center of human existence. Sacred places are the truest definitions of the earth; they stand for the earth immediately and forever; they are its flags and shields. If you would know the earth for what it really is, learn it through its sacred places. At Devil's Tower or Canyon de Chelly or the Cahokia Mounds, you touch the pulse of the living planet; you feel its breath upon you. You become one with a spirit that pervades geologic time and space.

— N. Scott Momaday

Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth, I believe. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it.

— N. Scott Momaday

Writing engenders in us certain attitudes toward language. It encourages us to take words for granted. Writing has enabled us to store vast quantities of words indefinitely. This is advantageous on the one hand but dangerous on the other. The result is that we have developed a kind of false security where language is concerned, and our sensitivity to language has deteriorated. And we have become in proportion insensitive to silence.

— N. Scott Momaday

It was not an exclamation so much, I think, as it was a warding off, an exertion of language upon ignorance and disorder.

— N. Scott Momaday

We perceive existence by means of words and names. To this or that vague, potential thing I will give a name, and it will exist thereafter, and its existence will be clearly perceived. The name enables me to see it. I can call it by its name, and I can see it for what it is.

— N. Scott Momaday

I prayed. He was going home, and I wanted to pray. Look out for me, I said; look out each day and listen for me. And we were going together on horses to the hills. We were going to ride out in the first light to the hills. We were going to see how it was, and always was, how the sun came up with a little wind and the light ran out upon the land. We were going to get drunk, I said. We were going to be all alone, and we were going to get drunk and sing. We were going to sing about the way it always was. And it was going to be right and beautiful. It was going to be the last time. And he was going home.

— N. Scott Momaday

I am interested in the way that we look at a given landscape and take possession of it in our blood and brain. None of us lives apart from the land entirely; such an isolation is unimaginable.

— N. Scott Momaday

I have deep roots in this Oklahoma soil. It makes me proud.

— N. Scott Momaday

My father was a painter and he taught art. He once said to me, 'I never knew an Indian child who could not draw.'

— N. Scott Momaday

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it.

— N. Scott Momaday

Words were medicine; they were magic and invisible. They came from nothing into sound and meaning. They were beyond price; they could neither be bought nor sold.

— N. Scott Momaday

It's a landscape that has to be seen to be believed. And as I say on occasion, it may have to be believed in order to be seen.

— N. Scott Momaday

Although my grandmother lived out her long life in the shadow of Rainy Mountian, the immense landscape of the continental interior lay like memory in her blood

— N. Scott Momaday

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