Peter Matthiessen Quotes

Enjoy the top 110 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Peter Matthiessen.

Peter Matthiessen Quotes

Illuminated by the same joyful curiosity and erudition, lyric writing, and plain love of life that made a classic of Archie Carrs The Windward Road.
— Peter Matthiessen —

The secret of the mountain is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no "meaning," they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day.

— Peter Matthiessen

In the jungle, during one night in each month, the moths did not come to the lanterns; through the black reaches of the outer night, so it was said, they flew toward the full moon.

— Peter Matthiessen

Have you seen the snow leopard? No! Isn't that wonderful?

— Peter Matthiessen

In fiction, you have a rough idea what's coming up next - sometimes you even make a little outline - but in fact you don't know. Each day is a whole new - and for me, a very invigorating - experience.

— Peter Matthiessen

The sun, coming hard around the world: the island rises from the sea, sinks, rises, holds.

— Peter Matthiessen

The glee of it. The ecstasy of It. I can't speak about this It because I know no word. It is just there, It is always there, like death in life. In this instant I know that something terrible is rising that must be seized and turned back upon itself before it twists outward into violence. But that knowing always comes too late, a wild unraveling is under way and I am caught up in it like a coyote seen late one afternoon in an Arkansas tornado-a toy dog spinning skyward, struck white by a ray of sun against black clouds, then black, then white, then gone and lost forever. The wind dies. A dead stillness. Mirror water. That ecstasy that shivered every nerve replaced by the precise knowing that what this self perpetrated is as much a part of the universal will as erupting lava that subsides once more into the inner earth.

— Peter Matthiessen

A child dragging bent useless legs is crawling up the hill outside the village. Nose to the stones, goat dung, and muddy trickles, she pulls herself along like a broken cricket. We falter, ashamed of our strong step, and noticing this, she gazes up, clear-eyed, without resentment-it seems much worse that she is pretty. In Bengal, GS says stiffly, beggars will break their children's knees to achieve this pitiable effect for business purposes: this is his way of expressing his distress. But the child that lies here at our boots is not a beggar; she is merely a child, staring in curiosity at tall, white strangers. I long to give her something-a new life?-yet am afraid to tamper with such dignity. And so I smile as best I can, and say "Namas-te!" "Good morning!" How absurd! And her voice follows as we go away, a small clear smiling voice-"Namas-te!"-a Sanskrit word for greeting and parting that means, "I salute you".

— Peter Matthiessen

I'm surprised you holy people talk to me," Wolfie said suddenly, "after what I done." He swayed there a moment, frowning. "As a Catholic priest, I must accept men's frailty. And as a European I am too old and tired to expend emotion upon matters I can do nothing about.

— Peter Matthiessen

I was overtaken by a dread of utter solitude in the great turning world.

— Peter Matthiessen

The light irradiates white peaks of Annapurna marching down the sky, in the great rampart that spreads east and west for eighteen hundred miles, the Himalaya- the alaya (abode, or home) of hima (snow).Hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea: seen under snow peaks, these tropical blossoms become the flowers of heroic landscapes. Macaques scamper in green meadow, and a turquoise roller spins in a golden light. Drongos, rollers, barbets, and white Eqyptian vulture are the common birds, and all have close relatives in East Africa.

— Peter Matthiessen

This man would rob them graves himself, being some way starved by life, bone greedy.

— Peter Matthiessen

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