Shirley Jackson Quotes

Enjoy the top 185 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Shirley Jackson.

Shirley Jackson Quotes

He was scrupulous about the use of his title because, his investigations being so utterly unscientific, he hoped to borrow an air of respectability, even scholarly authority, from his education.
— Shirley Jackson —

I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had.

— Shirley Jackson

Fear," the doctor said, "is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway.

— Shirley Jackson

Hill House, she thought, You're as hard to get into as heaven.

— Shirley Jackson

God! Whose hand was I holding?

— Shirley Jackson

It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope. Exorcism cannot alter the countenance of a house ; Hill House would stay as it was until it was destroyed.

— Shirley Jackson

No Human eye can isolate the unhappy coincidence of line and place which suggests evil in the face of a house, and yet somehow a maniac juxtaposition, a badly turned angle, some chance meeting of roof and sky, turned Hill House into a place of despair, more frightening because the face of Hill House seemed awake, with a watchfulness from the blank windows and a touch of glee in the eyebrow of a cornice.

— Shirley Jackson

The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o'clock; in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 2th. but in this village, where there were only about three hundred people, the whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten o'clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner.

— Shirley Jackson

That was when I left her and went outside to talk to Charles. I knew I would dislike talking to Charles, but it was almost too late to ask him politely and I thought I should ask him once. Even the garden had become a strange landscape with Charles' figure in it; I could see him standing under the apple trees and the trees were crooked and shortened beside him. I came out the kitchen door and walked slowly toward him. I was trying to think charitably of him, since I would never be able to speak kindly until I did, but whenever I thought of his big white face grinning at me across the table or watching me whenever I moved I wanted to beat at him until he went away, I wanted to stamp on him after he was dead, and see him lying dead on the grass. So I made my mind charitable toward Charles and came up to him slowly.

— Shirley Jackson

When I was a child," Theodora said lazily, "'
many years ago,' Doctor, as you put it so tactfully
I was whipped for throwing a brick through a greenhouse roof. I remember I thought about if for a long time, remembering the whipping but remembering also the lovely crash, and after thinking about it very seriously I went out and did it again.

— Shirley Jackson

You're lucky you won't ever be pretty."
Harriet knew already that this would keep her heartsick for months, perhaps the rest of her life, and she said thickly, "I'm losing weight right now."
"It isn't that you're so fat," Miss Tyler said critically. "You just don't have the air of a pretty woman. All your life, for instance, you'll walk like you're fat, whether you are or not.

— Shirley Jackson

All of the village was of a piece, a time, and a style; it was as though the people needed the ugliness of the village, and fed on it. The houses and the stores seemed to have been set up in contemptuous haste to provide shelter for the drab and the unpleasant, and the Rochester house and the Blackwood house and even the town hall had been brought here perhaps accidentally from some far lovely country where people lived with grace. Perhaps the fine houses had been captured-perhaps as punishment for the Rochesters and the Blackwoods and their secret bad hearts?-and were held prisoner in the village; perhaps their slow rot was a sign of the ugliness of the villagers.

— Shirley Jackson

I was thinking, I could turn him into a fly and drop him into a spider's web and watch him tangled and helpless and struggling, shut into the body of a dying buzzing fly; I could wish him dead until he died.I could fasten him to a tree and keep him there until he grew into the trunk and bark grew over his mouth. if he was under the ground I could walk over him stamping my feet.

— Shirley Jackson

Certainly there are spots which inevitably attach to themselves an atmosphere of holiness and goodness; it might not then be too fanciful to say that some houses are born bad.

— Shirley Jackson

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