Willa Cather Quotes

Enjoy the top 363 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Willa Cather.

Willa Cather Quotes

At nine oclock Mr. Shimerda lighted one of our lanterns and put on his overcoat and fur collar. He stood in the little entry hall, the lantern and his fur cap under his arm, shaking hands with us. When he took grandmothers hand, he bent over it as he always did, and said slowly, Good woman! He made the sign of the cross over me, put on his cap and went off in the dark. As we turned back to the sitting-room, grandfather looked at me searchingly. The prayers of all good people are good, he said quietly.
— Willa Cather —

Many a night that summer she left Dr. Archie's office with a desire to run and run about those quiet streets until she wore out her shoes, or wore out the streets themselves; when her chest ached and it seemed as if her heart were spreading all over the desert. When she went home, it was not to go to sleep. She used to drag her mattress beside her low window and lie awake for a long while, vibrating with excitement, as a machine vibrates from speed. Life rushed in upon her through that window
or so it seemed. In reality, of course, life rushes from within, not from without. There is no work of art so big or so beautiful that it was not once all contained in some youthful body, like this one which lay on the floor in the moonlight, pulsing with ardor and anticipation. It was on such nights that Thea Kronborg learned the thing that old Dumas meant when he told the Romanticists that to make a drama he needed but one passion and four walls.

— Willa Cather

I prefer to be foolish when I feel like it, and be accountable to nobody.

— Willa Cather

And that's what makes men happy, believing in the mystery and importance of their own individual lives.

— Willa Cather

I have sometimes thought that his bursts of imaginative talk were fatal to his poetic gift. He squandered too much in the heat of personal communication.

— Willa Cather

When people ask me if it has been a hard or easy road, I always answer with the same quotation, the end is nothing, the road is all.Willa Cather

— Willa Cather

Money and office and success are the consolations of impotence. Fortune turns kind to such solid people and lets them suck their bone in peace. She flecks her whip upon flesh that is more alive, upon that stream of hungry boys and girls who tramp the streets of every city, recognizable by their pride and discontent, who are the Future, and who possess the treasure of creative power.

— Willa Cather

Have the last word ma'm," he said cheerfully, "It's a lady's priviledge.

— Willa Cather

The qualities of a second-rate writer can easily be defined, but the first-rate writer can only be experience. It is just the thing in him which escapes analysis that makes him first-rate.

— Willa Cather

Along with the yearning that came from some deep part of her, that was selfless and exalted, Thea had a hard kind of cockiness, a determination to get ahead. Well, there are passages in life when that fierce, stubborn self-assertion will stand its ground after the nobler feeling is overwhelmed and beaten under.

— Willa Cather

In their death as in their life the Latins are more socially disposed than we, and the graves in their cemeteries almost always touch each other, they are so closely crowded together.

— Willa Cather

The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.

— Willa Cather

The condition every art requires is, not so much freedom from restriction, as freedom from adulteration and from the intrusion of foreign matter.

— Willa Cather

The voice is a wild thing. It can't be bred in captivity.

— Willa Cather

The world is always full of brilliant youth which fades into grey and embittered middle age: the first flowering takes everything. The great men are those who have developed slowly, or who have been able to survive the glamour of their early florescence and to go on learning from life.

— Willa Cather

If [the writer] achieves anything noble, anything enduring, it must be by giving himself absolutely to his material. And this gift of sympathy is his great gift; is the fine thing in him that alone can make his work fine.

— Willa Cather

Now that Stevenson is dead I can think of but one English- speaking author who is really keeping his self-respect and sticking forperfection. Of course I refer to that mighty master of language and keen student of human actions and motives, Henry James.

— Willa Cather

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