Annie Dillard 1

Crystals grew inside rock like arithmetic flowers. They lengthened and spread, added plane to plane in an awed and perfect obedience to an absolute geometry that even stones – maybe only the stones – understood.
Annie Dillard

Write as if you were dying.
Annie Dillard

The writer studies literature, not the world.
Annie Dillard

Our family was on the lunatic fringe. My mother was always completely irrepressible. My father made crowd noises into a microphone.
Annie Dillard

God gave me a talent to draw. I ‘owed’ it to him to develop the talent.
Annie Dillard

The Pulitzer is more useful than meaningful.
Annie Dillard

When I teach, I preach. I thump the Bible. I exhort my students morally. I talk to them about the dedicated life.
Annie Dillard

Buddhism notes that it is always a mistake to think your soul can go it alone.
Annie Dillard

According to Inuit culture in Greenland, a person possesses six or seven souls. The souls take the form of tiny people scattered throughout the body.
Annie Dillard

I worked so hard all my life, and all I want to do now is read.
Annie Dillard

I can’t dance anymore. Total knee replacements. I can’t do anything anymore.
Annie Dillard

All my books started out as extravagant and ended up pure and plain.
Annie Dillard

It’s a little silly to finally learn how to write at this age. But I long ago realized I was secretly sincere.
Annie Dillard

I’m a housewife: I spend far more time on housework than anything else.
Annie Dillard

You are wrong if you think that you can in any way take the vision and tame it to the page. The page is jealous and tyrannical; the page is made of time and matter; the page always wins.
Annie Dillard

At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it.
Annie Dillard

The mind of the writer does indeed do something before it dies, and so does its owner, but I would be hard put to call it living.
Annie Dillard

Much has been written about the life of the mind.
Annie Dillard

Matters of taste are not, it turns out, moral issues.
Annie Dillard

How can people think that artists seek a name? There is no such thing as an artist – only the world, lit or unlit, as the world allows.
Annie Dillard

If you’re going to publish a book, you probably are going to make a fool of yourself.
Annie Dillard

When I first read the words ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ when I was 10, I thought I was both.
Annie Dillard

I never met a man who was shaken by a field of identical blades of grass. An acre of poppies and a forest of spruce boggle no one’s mind.
Annie Dillard

‘Fecundity’ is an ugly word for an ugly subject. It is ugly, at least, in the eggy animal world. I don’t think it is for plants.
Annie Dillard

A writer looking for subjects inquires not after what he loves best, but after what he alone loves at all.
Annie Dillard

Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?
Annie Dillard

It makes more sense to write one big book – a novel or nonfiction narrative – than to write many stories or essays. Into a long, ambitious project you can fit or pour all you possess and learn.
Annie Dillard

The sensation of writing a book is the sensation of spinning, blinded by love and daring. It is the sensation of a stunt pilot’s turning barrel rolls, or an inchworm’s blind rearing from a stem in search of a route. At its worst, it feels like alligator wrestling, at the level of the sentence. Annie Dillard

There is no such thing as an artist – only the world, lit or unlit, as the world allows.
Annie Dillard

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