Talk:Katherine Anne Porter

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I just learned of Katherine Anne Porter from The Writers Almanac podcast, it's her birthday. Does anyone see a link between her life and work with Dorothy Parker or Patti Smith? I wish her a Happy Birthday and so happy I found another American born Heroine whose character cannot be matched by those imagined in literature.


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  • Be bold. Don't be so afraid of giving away yourself either, for if you write, you must. And if you can't face it, better not to write.
  • Experience is what really happens to you in the long run; the truth that finally overtakes you.
  • I don't believe in intuition. When you get sudden flashes of perception, it is just the brain working faster than usual. But you've been getting ready to know it for a long time, and when it comes, you feel you've known it always.
  • I have a great deal of religious symbolism in my stories because I have a very deep sense of religion and also I have religious training. And I suppose you don't say, "I'm going to have the flowering judas tree stand for betrayal," but of course it does.
  • I have lost children in all the ways one can.
    • On her miscarriages, and hysterectomy.
  • I specialize in what the French call la petite histoire. I am interested in the individual thumbprint.
  • I spent 15 years wandering about, weighed horribly with masses of paper and little else. Yet for this vocation of writing I was and am willing to die, and I consider very few other things of the slightest importance.
  • I have not much interest in anyone's personal history after the tenth year, not even my own. Whatever one was going to be was all prepared before that.
  • I shall try to tell the truth, but the result will be fiction.
  • I was right not to be afraid of any thief but myself, who will end by leaving me nothing.
  • It is such a relief to be told the truth.
  • It's a man's world, and you men can have it.
    • Variant: It is a man's world, and you men can have it.
  • Love must be learned, and learned again; there is no end to it.
  • Most people won't realize that writing is a craft. You have to take your apprenticeship in it like anything else.
  • My one aim is to tell a straight story and give true testimony.
  • One of the marks of a gift is to have the courage of it.
  • Physical infidelity is the signal, the notice given, that all fidelities are undermined.
  • When I begin a story, I can never work in any of those promising paragraphs, those apt turns of phrases, those small turns of anecdotes I have believed would be so valuable.
  • You learn something the day you die. You learn how to die.