John Fowles Quotations

John Fowles

Baseball and cricket are beautiful and highly stylized medieval war substitutes, chess made flesh, a mixture of proud chivalry and base -- in both senses -- greed.

Duty largely consists of pretending that the trivial is critical.

For what good science tries to eliminate, good art seeks to provoke -- mystery, which is lethal to the one, and vital to the other.

I am going to explain to you why we went to war. Why mankind always does to war. It is not social or political. It is not countries that go to war, but men. It is like salt. Once one has been to war, one has salt for the rest of one's life. Men love war because it allows them to look serious. Because it is the one thing that stops women from laughing at them. Night fell again. There was war to the south, but our sector was quiet. The battle was over. Our casualties were some thirteen thousand killed -- thirteen thousand minds, memories, loves, sensations, worlds, universes -- because the human mind is more a universe than the universe itself--and all for a few hundred yards of useless mud.

In some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things. In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me.

Most marriages recognize this paradox: Passion destroys passion; we want what puts an end to wanting what we want.

Our accepting what we are must always inhibit our being what we ought to be.

The more abhorrent a news item the more comforting it was to be the recipient, since the fact that it had happened elsewhere proved that it had not happened here, was not happening here, and would therefore never happen here.

The price of tapping water into every house is that no one values water anymore.

Time is not a road -- it is a room.

We all write poems; it is simply that poets are the ones who write in words.