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Willa Cather Quotes

A work-room should be like an old shoe; no matter how shabby, it's better than a new one.

All the intelligence and talent in the world can't make a singer. The voice is a wild thing. It can't be bred in captivity. It is a sport, like the silver fox. It happens.

Desire is creation, is the magical element in that process. If there were an instrument by which to measure desire, one could foretell achievement.

Every artist makes himself born. It is very much harder than the other time, and longer.

Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact.

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.

I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.

It does not matter much whom we live with in this world, but it matters a great deal whom we dream of.

Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.

No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person.

Of all the bewildering things about a new country, the absence of human landmarks is one of the most depressing and disheartening.

Only solitary men know the full joys of frienship. Others have their family; but to a solitary and an exile, his friends are everything.

Paris is a hard place to leave, even when it rains incessantly and one coughs continually from the dampness.

Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.

Sometimes a neighbor whom we have disliked a lifetime for his arrogance and conceit lets fall a single commonplace remark that shows us another side, another man, really; a man uncertain, and puzzled, and in the dark like ourselves.

Sometimes I wonder why God ever trusts talent in the hands of women, they usually make such an infernal mess of it. I think He must do it as a sort of ghastly joke.

That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.

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

The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.

The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor.