Top 51 T. C. Boyle Quotes

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“It’s true that none of my characters are admirable. But maybe I’m primarily a satirist, and a satirist needs to hold up what’s not admirable.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I am mad for nature writing. I want to get inside the head of every creature in the world, even ants.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I read widely – for news, the arts, science, for entertainment, and the value of being informed – and, as a fiction writer, I can’t help transposing what I learn into the scenario for a novel or story.”

― T. C. Boyle

“Life is tragic and absurd, and none of it has any purpose at all.”

― T. C. Boyle

“Every story is organic, and every story finds its own ending.”

― T. C. Boyle

“It’s hard to say how certain stories just punch us in the heart and the brain at the same time at the end. I suppose that’s what we’re all looking for. But each story has its own valence, its own way of saying goodbye to you.”

― T. C. Boyle

“The novel is a seduction; a reader has to be seduced.”

― T. C. Boyle

“Books are up against TV and movies and video games and a multimedia society that is so busy that people don’t have contemplative time any more. I worry deeply about this. In fact, I worry about everything all the time. I used to be a punk. All I wanted to do was tear everything down, and that was so much easier.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I tell jokes, and I have fun, but I tend to worry about everybody and everything throughout the entire world.”

― T. C. Boyle

“This is why fiction is an art, and life is not – how much more affecting is the lie than the truth.”

― T. C. Boyle

“In previous generations, there was purpose; you had to die, but there was God, and literature and culture would go on. Now, there is no God, and our species is imminently doomed, so there is no purpose. We get up, raise families, have bank accounts, fix our teeth and everything else. But really, there is utterly no purpose except to be alive.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I think the best endings bring you back in rather than close things off with absolute finality. I’m not saying they necessarily have to be ambiguous, but we don’t always need to know what happens when everyone wakes up tomorrow morning.”

― T. C. Boyle

“What is your identity, and how do you know who you are if you don’t have language?”

― T. C. Boyle

“I am a worrier. I worry about the state of our country, of the world, of our species. Every day seems to deliver a new nail to hammer into our collective coffin.”

― T. C. Boyle

“Sometimes, we find common ground; more often, we don’t.”

― T. C. Boyle

“Now that we all live in a bad ’70s sci-fi movie, I am made to understand the tyranny of the machines every minute of every day.”

― T. C. Boyle

“The compulsively readable events of my life occurred mainly in infancy, and it’s been pretty humdrum ever since.”

― T. C. Boyle

“You want, as an artist, to be pushing yourself to do what you haven’t done before.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I can’t fathom writers married to writers and musicians married to musicians. There’s your enemy in bed beside you.”

― T. C. Boyle

“Of course all novelists are egomaniacs and want to draw everyone to their fold just like any other preacher. The snake-oil peddler, the false prophet, all of this is fascinating to me. But I certainly hope that I’m more humane than that.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I really like the power of stopping the laughter and turning it to horror.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I don’t care if the audience is 600 Saul Bellows; I’m going to knock them dead with a comedy routine. I’m out there as a missionary for literature because, if people laugh and enjoy themselves, they might actually do something as bizarre as reading the book.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I’m not looking ahead joyfully to the rest of my life or the future of the human race. I’ve always written about man as an animal species among other animals, competing for limited resources. Our population is exploding. Our environment is dying. Science has debunked God.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I’ve always written about heroes and wondered who they are.”

― T. C. Boyle

“Science has killed religion. There’s no hope for the future with seven billion of us on the planet, and the only thing you can do is to laugh in the face of it all.”

― T. C. Boyle

“If we lose sight of the fact that writing is entertainment, then writing is doomed.”

― T. C. Boyle

“My job is to engage, entertain, work out my life, tell a certain truth.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I love performing in front of an audience. I like the questions; I like controversy.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I can’t read novels while I’m writing a novel, because somebody’s voice creeps in.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I worry about everything in the world, and it’s just too much for anybody to think about, so I have my art as my consolation.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I like to live in my own mind, regardless of everyone and everything, working out the intimate puzzles that are my stories and novels.”

― T. C. Boyle

“It’s just my natural way – to be funny. I don’t know why that is. But as I’ve said, humor is a quick cover for shock, horror, confusion. The critics hate funny writers for the most part. They think funny is not serious, but I think that funny can be even more serious than nonfunny. And it can be more affecting, too.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I think the way to be a writer is to experience things, certainly, and be open to things, but at some point to become dedicated to the craft of writing and to create a stable environment for that writing to occur in.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I describe myself as an environmentalist not because I’m marching in the street with placards but because I like to be in the woods by myself.”

― T. C. Boyle

“Look at Sam Beckett. Most depressed man who ever lived, but he sure was funny.”

― T. C. Boyle

“Art saved me. It may sound corny, but it’s true.”

― T. C. Boyle

“Sometimes if something is entertaining and amusing, people tend to think that it doesn’t have the depth of something that’s dramatic. I don’t think that’s true.”

― T. C. Boyle

“One of the reasons I’ve been able to be productive is that I want to do everything.”

― T. C. Boyle

“What higher art does is to invite us in and allow us to make decisions.”

― T. C. Boyle

“This is the beauty of fiction. We may not like these characters, but we inhabit them.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I think, if I’m doing my job correctly, I’m presenting a scenario for you as the reader to engage with on your own. I mean, that’s what the best art is supposed to do. It’s not supposed to be political. I think if you read all my books, you know where I stand, pretty much.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I’m just kind of fascinated by how we can deny that we are animals and what our impact on the other animals is like, and how quixotic we can be in trying to assess what we’ve done in trying to correct it.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I envy Jesus because he’s dead.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I never go anywhere without a book for fear of being stuck in line in front of the theater or strapped down in the dentist’s chair and being bored witless. Thus, I read everywhere.”

― T. C. Boyle

“The beauty of American law is you cannot slander anybody who is dead. This is not true in all countries.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I’ve never really been met with indifference, where they say, ‘Who cares?’ I think that’s what good art is supposed to do. It’s not supposed to make you feel good about your own prejudices and your own values; it’s supposed to open you up in some way and get you outraged or make you happy or make you sad or whatever it’s going to do.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I do not want to repeat myself. I want to reach for something I’ve never attained. This is the excitement of art.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I hope to stay light on my feet, to work in many modes, to seek inspiration always, and avoid the fatal. But, as we all know, it is the price of life to burn out, both metaphorically and literally.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I think that’s what art is about: to provoke you. It helps me make sense of a senseless universe because I become the god of the story. I create it, and I see it in all its lineaments in my own way and can control it – in a world in which everything else is out of control.”

― T. C. Boyle

“I’m enslaved to writing to the point where I sacrifice almost everything else.”

― T. C. Boyle

“As humans, we all want our own island. Of course, the truth is, we’re never going to get it.”

― T. C. Boyle
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