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 :: 1876-1947, American Author

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Art, it seems to me, should simplify finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole -- so that all that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader's consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page.
~ Willa Cather - [Editing and Editors]

 

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Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
~ Willa Cather - [Arts and Artists]

 

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Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact.
~ Willa Cather - [Words]

 

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Nearly all the Escapists in the long past have managed their own budget and their social relations so unsuccessfully that I wouldn't want them for my landlords, or my bankers, or my neighbors. They were valuable, like powerful stimulants, only when they were left out of the social and industrial routine.
~ Willa Cather - [Ideals and Idealism]

 

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No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person.
~ Willa Cather - [Independence]

 

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Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family --but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything.
~ Willa Cather - [Friends and Friendship]

 

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Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers.
~ Willa Cather - [Arts and Artists]

 

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Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.
~ Willa Cather - [Memory]

 

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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.
~ Willa Cather - [Neighbors]

 

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That is happiness: to be dissolved into something complete and great.
~ Willa Cather - [Happiness]

 

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The condition every art requires is, not so much freedom from restriction, as freedom from adulteration and from the intrusion of foreign matter.
~ Willa Cather - [Censorship]

 

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The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.
~ Willa Cather - [Generations]

 

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The irregular and intimate quality of things made entirely by the human hand.
~ Willa Cather - [Crafts]

 

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The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
~ Willa Cather - [Miracles]

 

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The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.
~ Willa Cather - [Sun]

 

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There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.
~ Willa Cather - [Story and Story-Telling]

 

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To note an artist's limitations is but to define his talent. A reporter can write equally well about everything that is presented to his view, but a creative writer can do his best only with what lies within the range and character of his deepest sympathies.
~ Willa Cather - [Writers and Writing]

 

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Where there is great love there are always miracles.
~ Willa Cather - [Miracles]

 

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Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.
~ Willa Cather - [Winter]

 

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Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand -- a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods -- or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.
~ Willa Cather - [Writers and Writing]

 

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