Padgett Powell Quotes

Have you come over time to think that you know more now than you did when you were young, know less now than when young, know now there is so much more to know than you knew there was to know when young that it is moot whether you think you knew more then than now or less, or do you now know that you never knew anything at all and never will and only the bluster of youth persuaded you that you did or would?

Life is a sandwich of activity between two periods of bed-wetting.

I’ve had an addiction for a long time to the whole business of maximizing one’s potential, what I call human activation. The vehicle for actualizing oneself is choice, options, seeking out the proper choices.

There’s a lot of phones; but I’m out of that field. They make me feel like a prisoner of war; there’s not going to be any texting for me. The pre-paid phone is the frontier of my technological advance.

Notable American Women is a weird nougat of a book that suggests Coetzee, Kafka, Beckett, Barthelme, O’Brien, Orwell, Paley, Borges-and none of them exactly. Finally you just have to chew it for its own private juice.

If you could have a famous writer, dead or alive, write an obituary for you and really puff you up to have been something you weren’t, perhaps, or otherwise take liberties with your memory, what writer would you choose?

Even if you’re the worst writer in the world, at least you’ll have the evidence.

Writing books is a nice retreat. There’s nothing quite like diving into a book for a few hours. That is a big time vacation.

That’s part of fiction, creating a world better than the one you live in.

Cholesterol to go with alcohol; all the bad things in English-speaking life end in -ol.

Is a gesture of charity genuine or is it a kind of deep moral tax write-off?

I knew I was supposed to be a writer; I had made that declaration in the closet of my soul.

I don’t know any more about America than one knows being trapped in it.

Conversations are the most direct way to connect with people.

It’s hard to say conversation has become a minimal thing, because look at the rise of mobile communications in the last 10 years. It used to be only the President had a mobile phone. Now everyone on earth, even if they have nothing else, they have a cell phone. It’s a larger anthropological shift in my mind than even the tattoo age in the United States.

Heavy booze is a big time vacation, but you come back with a headache.

If I tell you that I have robbed a bank, prepare the correct reaction.