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Thornton Wilder Quotes

Thornton Wilder

Thornton Niven Wilder (April 17, 1897 – December 7, 1975) was an American playwright and novelist. He won three Pulitzer Prizes—for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and for the two plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth-and a U.S. National Book Award for the novel The Eighth Day.
Wilder was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Amos Parker Wilder, a US newspaper editor and diplomat, and Isabella Niven Wilder. All of the Wilder children spent part of their childhood in China because of their father’s work.



1. NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE FOOLS AND THE REST OF US ARE IN GREAT DANGER OF CONTAGION.
2. WE CAN ONLY BE SAID TO BE ALIVE IN THOSE MOMENTS WHEN OUR HEARTS ARE CONSCIOUS OF OUR TREASURES.
3. LOVE IS AN ENERGY WHICH EXISTS OF ITSELF. IT IS ITS OWN VALUE.
4. SEEK THE LOFTY BY READING, HEARING AND SEEING GREAT WORK AT SOME MOMENT EVERY DAY.
5. WE DO NOT CHOOSE THE DAY OF OUR BIRTH NOR MAY WE CHOOSE THE DAY OF OUR DEATH, YET CHOICE IS THE SOVEREIGN FACULTY OF THE MIND.
6. NATURE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO INFLICT UPON HER CHILDREN THE MOST TERRIFYING JESTS.
7. PROVIDENCE HAS NOTHING GOOD OR HIGH IN STORE FOR ONE WHO DOES NOT RESOLUTELY AIM AT SOMETHING HIGH OR GOOD. A PURPOSE IS THE ETERNAL CONDITION OF SUCCESS.
8. A PLAY VISIBLY REPRESENTS PURE EXISTING.
9. AN INCINERATOR IS A WRITER’S BEST FRIEND.
10. I AM CONVINCED THAT, EXCEPT IN A FEW EXTRAORDINARY CASES, ONE FORM OR ANOTHER OF AN UNHAPPY CHILDHOOD IS ESSENTIAL TO THE FORMATION OF EXCEPTIONAL GIFTS.
11. EVERY GOOD THING IN THE WORLD STANDS ON THE RAZOR-EDGE OF DANGER.
12. HOPE, LIKE FAITH, IS NOTHING IF IT IS NOT COURAGEOUS; IT IS NOTHING IF IT IS NOT RIDICULOUS.
13. THOSE WHO ARE SILENT, SELF-EFFACING AND ATTENTIVE BECOME THE RECIPIENTS OF CONFIDENCES.
14. THE BEST THING ABOUT ANIMALS IS THAT THEY DON’T TALK MUCH.
15. MY ADVICE TO YOU IS NOT TO INQUIRE WHY OR WHITHER, BUT JUST ENJOY YOUR ICE CREAM WHILE IT’S ON YOUR PLATE.
16. THE MORE DECISIONS THAT YOU ARE FORCED TO MAKE ALONE, THE MORE YOU ARE AWARE OF YOUR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE.
17. MARRIAGE IS A BRIBE TO MAKE THE HOUSEKEEPER THINK SHE’S A HOUSEHOLDER.
18. WHEN YOU’RE SAFE AT HOME YOU WISH YOU WERE HAVING AN ADVENTURE; WHEN YOU’RE HAVING AN ADVENTURE YOU WISH YOU WERE SAFE AT HOME.
19. MANY WHO HAVE SPENT A LIFETIME IN IT CAN TELL US LESS OF LOVE THAN THE CHILD THAT LOST A DOG YESTERDAY.
20. IT IS ONLY IN APPEARANCE THAT TIME IS A RIVER. IT IS RATHER A VAST LANDSCAPE AND IT IS THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER THAT MOVES.
21. THERE’S NOTHING LIKE EAVESDROPPING TO SHOW YOU THAT THE WORLD OUTSIDE YOUR HEAD IS DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD INSIDE YOUR HEAD.
22. THERE IS A LAND OF THE LIVING AND A LAND OF THE DEAD AND THE BRIDGE IS LOVE, THE ONLY SURVIVAL, THE ONLY MEANING.
23. I KNOW THAT EVERY GOOD AND EXCELLENT THING IN THE WORLD STANDS MOMENT BY MOMENT ON THE RAZOR-EDGE OF DANGER AND MUST BE FOUGHT FOR.
24. IN ADVERTISING, NOT TO BE DIFFERENT IS VIRTUAL SUICIDE.
25. I WOULD LOVE TO BE THE POET LAUREATE OF CONEY ISLAND.
26. LITERATURE IS THE ORCHESTRATION OF PLATITUDES.
27. A DRAMATIST IS ONE WHO BELIEVES THAT THE PURE EVENT, AN ACTION INVOLVING HUMAN BEINGS, IS MORE ARRESTING THAN ANY COMMENT THAT CAN BE MADE UPON IT.
28. MANY PLAYS – CERTAINLY MINE – ARE LIKE BLANK CHECKS. THE ACTORS AND DIRECTORS PUT THEIR OWN SIGNATURES ON THEM.
29. THE THEATRE IS SUPREMELY FITTED TO SAY: ‘BEHOLD! THESE THINGS ARE.’ YET MOST DRAMATISTS EMPLOY IT TO SAY: ‘THIS MORAL TRUTH CAN BE LEARNED FROM BEHOLDING THIS ACTION.’
30. THE FUTURE AUTHOR IS ONE WHO DISCOVERS THAT LANGUAGE, THE EXPLORATION AND MANIPULATION OF THE RESOURCES OF LANGUAGE, WILL SERVE HIM IN WINNING THROUGH TO HIS WAY.
31. IT IS VERY NECESSARY TO HAVE MARKERS OF BEAUTY LEFT IN A WORLD SEEMINGLY BENT ON MAKING THE MOST EVIL UGLINESS.
32. MAN IS NOT AN END BUT A BEGINNING. WE ARE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND WEEK. WE ARE CHILDREN OF THE EIGHTH DAY.
33. FOR WHAT HUMAN ILL DOES NOT DAWN SEEM TO BE AN ALLEVIATION?
34. BUT THERE COMES A MOMENT IN EVERYBODY’S LIFE WHEN HE MUST DECIDE WHETHER HE’LL LIVE AMONG THE HUMAN BEINGS OR NOT – A FOOL AMONG FOOLS OR A FOOL ALONE.
35. IF I WASN’T AN ACTOR, I’D BE A SECRET AGENT.
36. PRIDE, AVARICE, AND ENVY ARE IN EVERY HOME.
37. WHEN GOD LOVES A CREATURE HE WANTS THE CREATURE TO KNOW THE HIGHEST HAPPINESS AND THE DEEPEST MISERY HE WANTS HIM TO KNOW ALL THAT BEING ALIVE CAN BRING. THAT IS HIS BEST GIFT. THERE IS NO HAPPINESS SAVE IN UNDERSTANDING THE WHOLE.

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