Literary Birthday – 20 June – Josephine Winslow Johnson

Josephine Winslow Johnson was born 20 June 1910, and died 27 February 1990.


  1. The writer’s advantage, in some respects, over those whose expression lies in other fields, is in the privilege of a double — sometimes a triple — living. Pleasure multiplied in the mirrors of words, and pain siphoned off in words.
  2. What is sanity, after all, except the control of madness?
  3. We are dying of preconceptions, outworn rules, decaying flags, venomous religions, and sentimentalities. We need a new world. We’ve wrenched up all the old roots. The old men have no roots. They don’t know it. They just go on talking and flailing away and falling down on the young with their tons of dead weight and their power. For the power is still there, in their life-in-death. But the roots are dead, and the land is poisoned for miles around them.
  4. The earth was overwhelmed with beauty and indifferent to it, and I went with a heart ready to crack for its unbearable loveliness.
  5. In mad people fear goes on constantly, night and day, wearing one ditch in the mind that all thoughts must travel in.
  6. To have children is a double living, the earthly fountain of youth, a continual fresh delight, a volcano as well as a fountain, and also a source of weariness beyond description.
  7. How shall I make love go through the sieve of words and come out something besides a pulp?
  8. You can’t be a little bit saintly any more than you can be a little bit pregnant.
  9. The Pentagon is the greatest power on earth today. … There it sits, a terrible mass of concrete, on our minds, on our hearts, squat on top of our lives. Its power penetrates into every single life. It is in the very air we breathe. The water we drink. Because of its insatiable demands we are drained and we are polluted.
  10. Teach the legal rights of trees, the nobility of hills; respect the beauty of singularity, the value of solitude.

Source for Quotations

Josephine Winslow Johnson was an American novelist, poet, and essayist. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1935 at age 24 for her first novel, Now in November.

Source for Image

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 20th June 2014