Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Literary Birthday – 8 August – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings  was born 8 August 1896, and died 14 December 1953.


  1. I get as much satisfaction from preparing a perfect dinner for a few good friends as from turning out a perfect paragraph in my writing.
  2. A woman never forgets the men she could have had; a man, the women he couldn’t.
  3. Hemingway, damn his soul, makes everything he writes terrifically exciting (and incidentally makes all us second-raters seem positively adolescent) by the seemingly simple expedient of the iceberg principle – three-fourths of the substance under the surface. He comes closer that way to retaining the magic of the original, unexpressed idea or emotion, which is always more stirring than any words. But just try and do it!
  4. Fear is the most easily taught of all lessons, and the fight against terror, real or imagined, is perhaps the history of man’s mind.
  5. Sorrow was like the wind. It came in gusts.
  6. But to make the intangible tangible, to pick the emotion out of the air and make it true for others, is both the blessing and the curse of the writer, for the thing between book covers is never as beautiful as the thing he imagined.
  7. Madness is only a variety of mental nonconformity and we are all individualists here.
  8. Readers themselves, I think, contribute to a book. They add their own imaginations, and it is as though the writer only gave them something to work on, and they did the rest.
  9. Words began fights and words ended them.
  10. I most certainly do not think advertising people are wonderful. I think they are horrible, and the worst menace to mankind, next to war; perhaps ahead of war. They stand for the material viewpoint, for the importance of possessions, of desire, of envy, of greed. And war comes from these things.
  11. Writing is agony for me. I work at it eight hours every day, hoping to get six pages, but I am satisfied with three.
  12. A queer thing happens to me whenever I am all through with one piece of work, and I have wondered if it was common to all writers. Before I go to work on something else, I drop into the most terrific despair. It has always been so ? Then when the new work takes hold of my mind, nothing exists but the necessity for working it out.
  13. Life is strong stuff, some of us can bear more of it than others.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was an American author. Her best known work, The Yearling, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 and was later made into a movie of the same name.

Image Source

Library of Congress, Carl van Vechten

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 8th August 2015