Ellen Glasgow

(1873-1945 / USA)

Quotations

  • ''I waited and worked, and watched the inferior exalted for nearly thirty years; and when recognition came at last, it was too late to alter events, or to make a difference in living.''
    Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 13 (1954). Written in 1944. The important American Southern "regional" novelist was remembering her long wait for critical recognition.
    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • ''A tragic irony of life is that we so often achieve success or financial independence after the chief reason for which we sought it has passed away.''
    Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 16 (1954). Written in 1944. Glasgow, who became a widely recognized novelist only after decades of writing, was reflecting on the fact that her mother, whom she would have liked to aid financially, died before her first book was published.
  • ''What I hated even more than the conflict was the lurid spectacle of a world of unreason.''
    Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 19 (1954). Written in 1944, near the end of World War II.
  • ''The world of the egotist is, inevitably, a narrow world, and the boundaries of self are limited to the close horizon of personality.... But, within this horizon, there is room for many attributes that are excellent....''
    Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 19 (1954). Written in 1944.
  • ''My first reading of Tolstoy affected me as a revelation from heaven, as the trumpet of the judgment. What he made me feel was not the desire to imitate, but the conviction that imitation was futile.''
    Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 10 (1954). Written in 1944. Tolstoy (1828-1910), author of War and Peace (1866), was a major nineteenth-century Russian novelist.
  • ''... so long as the serpent continues to crawl on the ground, the primary influence of woman will be indirect ...''
    Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 16 (1954). Despite this conviction, Glasgow had campaigned actively for woman suffrage—which was granted in 1920.
  • ''I had no place in any coterie, or in any reciprocal self-advertising. I stood alone. I stood outside. I wanted only to learn. I wanted only to write better.''
    Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 12 (1954). Written in 1944. Glasgow, an eminent American Southern "regional" novelist, was asserting her lifelong independence of "literary circles ... where reputations are made easily, and without merit."
  • ''I was always a feminist, for I liked intellectual revolt as much as I disliked physical violence. On the whole, I think women have lost something precious, but have gained, immeasurably, by the passing of the old order.''
    Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 14 (1954).
  • ''Doesn't all experience crumble in the end to mere literary material?''
    Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 18 (1954). Written in 1944, of her expectation that a sudden attraction to a man would not endure.
  • ''... in the nineteen-thirties ... the most casual reader of murder mysteries could infallibly detect the villain, as soon as there entered a character who had recently washed his neck and did not commit mayhem on the English language.''
    Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 21 (1954). Written in 1937. Glasgow, an American Southern novelist who was writing during the 1930s—though not mysteries—was describing the decade's "cult of the hairy ape."

Read more quotations »

The Freeman

'Hope is a slave; Despair is a freeman.'


A VAGABOND between the East and West,
Careless I greet the scourging and the rod;
I fear no terror any man may bring,
Nor any god.

The clankless chains that bound me I have rent,

[Hata Bildir]