November 11, 2016

Octavia E. Butler Quotes

“Delusional pain hurts just as much as pain from actual trauma. So what if it’s all in your head?”

“Every story I create, creates me. I write to create myself.”

“Every story I write adds to me a little, changes me a little, forces me to reexamine an attitude or belief, causes me to research and learn, helps me to understand people and grow.”

“Getting your writing criticized can be a lot like getting skinned, and you respond to it just as enthusiastically.”

“Hollywood wants to go for the flash, because that’s what a lot of them think science fiction is.”

“I don’t write about good and evil with this enormous dichotomy. I write about people. I write about people doing the kinds of things that people do.”

“I had a long period of writing what I think of as ‘save the world’ novels. ‘Fledgling’ was a chance to play.”

“I pecked my stories out two-fingered on the Remington portable typewriter my mother had bought me. I had begged for it when I was ten.”

“I think people really need to think what it’s like to have all of society arrayed against you.”

“I used to give up writing like some people would give up smoking.”

“I wanted to write a novel that would make others feel the history: the pain and fear that black people have had to live through in order to endure.”

“If vampires were a separate species, and they were into genetic engineering, what would they engineer for?”

“I’m comfortably asocial – a hermit in the middle of a large city, a pessimist if I’m not careful, a feminist, a black, a former Baptist, an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty and drive.”

“Most of us, if we’re not careful, tend to dehumanize the enemy.”

“Most vampires I have discovered are men for some reason. I guess it’s because of Dracula; people are kind of feeding off that.”

“Not everyone has been a bully or the victim of bullies, but everyone has seen bullying, and seeing it, has responded to it by joining in or objecting, by laughing or keeping silent, by feeling disgusted or feeling interested.”

“Religion is everywhere. There are no human societies without it, whether they acknowledge it as a religion or not.”

“Science fiction frees you to go anyplace and examine anything.”

“Science fiction, extrasensory perception, and black people are judged by the worst elements they produce.”

“Simple peck-order bullying is only the beginning of the kind of hierarchical behavior that can lead to racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, classism, and all the other ‘isms’ that cause so much suffering in the world.”

“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”

“The big talent is persistence.”

“Tolerance, like any aspect of peace, is forever a work in progress, never completed, and, if we’re as intelligent as we like to think we are, never abandoned.”

“When I was 7 and went to the zoo with my second-grade class, I saw chimpanzee eyes for the first time – the eyes of an unhappy animal, all alone, locked in a bare, concrete-floored, iron-barred cage in one of the nastier, old-fashioned zoos. I remember looking at the chimp, then looking away.”