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Jennifer Stone

"Love, like poetry, is a kind of homesickness, / the kind which made medieval monks / sleep in their coffins."

Jennifer Stone, "Nostalgia," in Sandstones (1975)

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"The Irish never listen / We hear everything / But we wouldn't be caught dead / Listening."

Jennifer Stone, "Ethnic Ethos," in Sandstones (1975)

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"I don't think a person should take herself seriously unless she is alone."

Jennifer Stone, "Beatific Blue," Over by the Caves (1977)

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"High school was great when it ended."

Jennifer Stone, "Electra's Curse," Over by the Caves (1977)

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"Secrets of the heart are seldom news."

Jennifer Stone, "Beatific Blue," Over by the Caves (1977)

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"It is the psychic depression of decadence which has come to this place and time. It is what happens to people who ignore their artists and deny their children. It is a terminal case of involutional melancholia which comes from within and cannot be cured by T.V. or psychotherapy or anything but a creative life, which is hard to come by in a country where it doesn't pay to do anything for yourself."

Jennifer Stone, "Now It Is Today," Over by the Caves (1977)

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"Films tend to argue in favor of whatever they show."

Jennifer Stone, "TV or Not," in Plexus (1981)

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"As the medieval mind blamed God for human suffering, so the modern mind blames 'the system' for the industrial blight and plague of technology."

Jennifer Stone, "Notes from the Back of Beyond," in Wormwood Review (1983)

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"It's love and the capacity for love that distinguishes one human being from another."

Jennifer Stone, "Finding the Father," in Poetry Flash (1985)

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"I grow old, I grow old, the center will not fold. In youth I had hardening of the categories and looked for the father and the mother in every lover. Then I cracked. Then I fragmented. Then the old man in my soul found the god in herself, not in some Jungian fairy tale but in the flesh that fell from the bones and the words that came into my mouth when the look went out of their eyes."

Jennifer Stone, "Finding the Father," in Poetry Flash (1985)

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"Hope is a dream deferred."

Jennifer Stone, "Homage to James Baldwin (1924-1987)," Stone's Throw (1988)

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"There are only two kinds of pain: too much love or too little."

Jennifer Stone, "Find the Father," Stone's Throw (1988)

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"... like any Irish mother, I am scar tissue to the bone."

Jennifer Stone, "In Search of Manhood," Stone's Throw (1988)

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"... romance is unsatisfactory as a religion. It is no use looking for the infinite in the eyes of another."

Jennifer Stone, "Eros: The Imperative of Intimacy," Stone's Throw (1988)

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"For a poet, style is the only morality."

Jennifer Stone, "Eros: The Imperative of Intimacy," Stone's Throw (1988)

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"Most of us do not use speech to express thought. We use it to express feelings."

Jennifer Stone, "The Revisionist Imperative," Stone's Throw (1988)

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"In an age in which greed and lust stalk the land like some Biblical plague, it is easy to view sex as just one more thing to be had. It is the mythos of moderns."

Jennifer Stone, "The Revisionist Imperative," Stone's Throw (1988)

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"Modern man does not see himself as part of a circle of life. He has an edifice complex. He is hierarchical. He climbs the ladder of life. He sits at the top of a pyramid."

Jennifer Stone, "The Revisionist Imperative," Stone's Throw (1988)

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"One parody is worth a thousand polemics ..."

Jennifer Stone, "The Revisionist Imperative," Stone's Throw (1988)

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"A new era must become literate in visual images, otherwise we will not know what we know, we will not be able to put into words the feelings aroused by images of Rambo, of Raquel Welch, or Ronald Reagan."

Jennifer Stone, title essay, Mind Over Media (1988)

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"Technology in our time is a kind of theology ... a deus ex machina whose omnipresence proves its omnipotence, deifies its voice in our lives."

Jennifer Stone, title essay, Mind Over Media (1988)

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"TV taste is an aftertaste. Whatever gets on the tube is always a foregone conclusion, a fait accompli. That is, any new ideas or social changes have already been fought for in the real world of the streets, or in the bedroom or even the law courts long before they reach the screen. By the time you see it on prime time, it's usually all over and done with, whatever it was. Television by definition is not avant garde. It is often reactionary and always sentimental."

Jennifer Stone, title essay, Mind Over Media (1988)

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"... TV shapes thought as surely as language shapes it."

Jennifer Stone, title essay, Mind Over Media (1988)

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"If it true that perception is reality, then what is shown on TV is that part of the collective consciousness known as Public Knowledge, that is, the fragment of reality which the mass of people acknowledge to be true."

Jennifer Stone, title essay, Mind Over Media (1988)

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"As art reveals the artist more than the world, so you see yourself and what you are not in the mirror of another culture."

Jennifer Stone, "The Autumn Fires of Akira Kurosawa," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"Technology evolves so much faster than wisdom."

Jennifer Stone, "Sexual Politics in the Stone Age," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"Human comedy is more profound than tragedy. In tragedy we die and it is very sad. In comedy we avoid death, and it is even sadder."

Jennifer Stone, "Whither Woody?" Mind Over Media (1988)

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"... sex is like sandwiches, there has to be something in between."

Jennifer Stone, "Lesbian Liberation," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"Integrity pays, but not in cash."

Jennifer Stone, "Lesbian Liberation," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"... a time has come in our history when what is known has little connection with what is done."

Jennifer Stone, "Missing Hits the Mark," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"Perhaps society should give actors the same sort of protection it gives to those who follow a religious life. Actor/priest was originally the same job. The theater is left wing magic and theology is right wing magic."

Jennifer Stone, "Loners and Losers," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"Misogyny is the death of the heart."

Jennifer Stone, "Epilogue," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"Consumerism is our national religion."

Jennifer Stone, "Epilogue," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"Greed stains our culture, soaks our sensibilities and has replaced grace as a sign of our intimacy with the divine."

Jennifer Stone, "Epilogue," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"... movies have mirrored our moods and myths since the century began. They have taken on some of the work of religion."

Jennifer Stone, "Epilogue," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"Just as a salesperson is never extreme or original or overdressed, so the TV retailers never do anything to distract their audiences from the real product, the commercial."

Jennifer Stone, "Epilogue," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"All media can muddy the mind. Language leads to literature. It also leads to dogma."

Jennifer Stone, "Epilogue," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"Most people wish to be consoled, confirmed. They want their prejudices reinforced and their structured belief systems validated. After all, it hurts to think, and it's absolute agony to think twice."

Jennifer Stone, "Epilogue," Mind Over Media (1988)

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"The life of the city cat is short but so sophisticated."

Jennifer Stone, "On the Naming of Cats," The Cat Book (1988)

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"Writing poetry is like always being in love. What masochism! What luxury!"

Jennifer Stone, KPFA Pacifica Public Radio show (1989)

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"Why are we poets? Because we can / not sing, that is why."

Jennifer Stone, "Pathography," in The Tomcat (1991)

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"Love is all there's time for."

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"Today painting is about paint. Music is about sound. But words still cling to something very old. Like religiosity, language has its seat in the old brain, in the reptilian brain stem of early man."

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"Love, like alcoholism, comes to a point of no return."

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"Growing old is not a thing to watch. It cannot be forgiven in others. Alone, it can be borne. Even indulged."

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"We do what we can. The results are none of our business."

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"History repeats herself. "

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"I'm accused of cleverness as if it were a sin. She is merely clever, they say."

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"... writers who go outside the lines when they draw pictures of the world are seldom rewarded for their efforts."

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"Trauma reflected upon in tranquility can produce morally stunning insights -- literary light! It can also produce maudlin rubbish."

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"Writing, as I experience it, means wringing out the heart/mind until it stops lying."

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"If it's more work to read it / than it was to write it / burn it."

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"Longing is all that lasts."

Jennifer Stone, Telegraph Avenue Then (1992)

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"... married was the loneliest I got -- being without the one you're with."

Jennifer Stone, "Angst," in Dena Taylor and Amber Coverdale Sumrall, eds., The Time of Our Lives (1992)

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"When I went to school, they told me literature was a rope I must use to climb out of the dark well of unknowing. Writers are the knots on the rope."

Jennifer Stone, "Life Styles of the Wise and Feminist," in Before Columbus Review (1993)

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"... ladies are just those of us who have been silenced."

Jennifer Stone, in Mama Bears News and Notes (1994)

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"I believe that while art is always beyond morality, it is never above it."

Jennifer Stone, "R. Crumb: A Portrait of the Artist in the Age of Anxiety," in Berkeley Insider (1995)

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"The society that destroys its children is eating its own tail, committing suicide in the most perverse way."

Jennifer Stone, in Mama Bears News and Notes (1996)

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"You can't make poetry out of thought; poetry is passion. Linear thought must be seduced by wild mind, by the fires of ecstasy."

Jennifer Stone, in Mama Bears News and Notes (1996)

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"... if we begin on the men, there is no stopping. We must love them when we can."

Jennifer Stone, letter (1996)

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"In all cultures, poetry and spice come into the language from the working class. The ruling class is static. The reactionary is always a prig about words. He maintains the status quo. It is in his interest to remain a cultural fundamentalist. He doesn't experiment; he has too much to lose. This is why the language of the overclass goes stale, dries up, and becomes as uptight as the psychology of such folks while the speech of working people is as fluid and changing as the sea. The only language that doesn't change is a dead language (standing water), which is why Latin is such a convenience for scientists who want to label things, who have hardening of the categories."

Jennifer Stone, "Black Is Beautiful," in Mama Bears News & Notes (1997)

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"What you say is who you are. How you say it is your style."

Jennifer Stone, "Black Is Beautiful," in Mama Bears News & Notes (1997)

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"... it takes a lot of rehearsal to become yourself."

Jennifer Stone, in Mama Bears News and Notes (1998)

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"Perception is a prism, and reality is like shot silk -- depends where the light hits."

Jennifer Stone, in Mama Bears News and Notes (1998)

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"Opinion is the death of knowledge."

Jennifer Stone, KPFA Pacifica Public Radio commentary (2012)

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Jennifer Stone, U.S. writer, broadcast journalist, commentator
(1933 - )