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Gabrielle Roy

  • Never in her life had any object, or friendship, or experience acquired value for her save through the eyes of others.

  • It had become a passion with him to satisfy his curiosity, the only impulse he did not try to master, probably because it seemed to be the basis of all self-cultivation.

  • Curiosity ran unchecked through him, like the wind outside through the deserted streets, along the canal, around the little wooden houses, everywhere, as far as the mountain.

  • ... poverty is like a pain, dormant and unbearable as long as you don't move about too much. You grow used to it, you end up by paying no attention to it. But once you presume to bring it out in the daylight, it becomes terrifying, you see it at last in all its squalor and you shrink from exposing it to the sun.

  • For if you measure out and water down your happiness, the time comes when it ceases to act as a tonic. No, she thought, if you want to be happy, you must let yourself go, you must take a full dose.

  • ... it's a funny life. Either you don't make a red cent and you have all the time in the world, or else you get double the money and you don't have a moment to spend a penny of it.

  • When there was enough money for their needs, the ties between them had been strong, but once the money was lacking, what a strain was put on their love!

  • Yet the more the heart is sated with joy, the more it becomes insatiable.

  • Her preference — gloomy and depressing — always was given to that which she had lost, and if there were crannies in this world which she lauded without respite, they were always those where she was certain never again to set foot.

  • Every life is a tragedy, but far more the writer's life, because the more he has to see, the more deeply he understands and feels about life, the less time he has to put it down.

    • Gabrielle Roy,
    • in Donald Cameron, Conversations With Canadian Novelists ()
  • Ideas often last but a day; feelings, dreams almost forever.

    • Gabrielle Roy,
    • in Joan Hind-Smith, Three Voices ()
  • ... I felt the vulnerability, the fragility of the children of the world, and how it was, nonetheless, on their frail shoulders that we loaded the weight of our weary hopes and eternal new beginnings.

Gabrielle Roy, French-Canadian writer

(1909 - 1983)