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Fannie Hurst

  • Some people think they are worth a lot of money just because they have it.

    • Fannie Hurst,
    • in Leon Gutterman, Jewish Telegraphic Agency ()
  • The August day came out at them like a parched and coated tongue ...

    • Fannie Hurst,
    • "Seven Candles," in Cosmopolitan ()
  • Words. Frail beasts of burden that crashed down to their knees under what she wanted to say.

  • Nervous hands as if the fingers were dripping from them like icicles.

  • Luscious feet that listened to the soil and stole its secrets.

  • ... the evening was like some great black cow standing there beside her panting softly, so that she could feel its sides breathe. Sweet-smelling darkness with a give to it like a cow's flank.

  • Oh — oh, why is it that the members of a family feel privileged to treat one another with a cruelty they would not exhibit to the merest stranger?

  • Any work of art ... is great when it makes you feel that its creator has dipped into your very heart for his sensation.

  • It was a cold ray of a smile, that made you think of pale-flanked little fish swimming snugly under ice.

  • Great oxygen tanks of patriotism, generated in a hurry, gushed out volatile and inflammable from coast to coast. ... Envoys crossed word-swords and all the little men began to run, and the red threads of high-sounding idealisms and patriotism to come out in eyeballs. The inflamed voodoo dance around the cauldron brewed on the table of paternal governments began to grow ... That was the way the men went off to war, riveted with that paternal eye and inflamed with the generated oxygen, the generated phrases, and the generated idealism.

  • Art transcends war. Art is the language of God and war is the barking of men. Beethoven is bigger than war.

  • If it means loathing war sufficiently to bear the unpleasant brunt of being branded a coward, I suppose I am a pacifist.

  • I loathe all this blind rushing pell-mell into a struggle arranged by the mighty minority and paid for with the lives of young men who are drugged on trumped-up ideals.

  • The maimed bodies aren't the worst. That's the easy way to hate war. The safe way. I — hate it just as much for the maimed souls that stay at home ...

  • ... the hunger gnawed up and down her great body like a rat and would not let her sleep.

  • Family. A snug kind of word.

  • I'm not happy when I'm writing, but I'm more unhappy when I'm not.

    • Fannie Hurst,
    • in Reader's Digest ()
  • Nigger is a tame-cat word when we uses it ourselves ag'in' ourselves, and a wild-cat word when it comes jumpin' in at us from the outside.

  • Isn't success ridiculously easy, once it begins to succeed? ... after the strain and sweat and pushing until the very groins of your being shrieked protest, something like momentum happened. It took your wits and your concentration and your continued willing sweat, of course, to keep it going, but the success of success had ball bearings.

  • Life owes me a living worth living. Yes, Eden regarded life as her debtor, she its relentless paymaster.

  • ... writing is the loneliest job in the world. There's always that frustrating chasm to bridge between the concept and the writing of it. We're a harassed tribe, we writers.

    • Fannie Hurst,
    • in New York Daily Mirror ()
  • ... a dirge old as the human race is vested in those broken words — if only.

  • ... Mama ... wore herself on the outside. Everything about her hung in view like peasant adobe houses with green peppers and little shrines, drying diapers and cooking utensils, on the façade.

  • I was a word lapidary, interested not so much in their values as in their colors. Ruby was a word that glowed. Serene was like a pearl.

  • The grand canyon which yawns between the writer's concept of what he wants to capture in words and what comes through is a cruel abyss.

  • [Wishing her mother had named her Beulah:] At least you did not sit on your beulah.

  • There is no adequate definition for creative writing, any more than it is possible to describe pain or flavor or color.

  • I would rather regret what I have done than what I have not.

  • ... we dig our graves with our teeth.

  • I have learned, in the dark hours since, not to grieve because he is gone but to thank god and rejoice because I have had him — and still have him ... My love is dead. Long live my love.

  • It takes a clever man to turn cynic, and a wise man to be clever enough not to.

    • Fannie Hurst,
    • in Saturday Review ()
  • Charm is an odorless perfume, which cannot be anchored in the chemists' test tube. It is a permeation, a radiation. It emanates from the climate of a warm human spirit, which not only contains light, but gives it off.

    • Fannie Hurst
  • A woman has to be twice as good as a man to go half as far.

    • Fannie Hurst
  • Any writer worth the name is always getting into one thing or getting out of another thing.

    • Fannie Hurst

Fannie Hurst, U.S. novelist, playwright, Zionist, women's rights worker

(1889 - 1968)

Full name: Fannie Hurst Danielson.