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Miles Franklin

  • Weariness! Weariness! This was life — my life — my career, my brilliant career! I was fifteen — fifteen! A few fleeting hours and I would be as old as those around me.

  • Ah, the bitter, hopeless heart-hunger of godlessness none but an atheist can understand!

  • My mother is a good woman — a very good woman — and I am, I think, not quite all criminality, but we do not pull together. I am a piece of machinery which, not understanding, my mother winds up the wrong way, setting all the wheels of my composition going in creaking discord.

  • If the souls of lives were voiced in music, there are some that none but a great organ could express, others the clash of a full orchestra, a few to which nought but the refined and exquisite sadness of a violin could do justice. Many might be likened unto common pianos, jangling and out of tune, and some to the feeble piping of a penny whistle, and mine could be told with a couple of nails in a rusty tin-pot.

  • I never can see why they make such a fuss and get so frightened because wimmen does a thing or two now they usedn't to. Nothing short of a earthquake can make them not men an' wimmmen, an' that's the main thing.

  • Only a very small percentage can regard conditions from any but a selfish point of view or conceive of any but their own shoe-pinch.

  • Heed the spark or you may dread the fire ...

  • It is a wise provision that youth cannot see what it owes the previous generation. This is a chicken that comes back to roost in heavier years.

  • ... the way to wean any one from a desire is not by condemnation of it.

  • 'I never thought much of men, but this one is different,' has been said by more than one bride; and, 'I never could suffer infants, but this kid is different to all I've seen,' is an expression often heard from proud young fathers.

  • Cowards always drag in the Bible to back theirselves up far more than proper people does ...

  • ... there is a law of retribution in all things, direct or indirect, visible or invisible.

  • In the career of a prodigy there invariably comes a time when it is compelled to relinquish being very clever for a child, and has to enter the business of life in competition with adults.

  • ... we each have our fleeting hour.

  • Women can always think as much as they like, an' they could get up on a platform an' talk till they bust, as long as they didn't want the world to be made no better, an' they wouldn't be thought unwomanly. It's soon as a woman wants any practical good done that she is considered a unwomanly creature.

  • Civilization, stretching up to recognize that every child is a portion of State wealth, may presently make some movement to recognize maternity as a business or office needing time and strength, not as a mere passing detail thrown in among mountains of other slavery.

  • It ain't what things actually are, it's all they stand for.

  • What I absorbed from autobiographies was not how to be great so much as the littleness of the great.

  • It is the highest form of culture and craftmanship in art to use local materials. That way you stand a chance of adding to culture. The other way you are in danger of merely imitating it ...

  • There are only two kinds of parents. Those who think their offspring can do nothing wrong, and those who think they can do nothing right.

  • The only people whose mainspring is not egotism are the dead ...

  • ' ... Men always say there is no female Shakespeare.' 'Humph! You study the fellows who say that, and you'll see they are a long way from being Shakespeares themselves. Why shouldn't women have the same privilege?'

  • It's a sign of your own worth sometimes if you are hated by the right people.

  • ... no problem except old age ever vanquished my mother.

  • ... I early became conscious that men breathe more audibly than women. Sit in a room in silence with men and women, and you can always hear the men breathing.

  • He was talking at the top of his ego ...

  • Grandpa ... was ever ready to cheer and help me, ever sure that I was a remarkable specimen. He was a dear old man who asked little from life and got less.

  • To grow up in intimate association with nature — animal and vegetable — is an irreplaceable form of wealth and culture.

  • Every now and again it would be considered wholesome for me to be more with people of my own age. Demotion to such company was a sapless exile. Their inanity was insufferable ...

  • Before I was ten I became critical of the anthropomorphic God as interpreted in the churches. I did not warm to One thus revealed as the semblance of a bullying and mean old man who must have all his own way, be praised all the time and for attributes which were deplorable in us.

  • Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings.

Miles Franklin, Australian writer

(1879 - 1954)

Real name: Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin. Also used Brent of Bin Bin.