Quotations by Jong, Erica


Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
“A day in the life …”, epigraph How to Save Your Own Life (1977)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 3-Jul-13
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Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
“Bennett tells all in Woodstock …”, epigraph, How To Save Your Own Life (1977)
Added on 12-Apr-13 | Last updated 3-Jul-13
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I myself hate that old Hemingwayesque paradigm of the writer as prizefighter and I have tried hard to create an alternate one for myself. When Anne Sexton admonished me, “We are all writing God’s poem,” I took it to mean there should be no competition between writers because we are all involved in a common project, a common prayer. But to Gore’s and Norman’s generation, particularly those male writers who served in the Second World War, the prizefighter paradigm remains.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
“Into the lion’s den,” The Guardian (26 Oct 2000)
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Added on 8-Mar-13 | Last updated 8-Mar-13
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Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
“Intuition, extuition …”, How to Save Your Own Life (1977)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 3-Jul-13
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That was why most people led lives they hated, with people they hated. … How wonderful to have someone to blame! How wonderful to live with one’s nemesis! You may be miserable, but you feel forever in the right. You may be fragmented, but you feel absolved of all the blame for it. Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
“Intuition, extuition …”, How To Save Your Own Life (1977)
Added on 26-Apr-13 | Last updated 3-Jul-13
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Every country gets the circus it deserves. Spain gets bullfights. Italy gets the Catholic Church. America gets Hollywood.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
“Take the Red–Eye …”, epigraph, How To Save Your Own Life (1977)
Added on 3-May-13 | Last updated 3-Jul-13
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Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
“The Artist as Housewife,” The First Ms. Reader, ed. Francine Kragbrun (1972)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 3-Oct-16
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If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
Becoming Light: Poems New and Selected (1991)
Added on 29-Mar-13 | Last updated 29-Mar-13
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A baby is a full time job for three adults. Nobody tells you that when you’re pregnant, or you’d probably jump off a bridge. Nobody tells you how all-consuming it is to be a mother — how reading goes out the window and thinking too.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
Fear of Fifty: A Middle Life Memoir, ch. 2 (1994)
Added on 5-Apr-13 | Last updated 3-Jul-13
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The soul is awakened through service.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
Fear of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir, ch. 10 (1994)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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How can I know what I think unless I see what I write?

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
Fear of Flying (1973)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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A man assumes that a woman’s refusal is just part of a game. Or, at any rate, a lot of men assume that. When a man says no, it’s no. When a woman says no, it’s yes, or at least maybe. There is even a joke to that effect. And little by little, women begin to believe in this view of themselves.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
Fear of Flying, ch. 16 (1973)
Added on 10-May-13 | Last updated 10-May-13
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All people believe their suffering is greater than others.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
How to Save Your Own Life (1977)
Added on 15-Mar-13 | Last updated 15-Mar-13
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Many people today believe that cynicism requires courage. Actually, cynicism is the height of cowardice. It is innocence and open-heartedness that requires the true courage — however often we are hurt as a result of it.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
How to Save Your Own Life (1977)
Added on 22-Mar-13 | Last updated 22-Mar-13
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All people believe their suffering is greater than others’. Just as they secretly believe they are smarter, and more deserving of fame.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
How to Save Your Own Life (1977)
Added on 11-Apr-16 | Last updated 11-Apr-16
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We may dig in our heels and dare life never to change, but, all the same, it changes under our feet like sand under the feet of a sea gazer as the tide runs out. Life is forever undermining us. Life is forever washing away our castles, reminding us that they were, after all, only sand and sea water.

jong-changes-under-our-feet-wist_info-quote

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
Parachutes and Kisses (1984)
Added on 13-Oct-16 | Last updated 13-Oct-16
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I often think of alcohol as a genie in a bottle. It promises everything but eventually imprisons you in the bottle itself.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life, ch. 2 (2006)
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Added on 14-Jun-17 | Last updated 14-Jun-17
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I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me. I have accepted fear as a part of life, specifically the fear of change, the fear of the unknown, and I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back, turn back, you’ll die if you venture too far.

Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
The Writer on Her Work, ch. 13 (1980)
Added on 19-Apr-13 | Last updated 19-Apr-13
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