Marilynne Robinson Quotes

  • Many readers know my work first through 'Housekeeping,' simply because it was my only novel for a pretty long time.
  • A lot of Christian extremism has done a great deal to discredit religion; the main religious traditions have abandoned their own intellectual cultures so drastically that no one has any sense of it other than the fringe.
  • When I lecture, under almost all circumstances, I write a new lecture for the occasion. It helps me think. It helps me make demands of myself that I would not otherwise make.
  • One of the things that is wonderful about hymns is that they are a sort of universally shared poetry, at least among certain populations.
  • I like major theology. I like Karl Barth, and I like John Calvin, and I like Martin Luther. The scale of thinking and the power of integration that they're capable of from thinking in that scale is something that's really unique to theology.
  • I tend to think of the reading of any book as preparation for the next reading of it. There are always intervening books or facts or realizations that put a book in another light and make it different and richer the second or the third time.
  • My family was pious and Presbyterian mainly because my grandfather was pious and Presbyterian, but that was more of an inherited intuition than an actual fact.
  • I like to read in my own house, in any of the rooms I always mean to paint or otherwise improve and never do. Every detail is so familiar to me that it makes almost no claim on my attention.
  • I did go through graduate school and I like to do research, to create something that has a certain objective solidity. The same thing influences my fiction to some degree, because, you know, my fiction is often based on history that I've read.
  • It saddens me that Christians need to be reminded that awe is owed also to those who disagree with them, who believe otherwise than they do.
  • When I'm writing fiction, I'm sort of interested by the fact that somehow or other I can have the feeling of actually seeing things through someone else's eyes.
  • My first novel, 'Housekeeping,' was accepted by the first agent who read it, and bought by the first editor who read it. In general, my experience with publication has been gentle and gratifying.
  • The Bible for me is holy writ. It's a very straightforward thing, although I am not a literalist.
  • The mind, whatever else it is, is a constant of everyone's experience, and, in more ways than we know, the creator of the reality that we live within... Nothing is more essential to us.
  • The idea that myth is the opposite of knowledge, or the opposite of truth, is simply to disallow it. It is like saying poetry is the opposite of truth.
  • My brother told me I was going to be a poet. I had a good brother. He did a lot of good brotherly work.
  • I really enjoyed my kids. They were good boys, you know, and interesting. And they didn't wear me out.
  • I think probably one of the important things that happened to me was growing up in Idaho in the mountains, in the woods, and having a very strong presence of the wilderness around me. That never felt like emptiness. It always felt like presence.
  • I think a Christian definition of the mind should be: an openness to whatever the individual and collective mind reveals to us.
  • One of the things about writing fiction is that you create people that you feel, more or less, as though you know.