Wallace Stegner Quotes
83 Sourced Quotes
I wonder if ever again Americans can have that experience of returning to a home place so intimately known, profoundly felt, deeply loved, and absolutely submitted to? It is not quite true that you can't go home again. I have done it, coming back here. But it gets less likely. We have had too many divorces, we have consumed too much transportation, we have lived too shallowly in too many places.
Every time. You know why? I want to fail. I work like a dog for twenty years so I'll have the supreme pleasure of failing. Never knew anybody like that, did you? I'm very cunning. I plan it in advance. I fool myself right up to the last minute, and then the time comes and I know how cunningly I've been planning it all the time. I've been a failure all my life.
A muddy little stream, a village grown unfamiliar with time and trees. I turn around and retrace my way up Main Street and park and have a Coke in the confectionery store. It is run by a Greek, as it used to be, but whether the same Greek or another I would not know. He does not recognize me, nor I him. Only the smell of his place is familiar, syrupy with old delights, as if the ghost of my first banana split had come close to breathe on me.