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Best Quotes: Madeleine L'Engle

Published: 11/29/2013
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Madeleine L'Engle (AP Photo/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux,Sigrid Estrada)

Award-winning author Madeleine L'Engle was born on this date in 1918. She was a prolific and profound writer who targeted her books at children and young adults because she felt their minds were more open to the difficult concepts that interested her. The approach worked, and generations of young people have cherished her books, from Newbery winner A Wrinkle in Time to honoree A Ring of Endless Light and many more. Science and religion intertwine in her novels, encouraging young philosophers to think deeply. Fans read her books again and again, wringing layers of meaning out of her words.

Whether she was creating a story or talking about her craft, L'Engle spoke beautifully about the things that fascinated her. Here are a few of her best quotes:

"When I have something to say that I think will be too difficult for adults, I write it in a book for children. Children are excited by new ideas; they have not yet closed the doors and windows of their imaginations. Provided the story is good . . . nothing is too difficult for children."

"Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself."

"Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it."

"That's something I've noticed about food: whenever there's a crisis if you can get people to eating normally things get better."

"A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe."

"Truth is what is true, and it's not necessarily factual. Truth and fact are not the same thing. Truth does not contradict or deny facts, but it goes through and beyond facts. This is something that it is very difficult for some people to understand. Truth can be dangerous."

"We turn to stories and pictures and music because they show us who and what and why we are."

"It is possible to suffer and despair an entire lifetime and still not give up the art of laughter."

"The world of science lives fairly comfortably with paradox. We know that light is a wave, and also that light is a particle. The discoveries made in the infinitely small world of particle physics indicate randomness and chance, and I do not find it any more difficult to live with the paradox of a universe of randomness and chance and a universe of pattern and purpose than I do with light as a wave and light as a particle. Living with contradiction is nothing new to the human being."

"Like it or not, we either add to the darkness of indifference and out-and-out evil which surrounds us or we light a candle to see by."

Written by Linnea Crowther. Find her on Google+.

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