Famous Quotes & Sayings

Philipp Meyer Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Philipp Meyer.

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Philipp Meyer Quotes 1012206

We lie as if we are the first people on earth, or the last, the sun coming down on us, the water cold, our every action of the utmost importance, as if, like children, we know that no one else really exists. — Philipp Meyer

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I didn't know much about Texas when I moved there for graduate school. In my first or second semester, I took a class in life and literature of the Southwest, and that's where I first heard about these events along the border in 1915-1918, what Anglos called the Bandit Wars. — Philipp Meyer

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Texas was mostly short-grass and tall-grass prairie when modern Europeans arrived here. It really was a land of milk and honey. But when they brought all these cattle onto these relatively small bits of land, and the cattle were allowed to graze freely, they essentially destroyed the prairie. — Philipp Meyer

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When novels deal in abstractions, they generally go off the rails. — Philipp Meyer

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She had done right. Made something out of nothing. The human life span had doubled, you did not get to the hospital without oil, the medicines you took could not be made, the food you ate did not reach the store, the tractor did not leave the farmer's barn. She took something useless under the ground and brought it to the surface, into the light, where it meant something. It was creation. Her entire life. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 1870213

But the whites do not think this way
they prefer to forget that everything they want already belongs to someone else. They think, 'Oh I am white, this must be mine.' And they believe it Tiehteti. I have never seen a white person who did not look surprised when you killed them." He shrugged. "Me, when I steal something, I expect the person to try to kill me, and I know the song I will sing when I die. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 436197

It had become clear to me that the lives of the rich and famous were not so differ from the lies of the Comanches: you did what you pleased and answered to no one. — Philipp Meyer

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Looking over the grave of the Garcias I did not tell him that 1908 was also when they found the caves at La Chapelle, when they found an apelike man, a Neanderthal fifty thousand years old, who had been carefully buried in a sepulcher, a haunch of meat and several flint knives left to protect him in the afterlife. That is how long we have been hoping for a next world. Since before we were truly men. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 579963

The entire history of humanity is marked by a single inexorable movement - from animal instinct toward rational thought, from inborn behavior toward acquired knowledge. A half-grown panther abandoned in the wilderness will grow up to be a perfectly normal panther. But a half-grown child similarly abandoned will grow up into an unrecognizable savage, unfit for normal society. Yet there are those who insist the opposite: that we are creatures of instinct, like wolves. — Philipp Meyer

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My ideal is to write most of the day, then go running, find friends and socialise all evening; my mind recharges with human contact. — Philipp Meyer

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We moved to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1979, when I was five. The funny thing is that, even though Baltimore had one of the top murder rates in the country in those days, I grew up hearing about how dangerous New York was. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 2124585

The difference between a brave man and a coward is very simple. It is a problem of love. A coward loves only himself ... [ ... ] ... a coward cares only for his own body," Toshaway said, "and he loves it above all other things. The brave man loves other men first and himself last. Nahkusuaberu?"
I nodded.
"This" - he tapped me - "must mean nothing to you." The he tapped me again, on my face, my chest, my belly, my hands and feet. "All of this means nothing. — Philipp Meyer

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Sometbing they have always done: call me by my name, as if disciplining a child. And yet I still feel compelled to answer them, as if despite decades of evidence to the contrary, I might explain my point of view. — Philipp Meyer

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When you start to look at Native American history, you realize that, very far from being a peaceful, morally superior people, Native Americans were not that different from Europeans. — Philipp Meyer

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I just assume that I'll fail at something for several years - that I'll try my hardest and still fail for several years. With writing, that turned out to be wrong. I tried my hardest and failed for about fifteen years. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 173443

One day a few houses appeared," said Toshaway. "Someone had been cutting the trees. Of course we did not mind, in the same way you would not mind if someone came into your family home, disposed of your belongings, and moved in their own family. But perhaps, I don't know. Perhaps white people are different. Perhaps a Texan, if someone stole his house, he would say: 'Oh, I have made a mistake, I have built this house, but I guess you like it also so you may have it, along with all this good land that feeds my family. I am but a kahuu, little mouse. Please allow me to tell you where my ancestors lie, so you may dig them up and plunder their graves.' Do you think that is what he would say, Tiehteti-taibo?"
That was my name. I shook my head.
"That's right," said Toshaway. "He would kill the men who had stolen his house. He would tell them, 'Itsa nu kahni. Now I will cut out your heart. — Philipp Meyer

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When we think of the myth of the settling of the West, this is our creation myth. But because we think of it as mythology, not as real people interacting with other real people, we ignore the cost of human lives and blood. — Philipp Meyer

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Cornell changed my life; getting in there was one of my pinnacle moments. — Philipp Meyer

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Your mind burns a lot of calories. Writing can feel like a physical workout. — Philipp Meyer

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You have to believe in yourself and only trust your own vision and instincts. If I'd listened to what other people thought about my work in the first 10 years that I was a writer, I never would have made it to begin with. — Philipp Meyer

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Unlike the white, billions of whom shared the same handful of names, all interchangeable in the end, a Comanche name lived and died with a single person. — Philipp Meyer

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Only bullets and walls make for honest neighbors. — Philipp Meyer

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I had never known there were so many people on earth. — Philipp Meyer

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A man, a life - it was barely worth mentioning. The Visigoths had destroyed the Romans, and had themselves been destroyed by the Muslims. Who were destroyed by the Spanish and Portuguese. You did not need Hitler to see that it was not a pleasant story. And yet here she was. Breathing, having these thoughts. The blood that ran through history would fill every river and ocean, but despite all the butchery, here you were. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 212474

I'd grown up in a working class neighborhood in Baltimore, a place hard hit by the offshoring of numerous heavy industries - steel, textile, shipbuilding. — Philipp Meyer

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I should say that generally I'm a pretty happy person, but as soon as I'm done with a project, I'm usually not happy at all. I feel a little empty and strange. I begin to think about how I can get better, stretch more artistically and intellectually. My biggest worry is getting complacent. — Philipp Meyer

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When you take the fact that you're loved for granted, it frees your mind to go after every other thing there is. — Philipp Meyer

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I like mechanical things; my first book was a mechanics guide - that was what my parents couldn't pry away from me; that was the blanket. — Philipp Meyer

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There is nothing wrong with my father: he is the natural. The problem is those like myself, who hoped we might rise from our instinctive state. Who hoped to go beyond our nature. — Philipp Meyer

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I have spent most of my life trying to figure out what goes on inside your mind," he said. "First I thought you were slow and then I thought you might be red. Finally it occurred to me that you are just a sentimentalist. You believe in the open range, the code, the nobility of the sufferin' cowpoke and the emptiness of bankers' hearts - all stuff you picked up from Zane Grey . . ." In fact I have not read Zane Grey, though I do not mind Wister, but explaining these distinctions to my brother is pointless. — Philipp Meyer

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My first published novel, 'American Rust,' took three and a half years of full-time work to write. But I wrote two apprentice novels before that. — Philipp Meyer

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It was like this all up and down the river and many of the young people, the way they accepted their lack of prospects, it was like watching sparks die in the night ... He didn't see how the country could survive like this in the long run; a stable society required stable jobs, there wasn't anything more to it than that. — Philipp Meyer

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I didn't fit the typical profile of a trader. I was an English major working on a novel at night. Most everyone else was a maths or economics major; most everyone else had relatives or family in banking. — Philipp Meyer

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There was something particularly American about it--blaming yourself for bad luck--that resistance to seeing your life as affected by social forces, a tendency to attribute larger problems to individual behavior. The ugly reverse of the American Dream. — Philipp Meyer

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I couldn't understand what was important about school. Dropping out was the first adult decision I made. If I ever have kids, I would hate for them to drop out. But I wasn't a rebel. I never cared to be against school. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. — Philipp Meyer

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Toshaway had been right: you had to love others more than you loved your own body, otherwise you would be destroyed, whether from the inside or out, it didn't matter. You could butcher and pillage but as long as you did it for people you loved, it never mattered. — Philipp Meyer

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It had been a turning point in her life, in some sense it's most important moment; she had seen the world and retreated. — Philipp Meyer

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When is the army getting here?" "Never," he said. "Well . . . One riot, one Ranger." "Sure. Unless you're the one Ranger. — Philipp Meyer

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All the things you needed to know in life - you didn't learn them until you'd already made your decisions. — Philipp Meyer

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IT OCCURS TO me that we are entering an era in which the human ear will cease to distinguish sounds. Today I barely heard the drillers. What other things am I not hearing? — Philipp Meyer

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There's a reason that all societies and cultures and small bands of humans engage in myth-making. Fundamentally, it is to help us understand ourselves. — Philipp Meyer

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resacas have all gone dry. The entire earth, it seems, is being slowly transformed into — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 647871

There had been a time when this was not unusual. A time when the wealthy were exemplars. When you held yourself to a higher standard, when you lived as an example to others. When you did not parade your inheritance in front of a camera; when you did not accept the spotlight unless you'd done something. But that obligation had been lost. The rich were as anxious for attention as any scullery maid. — Philipp Meyer

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My parents have always been incredibly supportive. Even when I dropped out of high school, they said, 'We trust you, we believe in you.' — Philipp Meyer

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You don't make a decision about being a writer. There was a point, aged 21, when it became clear that this is who I am. The choice is how good you are going to be at it and how hard you are going to work. — Philipp Meyer

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Once people grew used to free money, to laboring only when the mood struck them, they began to think there was something low about work. They became desperate to excuse their own laziness. — Philipp Meyer

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When I dropped out of high school at age 16, I didn't know I was going to become a writer - I just knew I'd never been happy in school, and I had this strong suspicion I'd be happy doing other things. — Philipp Meyer

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When people grow up in atmospheres of violence or atmospheres of poverty, they don't normally use hi-falutin' language to describe those things. They would describe some brutal event the same way we would describe getting a taxi or missing the bus. — Philipp Meyer

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After I finished college, I got a job on Wall Street as a derivatives trader, but after a couple years of it, I was calling in sick in order to work on my novel. — Philipp Meyer

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I can hear the Colonel - no land was ever acquired honestly in the history of the earth - but it does not make me feel any better. — Philipp Meyer

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If you've grown up with guns, the thought that someone might take them away makes your stomach churn. They make you feel safe. If you didn't grow up with guns, if you don't know how to use them, then the thought that someone else has them makes your stomach churn. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 947639

Perhaps another great ice will come and grind all this into dust. Leaving no trace of our existence, as even fire does. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 952748

Man today lives in a coffin of flesh. Hearing and seeing nothing. The Land and Law are perverted. The Good Book says I will gather you to Jerusalem to the furnace of my wrath. It says thou art the land that is not cleansed. I concur. We need a great fire that will sweep from ocean to ocean and I offer my oath that I will soak myself in kerosene if promised the fire would be allowed to burn. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 987096

Give a small number of people the power to enrich themselves beyond everyone's wildest dreams, a philosophical rationale to explain all the damage they're causing, and they will not stop until they've run the world economy off a cliff. — Philipp Meyer

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I'm interested in getting deep into a person's consciousness and doing so in ways in which the narrator is secondary to the character's own thoughts. — Philipp Meyer

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Each time a high-wage job is lost, a family is turned upside down. And that affects the communities where they live. — Philipp Meyer

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She knew why the Colonel had hated talking about the old days. Because the moment you looked back, and began to make your tally, you were done for. — Philipp Meyer

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I wanted to think about our creation myth; you know, what is the fundamental story that defines America. And it certainly is the West. — Philipp Meyer

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The strong took from the weak, only the weak believed otherwise. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 1125908

How are the Indians on cats?"
"I never saw one. Plenty of dogs, though."
"They eat the dogs, don't they?"
"That's the Shoshones," I said. "A dog or coyote is sacred to a Comanche. You would be cursed."
"But they do eat human beings occasionally?"
"That's the Tonkawas," I said.
"Never the Comanches."
"A Comanche who ate a man would be killed by the tribe immediately, because supposedly it becomes an addiction."
"Interesting," he said. He was scratching his chin. "And this Sun Dance they all talk about?"
"That's the Kiowas," I said. "We never did that. — Philipp Meyer

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If you're always thinking about someone else's work, about the tradition you're working in, how can you possibly make anything good? — Philipp Meyer

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When you look at 'Grapes of Wrath,' the weakest moments are those in which Steinbeck is spouting a political idea directly at the reader. The book's real power comes from its slower, broader movement. — Philipp Meyer

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If you hate me it is because I have morals. — Philipp Meyer

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Everyone loves the underdog. Until they have to take his side. — Philipp Meyer

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She wondered how people would remember her. She had not made enough to spread her wealth around like Carnegie, to erase any sins that had attached to her name, she had failed, she had not reached the golden bough. The liberals would cheer her death. They would light marijuana cigarettes and drive to their sushi restaurants and eat fresh food that had traveled eight thousand miles. They would spend all of supper complaining about people like her, and when they got home their houses would be cold and they'd press a button on a wall to get warm. The whole time complaining about big oil. — Philipp Meyer

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They could not seem to grasp that what mattered was what you did. Not what you said or thought about. — Philipp Meyer

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What art and books do at their best is investigate why we are the way we are. — Philipp Meyer

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If a man has done it, so can you: that is what our father used to tell us. — Philipp Meyer

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I thought that I would have a huge literary novel coming out when I was, like, 29. I quit my banking job, and I was halfway through my second novel - and I will never publish it, because it's very mediocre. — Philipp Meyer

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People made no sense to her. Men, with whom she had everything in common, did not want her around. Women, with whom she had nothing in common, smiled too much, laughed too loud, and mostly reminded her of small dogs, their lives lost in interior decorating and other people's outfits. There had never been a place for a person like her. — Philipp Meyer

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You could not measure yourself against the dead, they retained their perfection while your flesh got weaker and weaker. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 1394196

The white people are crazy. They all want to be rich, same as we do, but they do not admit to themselves that you only get rich by taking things from other people. They think that if you do not see the people you are stealing from, or if you do not know them, or if they do not look like you, it is not really stealing. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 1460389

Life throws up enough road blocks to keep you from writing; you can't be adding to them yourself by saying you can only write in one specific place. I'm in New York half the time and Texas half the time, and I work wherever - in my computer bag I have some foam ear plugs that I can put in. — Philipp Meyer

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What we need is another great ice to come and sweep us all into the ocean. To give God a second chance. — Philipp Meyer

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When I finish a book, I get extremely restless; I have to aggressively find ways to occupy myself; going off into the woods alone, doing things that are physically or mentally demanding to keep myself busy until the next big idea comes. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 1522312

But when I decided to move here, I found I had a choice between being liked and having a say. That's the choice you'll have to make as well. They will either love you and not respect you, or they will respect you and not love you. — Philipp Meyer

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At 16, I dropped out of school and spent five years working as a bicycle mechanic and volunteering in a Trauma Centre before ultimately deciding to go to university. — Philipp Meyer

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If there is any question of whether it is better to love or be loved, the answer is obvious.....I would trade everything in this house, everything we own, to keep feeling this. — Philipp Meyer

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I might be killed any day, by whites or hostile Indians, I might be run down by a grizzly or a pack of buffalo wolves, but I rarely did anything I didn't feel like doing, and maybe this was the main difference between the whites and the Comanches, which was the whites were willing to trade all their freedom to live longer and eat better, and the Comanches were not willing to trade any of it. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 1627683

Naturally they all believe the Colonel is responsible for their salvation - who else could it be but Don Eli? This rankles greatly but I did not bother to correct them. How they will ever get democracy I don't know - they are very comfortable with the idea that powerful men rule their lives. Or perhaps they are simply more honest about it than we allow ourselves to be. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 1638541

I went upstairs to my office. Lay in the dark among my books. The only comforting thing I have. An exile in my own house, my own family. Maybe in my own country. — Philipp Meyer

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I was a bit of a delinquent growing up, a very poor student - I nearly failed several grades before dropping out of high school and getting a G.E.D. But I still read a lot. Thrillers and war novels, mostly, along with the occasional literary novel from my parents' bookshelf. — Philipp Meyer

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If no one heard your sounds then you did not really make them. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 1806840

But of course they hadn't done anything. They'd all be born to the right parents, in the right neighborhoods, they went to the right schools, had all the right social instructions, taken all the right tests. There was simply not a chance they would fail. They'd worked hard but always with the expectation they would get what they wanted- the world had never shown them anything different. Very few of them had earned their places. Everyone admtted how spoiled they were but underneadth, there was always the presumption that they deserved it.
Of course, she hadn't said word. She wished she had but she hadn't. It was easy now to look back and think these things, but at the time she'd wanted to fit in and go along with Bunny and think yes I deseve this happy life I'm living. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 1828293

I don't think you can be taught how to make art. You can be coached, but on a fundamental level you have to figure it out for yourself. You have to learn how your own mind works, figure out your own relationship to the art; you essentially have to invent it completely for yourself. — Philipp Meyer

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On a horse he still looks like a young man; on the ground he carries the weight of all his years. — Philipp Meyer

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I don't have to tell you what this land used to look like," he said. "And you don't have to tell me that I am the one who ruined it. Which I did, with my own hands, and ruined forever. You're old enough to remember when the grass between here and Canada was balls high to a Belgian, and yes it is possible that in a thousand years it will go back to what it once was, though it seems unlikely. But that is the story of the human race. Soil to sand, fertile to barren, fruit to thorns. It is all we know how to do. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 1922205

Nothing prepares you for making art except making art. You have to do it to get better. — Philipp Meyer

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It is as my father says. Men are meant to be ruled. The poor man prefers to associate, in mind if not in body, with the rich and successful. He rarely allows himself to consider that his poverty and his neighbor's riches are inextricably linked, for this would require action, and it is easier for him to think of all the reasons he is superior to his other neighbors, who are just poorer than he is. — Philipp Meyer

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I try to begin writing as close to a dreamlike state as I can get. — Philipp Meyer

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And one day...there would be no record, nothing left standing, to show that anything had ever been built in America. It was going to cause big problems, he didn't know how but he felt it. You could not have a country, not this big, that didn't make things for itself. There would be ramifications eventually. — Philipp Meyer

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could not be expected to part with them. — Philipp Meyer

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Since I quit banking, all my major life decisions, when they could, have revolved around writing. — Philipp Meyer

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Follow your footprints long enough and they will turn into those of a beast. — Philipp Meyer

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No land was ever acquired honestly in the history of the earth. — Philipp Meyer

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Fundamentally, all art is about human beings. You're always showing larger moral questions through the smaller moral, philosophical, or political choices through one character in the book. — Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer Quotes 2200719

Wild Spanish cattle were easily acquired with a rope - within a year we had a hundred head. Hogs and mustang horses were also for the taking. There were deer, turkey, bear, squirrel, the occasional buffalo, turtles and fish from the river, ducks, plums and mustang grapes, bee trees and persimmons - the country was rich with life the way it is rotten with people today. The only problem was keeping your scalp attached. — Philipp Meyer

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At Cornell University, it was well known that after five years on Wall Street, you could expect to be making half a million a year in salary and bonus; after 10 years, you could expect a million or more. I had 60 grand of university debt, and my parents had no retirement. I needed that money. — Philipp Meyer

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Of course you wanted your children to have it better than you had. But at what point was it not better at all? — Philipp Meyer

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The Colonel, had he been alive, would have supported her; he had always seen in her what no one else did, her unshakable sense of her own perfectibility, her certainty that if she set her mind to something, she would master it. When the Colonel told her, as he often did, that one day she would do something important, she barely took any notice. It was as if he'd pointed out the grass was green, or her eyes large as a deer's, or that she was a pretty girl, if a bit small, that men and women alike enjoyed her presence. — Philipp Meyer