Quotes by Thornton Wilder

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The test of an adventure is that when you're in the middle of it, you say to yourself, 'Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home.' And the sign that something's wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure.

It's when you're safe at home that you wish you were having an adventure. When you're having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.
I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.
Where there is an unknowable, there is a promise.
Never support two weaknesses at the same time. It's your combination sinners -- your lecherous liars and your miserly drunkards -- who dishonor the vices and bring them into bad repute.
It is only in appearance that time is a river. It is a vast landscape and it is the eye of the beholder that moves.
A dramatist is one who believes that the pure event, an action involving human beings, is more arresting than any comment that can be made upon it.
The theatre is supremely fitted to say: Behold! These things are. Yet most dramatists employ it to say: This moral truth can be learned from beholding this action.
Literature is the orchestration of platitudes.
The best part of married life is the fights. The rests is merely so.
Marriage is a bribe to make a housekeeper think she's a householder.
There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.
Many plays, are like blank checks. The actors and directors put their own signatures on them.
A play visibly represents pure existing.
I rose by sheer military ability to the rank of corporal.
Many great writers have been extraordinarily awkward in daily exchange, but the greatest give the impression that their style was nursed by the closest attention to colloquial speech.
I've never forgotten for long at a time that living is struggle. I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for -- whether it's a field, or a home, or a country.
My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate -- that's my philosophy.
Every writer is necessarily a critic -- that is, each sentence is a skeleton accompanied by enormous activity of rejection; and each selection is governed by general principles concerning truth, force, beauty, and so on. The critic that is in every fabulist is like the iceberg -- nine-tenths of him is under water.
The comic spirit is given to us in order that we may analyze, weigh, and clarify things in us which nettle us, or which we are outgrowing, or trying to reshape.
For what human ill does dawn not seem to be alternative?
Winning children (who appear so guileless) are children who have discovered how effective charm and modesty and a delicately calculated spontaneity are in winning what they want.
The planting of trees in the least self-centered of all that we can do. It is a purer act of faith than the procreation of children.
I am convinced that, except in a few extraordinary cases, one form or another of an unhappy childhood is essential to the formation of exceptional gifts.
The best thing about animals is they don't talk much.
Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.
The future author is one who discovers that language, the exploration and manipulation of the resources of language, will serve him in winning through to his way.
Hope, like faith, is nothing if it is not courageous; it is nothing if it is not ridiculous.