Victor LaValle Quotes

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Victor LaValle
Born (1972-02-03) February 3, 1972 (age 44)
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Website
www.victorlavalle.com

I realise I might pass down an incurable illness to my son, but living based on what might go wrong seems like less and less of a life as I get older. The one thing I can try to control is whether I teach my child to be ruled by anxiety, by fear. That’s something that gets passed down, too.
Victor LaValle
Shirley Jackson enjoyed notoriety and commercial success within her lifetime, and yet it still hardly seems like enough for a writer so singular. When I meet readers and other writers of my generation, I find that mentioning her is like uttering a holy name.
Victor LaValle
I’d read at a much higher-than-average grade level since, well, grade school.
Victor LaValle
Since Queens is the most ethnically diverse plot of land on Earth, we had tenants from all over the globe. The whole world in one building.
Victor LaValle
The profession is never going back to those days when a handful of wealthy people treated publishing like a hobby: one where the business can lose money because the family has lots of it to burn. Frankly, I don’t think that model was ever sustainable, and it really only enriched a small number of writers.
Victor LaValle
I weighed 25 stone, and I didn’t stand nine feet tall, so the weight didn’t sit well on me. As big as a house? No. I was as big as an estate.
Victor LaValle
If you want to learn the true nature of a child you have to watch how she plays. If you want to learn the true nature of an adult you have to watch how she does her job.
Victor LaValle
‘Dark Gods,’ T. E. D. Klein’s book of four novellas, felt like a godsend – even if it came from a deformed god, one that lurked beneath our sidewalks.
Victor LaValle
Fear warps our understanding of reality and even our ability to see reality clearly.
Victor LaValle
I can’t inhabit my characters until I know what kind of work they do. This requires research because my jobs for the last decade have been author and professor, and I’d like to spare the world more author or professor novels.
Victor LaValle
There are times when I need to dig up the diagram for a type of satellite dish, for instance, but I just can’t seem to phrase this need correctly. As a result, I’m inundated by advertising for satellite television and people’s online customer reviews of such services when, in fact, I was only trying to figure out what a certain component is called.
Victor LaValle
Miniature golf, like billiards, is a game of angles. And, like billiards, most of the fun is in pretending you know what the hell you’re doing. The worse you do, the more you have to laugh.
Victor LaValle
‘The Ballad of Black Tom’ was written, in part, during the latest round of arguments about H. P. Lovecraft’s legacy as both a great writer and a prejudiced man. I grew up worshipping the guy, so this issue felt quite personal to me.
Victor LaValle
When I find the right information, the Web is a blessing; when I don’t, it’s a distraction.
Victor LaValle
For as long as I could remember, the person in E23 pasted the same Halloween decoration, a witch with a giant wart on her crone’s nose, but whenever kids rang, the tenant wouldn’t answer. At first, kids figured they’d just missed the guy: bad timing. But it seemed impossible that all of us missed him every year.
Victor LaValle
In fiction, it’s a big challenge to keep the reader in one place for so long.
Victor LaValle
When I finished graduate school, I had a master’s of fine arts from a prestigious institution, a manuscript that would eventually become my first published book – and almost no marketable skills.
Victor LaValle
Every era needs a genre through which it understands itself.
My three obsessions are mental illness, horror and religion.
‘The Sundial’ is written with the kind of humor that would make a guillotine laugh.
Victor LaValle
The project of Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’ is exactly that: to assert the beautiful, bountiful, chaotic complexity of one black American male. And, by extension, all black American males.
Victor LaValle
Booksellers are the bartenders of the reading world. People share thoughts and interests they keep private from others in their lives.
Victor LaValle
It’s tough to write beautifully about ugly things, but Mitchell S. Jackson makes it look easy.
Victor LaValle
The devil that stayed with me most vividly was the one from the cover of Iron Maiden’s ‘Number of the Beast’ album.
Victor LaValle
As a 13-year-old fan of horror fiction, I hadn’t seen too many cities in the literature I loved. It was always small towns, or backwoods locales, or maybe the suburbs.
Victor LaValle
On June 23, 1864, Ambrose Bierce was in command of a skirmish line of Union soldiers at Kennesaw Mountain in northern Georgia. He’d been a soldier for three years and, in that time, had been commended by his superiors for his efficiency and bravery during battle.
Victor LaValle
I hadn’t stopped fearing the chance of passing on an illness, but that fear had become balanced by the observation that being ill wasn’t the same as being beaten.
Victor LaValle
Here’s the thing: I was charming. Well read and well spoken. Observant and even kind. In other words, I was kind of a catch. And I knew this was true. As long as you couldn’t see me. If you saw me, you’d think I was the sea cow that had swallowed your catch.
Victor LaValle
Education is gathering information and reading… No human being can thrive without some form of education. How you get it is up to you – the important thing is that you get it.
Victor LaValle
The people I am most interested in are the ones on the edge of losing everything and falling into the last bit of despair. I’m trying to write about how people exist on that edge and how they can come back.
Victor LaValle
I couldn’t get a date, but I couldn’t be quite sure how unattractive I’d become. I was still friendly; I made jokes, and in my mind, if I saw a woman smiling at me… I still had a chance. I did not.
Victor LaValle
I had a pretty bad time when I was an undergraduate at Cornell University. I failed out of school. I was much, much heavier.
Victor LaValle
Lumpy and lazy; I aspired to lethargy. In the second year of university, I missed half my classes just because I couldn’t pull myself out of bed.
Victor LaValle
What’s beautiful about Godzilla is, of course, it’s in every way a symbol of Japan dealing with the aftermath of the atomic bombs being dropped on them, and their ideas of how they’re affected by it.
Victor LaValle
I have a very intimate knowledge of the world of the mentally ill and of life inside of, especially, public hospitals and the way people are treated in there and the way that they try to survive in there.
Victor LaValle
‘The Devil’s Dictionary’ reads like a collection of great Twitter posts. And as people do with tweets, they can swipe Bierce’s best lines and recite them as nearly their own. The reflected glory of reposting.
Victor LaValle
In the past, a writer had to go outside and get to know others before learning about their work, but the Internet has made humanity more accessible for misanthropes like me. I read blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and Reddit threads where people detail their jobs.
Victor LaValle
I spend lots of time on the Web, some of it even useful.
People use the notion of God to bully people and hurt people, when we can use the concept to respect and uplift.
Victor LaValle
Our family suffers from a hereditary condition called, generally, mental illness. Specifically, multiple family members in successive generations have suffered from either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
Victor LaValle
One of the things that doesn’t come up as much as it should, especially in literary fiction, is this idea of faith and God… I feel like those are things that should be wrestled with… because they are such an integral part of our community on every level.
Victor LaValle
I wanted to write a story set in the Lovecraftian universe that didn’t gloss over the uglier implications of his worldview.
Victor LaValle
The horror genre is vast and full of brilliance. Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Herman Melville, the book of Esther. I’ll happily join that list.
Victor LaValle
One of the most widely read novels by a black American is Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man.’ It is his masterwork – it won the National Book Award in 1953 and catapulted my man to the highest levels of literary esteem.
Victor LaValle
The journalistic endeavor – at least theoretically – is grounded in objectivity. The goal is to get you to understand what happened, when and to whom.
Victor LaValle
I’m always trying to make myself laugh. I’m the most enthusiastic audience I’m likely to find, so if it doesn’t make me smile then it probably won’t work on you. The jokes that only make me shrug get cut.
Victor LaValle
Try imagining James Joyce not writing about being a Catholic.
I’m a big fan of monsters. Number one, they’re fun, and two, they’re such great ways to access the subconscious fears and beliefs of any group of people.
Victor LaValle
Whether it was H. P. Lovecraft’s doomed towns or Shirley Jackson’s lonely, looming ‘The Haunting of Hill House,’ the boondocks had all the fun. As a black kid in Queens, New York, I couldn’t have felt more removed.
Victor LaValle
I’ve spent my life visiting a handful of people who are very close to me when they’ve been committed to one hospital or another in New York.
Victor LaValle
Social media give me the privilege of learning about more people than I could meet in my whole life. Taken together, the Internet reads like the grandest character-driven novel humanity has ever known. Not much plot, though.
Victor LaValle
You can’t write a story about a mental hospital in the United States without facing the grand example of ‘Cuckoo’s Nest.’
Victor LaValle
No one ever knows if a book is good until they read the book.
I know that many authors say editors don’t edit anymore, but that’s not been true in my experience.
Victor LaValle
Lonely women destroy themselves; lonely men threaten the world.
The best monsters are our anxieties given form. They make sense on the level of a dream – or a nightmare.
Victor LaValle
I didn’t grow up in a small New England town like the one in ‘The Sundial.’ I was raised in an apartment building in Queens, not in a sprawling, slightly sinister mansion like the one where the Halloran family resides.
Victor LaValle
Fear warps our understanding of reality and even our ability to see reality clearly.
Victor LaValle
Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ was a story about the fear of immigration; the bad old bloodsucker swooping in from Eastern Europe and also preying upon ‘our’ vulnerable women.
Victor LaValle
There’s the wonder of being able to do research from your own living room, of course. I do find that my biggest research issue, though, is how to frame my questions.
Victor LaValle
I like America, where believers eddy around each other like currents of air. Even our atheists are devout! To be an American is to be a believer. I don’t have much faith in institutions, but I still believe in people.
Victor LaValle
In the end, what’s any good reader really hoping for? That spark. That spell. That journey.
Victor LaValle
One of the reasons I love devils so much is not based in my faith, but because as a kid, I grew up loving heavy metal and horror movies, and the devil is such a huge presence in both.
Victor LaValle
Clothes are a kind of uniform. A nun’s habit, a surgeon’s scrubs, a cop’s uniform. People often say that when they put on a certain uniform, they actually think of themselves differently.
Victor LaValle
I was dressed like Darth Vader. Vader was my man, even with the villainy. He wore all black and had a deep voice; he reminded me of my uncle. I had a cheap mask-cape combo, the kind available at any pharmacy during October.
Victor LaValle