Quotes from The Powerbook

Jeanette Winterson ·  244 pages

Rating: (3.9K votes)


“What a strange world this is when you can have as much sex as you like but love is taboo.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“I like being on my own better than I like anything else, but I can't give up love. Maybe it's the tension between longing and aloneness that I need. My own funicular railway, holding in balance the two things most likely to destroy me.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“The body can endure compromise and the mind can be seduced by it. Only the heart protests. The heart. Carbon-based primitive in a silicon world.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“To me, these days will never end. I am always there, in that room with her,
or if not I, the imprint of myself - my fossil-love”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“The tamer my love, the farther away it is from love. In fierceness, in heat, in longing, in risk, I find something of love's nature. In my desire for you, I burn at the right temperature to walk through love's fire. So when you ask me why I cannot love you more calmly, I answer that to love you calmly is not to love you at all.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook



“In this life you have to be your own hero.

By that I mean you have to win whatever it is that matters to you by your own strength and in your own way.

Like it or not, you are alone in a forest, just like all those fairy tales that begin with a hero who’s usually stupid but somehow brave, or who might be clever, but weak as a straw, and away he goes (don’t worry about the gender), cheered on by nobody, via the castles and the bears, and the old witch and the enchanted stream, and by and by (we hope) he’ll find the treasure.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“There is no greater grief than to find no happiness, but happiness in what is past.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“I keep telling this story - different people, different places, different times - but always you, always me, always this story, because a story is a tight rope between two worlds.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“The truth is that you can divide your heart in all sorts of interesting ways - a little here, a little there, most banked at home, some of it coined out for a flutter. But love cleaves through the mind's mathematics. Love's lengthways splits the heart in two - the heart where you are, the heart where you want to be. How will you heal your heart when love has split it in two?”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“What a strange world it is where you can have as much sex as you like but love is taboo. I'm talking about the real thing, the grand passion, which may not allow affection or convenience or happiness. The truth is that love smashes into your life like an ice floe, and even if your heart is built like the Titanic you go down. That's the size of it, the immensity of it. It's not proper, it's not clean, it's not containable.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook



“There's no such thing as effortless beauty--you should know that.

There's no effort which is not beautiful--lifting a heavy stone or loving you.

Loving you is like lifting a heavy stone. It would be easier not to do it and I'm not quite sure why I am doing it. It takes all my strength and all my determination, and I said I wouldn't love someone again like this. Is there any sense in loving someone you can only wake up to by chance?”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“Love's lengthways splits the heart in two - the heart where you are, the heart where you want to be.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“Slightest accidents open up new worlds.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“I was the place where you anchored. I was the deep water where you could be weightless. I was the surface where you saw your own reflection. You scooped me up in your hands.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“I don't want to conquer you; I just want to climb you.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook



“To avoid discovery I stay on the run.
To discover things for myself, I stay on the run...”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“I like the way the morning can be stormy and the afternoon clear and sparkly as a jewel in the water. Put your hand in the water to reach for a sea urchin or a sea shell, and the thing desired never quite lies where you had lined it up to be. The same is true of love. In prospect or contemplation, love is where it seems to be. Reach in to lift it out and your hand misses”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“If I want to say no, I will, but for the right reasons. If I want to say yes, I will, but for the right reasons. Leave the consequences. Leave the finale. Leave the grand statements. The simplicity of feeling should not be taxed. I can't work out what this will cost or what either of us owe. The admission charge is never on the door, but you are open and I want to enter.
Let me in.
You do.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“I can't do it. I've been here before and it's not a room with a view. The only power I have is the negative power of withdrawal. If I don't withdraw I have no power at all. A relationship where one person has no power or negative power, isn't a relationship, it's the bond between master and slave.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“I remember once walking out hand in hand with a boy I knew, and it was summer, and suddenly before us was a field of gold. Gold as far as you could see. We knew we'd be rich forever. We filled our pockets and our hair. We were rolled in gold. We ran through the field laughing and our legs and feet were coated in yellow dust, so that we were like golden statues or golden gods. He kissed my feet, the boy I was with, and when he smiled, he had a gold tooth.

It was only a field of buttercups, but we were young.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook



“In this life, you have to be your own hero.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“The stories we sit up late to hear are love stories. It seems that we cannot know enough about this riddle of our lives. We go back and back to the same scenes, the same words, trying to scrape out the meaning. Nothing could be more familiar than love. Nothing else eludes us so completely.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“The only selfish life is a timid one.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“I don't want to eke out my life like a resource in short supply. The only selfish life is a timid one. To hold back, to withdraw, to keep the best in reserve, both overvalues the self, and undervalues what the self is.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“There is always a city. There is always a civilization. There is always a barbarian with a pickaxe. Sometimes you are the city, sometimes you are the civilization, but to become that city, that civilization, you once took a pickaxe and destroyed what you hated, and what you hated is what you did not understand.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook



“I can hold you up with one hand, but you can balance me on your fingertips.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“I walked out to brood on this life of ours, which seems from birth to death to be a steady loss, disguised by sudden gains and happiness, which persuade us of good fortune, when all the while the glass is emptying.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“Meatspace still has some advantages for a carbon-based girl.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


“There will be a future. We believe in our unreality too strongly to give it up.”
― Jeanette Winterson, quote from The Powerbook


About the author

Jeanette Winterson
Born place: in Manchester, England, The United Kingdom
Born date August 27, 1959
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