12 Most Inspiring Quotes By Christa Wolf

Brienne Pierce

Christa Wolf is a name engendered to the category of integral German authors. She was an outspoken, deeply intelligent and subversive woman who openly criticized the GDR through her works. As an intensely emotional writer with a gift for integrating artistic and allegorical dialogue into her narratives, it’s no wonder why she became a literary and political icon. Despite her being famously quoted saying ‘I don’t give interviews’, after careful combing through her essays and select interviews, here’s a list of her most inspiring words.

‘The walls are closing in ever more tightly around us. But it turns out that in depths there is a lot of space.’

‘The most important thing people should do is support and encourage each other.’

‘When someone dies, everything dies with them. Everything they’ve experienced and thought, everything. I find that inconceivable. It doesn’t help to forget as little as possible. That doesn’t stop the person from being gone. Especially people who lived a full, rich life, who gathered so much inside them and then took so much of that with them to the grave. I can’t help it, that’s when I find death especially unacceptable. It’s terrible, everything that dies with a person. Maybe writing is the only thing you can do against it.’
Die Zeit Interview

‘From a certain point on, which one can no longer identify, one begins to see oneself as historical; by which I mean embedded in, bound to one’s time.’

‘When will I, or ever be able to write a book again about a distant invented figure; I myself am the protagonist, there is no other way, I am exposed, have exposed myself.’

‘At this age you’ve seen a lot, some things more than once. A certain structure of experience repeats itself. I can’t say I’ve become thick-skinned. Not at all. But a lot of the time you know from experience that sooner or later everything comes to an end. That makes you a little more serene.’

‘Even as a child I had a strong fear of being physically wounded. I think I try to suppress the absolutely irrational element which to some extent rules our world, especially in my writing. I try to create a room where the irrational, when it has power like in Cassandra and Medea, is counterweighted by, yes, humane values.’
Die Zeit Interview

‘And why, a curly-haired young woman asks, haven’t I spoken again publicly for a long time now? Somebody wanted to know what my removal to America stood for, if that was an escape. I insist upon my right to speak when I want to, and also to remain silent.’
Essay: One Day a Year: 1960-2000

‘You can only fight sorrow when you look it in the eye.’

‘The unearthly secret of people in this century… how is it possible for one to have been both present and not there.’

I have a small blue book of Goethe’s poems that means a lot to me. When I was 17 or 18 I was quite ill after fleeing from East Prussia, and had to spend a few months in a sanitorium. The poems were given to me by a teacher of mine, and gave me incredible joy. They were a revelation to me, and still are.
Die Zeit Interview

‘Between killing and dying there’s a third way: live.’

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