Rural Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 100 quotes )
Sixteen percent of our population is rural, but 40 percent of our military is rural. I don't believe that's because of a lack of opportunity in rural America. I believe that's because if you grow up in rural America, you know you can't just keep taking from the land. You've got to give something back.
The village lay in the hollow, and climbed, with very prosaic houses, the other side. Village architecture does not flourish in Scotland. The blue slates and the grey stone are sworn foes to the picturesque; and though I do not, for my own part, dislike the interior of an old-fashioned pewed and galleried church, with its little family settlements on all sides, the square box outside, with its bit of a spire like a handle to lift it by, is not an improvement to the landscape. Still, a cluster of houses on differing elevations - with scraps of garden coming in between, a hedgerow with clothes laid out to dry, the opening of a street with its rural sociability, the women at their doors, the slow waggon lumbering along - gives a centre to the landscape. It was cheerful to look at, and convenient in a hundred ways. ("The Open Door")
From the standpoint of the upper classes, the system had many merits. They felt that what was paid out of the poor rate was charity, and therefore a proof of their benevolence; at the same time, wages were kept at starvation level by a method which just prevented discontent from developing into revolution...It was plainly the certainty, derived from the old Poor Law, that actual death would be averted by the parish authorities, which induced the rural poor of England to endure their misery patiently...it taught them respect for their 'betters'.While leaving all the wealth that they produced, beyond the absolute minimum required for subsistence, in the hands of the landowners and farmers. It was at this period that landowners built the sham Gothic ruins called 'follies', where they indulged in romantic sensibility about the past while they filled the present with misery and degradation.
Once it was the fashion to represent villages as places inhabited by laughable, livable simpletons, unspotted by the worldliness of city life, though occasionally shrewd in rural concerns. Later it was the popular thing to show villages as rotten with vice, and especially such sexual vice...incest, sodomy, bestiality, sadism, and masochism were supposed to rage behind lace curtains and in the haylofts, while a rigid piety was professed in the streets.
When people learn to preserve the richness of the land that God has given them and the rights to enjoy the fruits of their own labors then will be the time when all shall have meat in the smokehouse corn in the crib and time to go to the election. ("W.C." of Rural Neck KY in a letter to Farmers Home Journal - 1892)
The weather is quite delicious. Yesterday, after writing to you, I strolled a little beyond the glade for an hour and a half and enjoyed myself--the fresh yet dark green of the grand Scotch firs, the brown of the catkins of the old birches, with their white stems, and a fringe of distant green from the larches, made an excessively pretty view. At last I fell asleep on the grass, and awoke with a chorus of birds singing around me, and squirrels running up the trees, and some woodpeckers laughing, and it was as pleasant and rural a scene as I ever saw, and I did not care one penny how any of the beasts or birds had been formed.
... Mr Jellyband was indeed a typical rural John Bull of those days --- the days when our prejudiced insularity was at its height, when to an Englishman, be he lord, yeoman, or peasant, the whole of the continent of Europe was a den of immorality and the rest of the world an unexploited land of savages and cannibals.
Why do we remember the Boys of Summer? We remember because we were young when they were, of course. But more, we remember because we feel the ache of guilt and regret. While they were running, jumping, leaping, we were slouched behind typewriters, smoking and drinking, pretending to some mystic communion with men we didn't really know or like. Men from ghettos we didn't dare visit, or rural farms we passed at sixty miles an hour. Loving what they did on the field, we could forget how superior we felt towards them the rest of the time. By cheering them on we proved we had nothing to do with the injustices that kept their lives separate from ours. There's nothing sordid or false about the Boys of Summer. Only our memories smell like sweaty jockstraps.
And before long there will be no more milk in bottles delivered to the doorstep or sleepy rural pubs, and the countryside will be mostly shopping centers and theme parks. Forgive me. I don't mean to get upset. But you are taking my world away from me, piece by little piece, and sometimes it just pisses me off. Sorry.
Years ago, when I was about to go on a book tour for Someplace to Be Flying, my editor at the time Terri Windling and I sat down to figure out what to call what I was writing for the interviews that were to come. Terri came up with the term mythic fiction and I think that sums it up perfectly. There are almost invariably mythic elements in my fiction (as well as bits of folk and faerie lore) and the term doesn’t lock me into writing only in an urban setting since many of my stories take place in rural areas. It never caught on, but when I don’t describe what I do as simply fiction, I’ll go with mythic fiction.
Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.
One more impression I gathered from that work of my boyhood, an impression which I did not formulate till afterward, and which will probably astonish many a reader. It is the spirit of equality which is highly developed in the Russian peasant, and in fact in the rural population everywhere. The Russian peasant is capable of much servile obedience to the landlord and the police officer; he will bend before their will in a servile manner; but he does not consider them superior men, and if the next moment that same landlord or officer talks to the same peasant about hay or ducks, the latter will reply to him as an equal to an equal. I never saw in a Russian peasant that servility, grown to be a second nature, with which a small functionary talks to one of high rank, or a valet to his master. The peasant too easily submits to force, but he does not worship it.
Mrs. Almond lived much farther up town, in an embryonic street with a high number—a region where the extension of the city began to assume a theoretic air, where poplars grew beside the pavement (when there was one), and mingled their shade with the steep roofs of desultory Dutch houses, and where pigs and chickens disported themselves in the gutter. These elements of rural picturesqueness have now wholly departed from New York street scenery; but they were to be found within the memory of middle-aged persons, in quarters which now would blush to be reminded of them.
I wanted adventures. I wanted to go up the Nung river to the heart of darkness in Cambodia. I wanted to ride out into a desert on camelback, sand and dunes in every direction, eat whole roasted lamb with my fingers. I wanted to kick snow off my boots in a Mafiya nightclub in Russia. I wanted to play with automatic weapons in Phnom Penh, recapture the past in a small oyster village in France, step into a seedy neon-lit pulqueria in rural Mexico. I wanted to run roadblocks in the middle of the night, blowing past angry militia with a handful of hurled Marlboro packs, experience fear, excitement, wonder. I wanted kicks – the kind of melodramatic thrills and chills I’d yearned for since childhood, the kind of adventure I’d found as a little boy in the pages of my Tintin comic books. I wanted to see the world – and I wanted the world to be just like the movies
Symptomatic of this rural-urban identity crisis is our eager embrace of a recently imposed divide: the Red States and the Blue States. That color map comes to us with the suggestion that both coasts are populated by educated civil libertarians, while the vast middle and south are criss-crossed with the studded tracks of ATVs leaving a trail of flying beer cans and rebel yells. Okay, I'm exaggerating a little. But I certainly sense a bit of that when urban friends ask me how I can stand living here, "so far from everything?" (When I hear this question over the phone, I'm usually looking out the window at a forest, a running creek, and a vegetable garden, thinking: Define everything.)