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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Judah Folkman

Cancer Research

When you operate on cancer, it was different than any other thing. It never stopped bleeding. You could operate on a kidney, a liver, or do any other surgery, and if you lost blood, the organ would stop bleeding. It would turn white. All of the vessels would clamp down and the anesthetist would say, "Stop, we've got to give a transfusion." But in a tumor it would never bleed, and if they could just keep bleeding and bleeding, and there was massive bleeding, and you would use up pints of blood, and all surgeons know that. I knew there was something different about these blood vessels. And the pathologists who were criticizing for example, had never seen the blood, because once we hand them the tumor, it's white, and so to them it's bloodless. And the oncologists, a further step away, had never come to the operating room, so they were looking at x-rays. And the basic scientist has only seen cancer in a dish. And it began to dawn on me that they were missing something, and I said, "These people are wrong."
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Carlos Fuentes

Author, Scholar & Diplomat

Carlos Fuentes: I had two grandmothers, and both were storytellers. One was from Vera Cruz, on the gulf coast; the other one was from Mazatlan in Sinaloa on the Pacific Coast. So I had two oceans at my disposal. I spent my summers with my grannies in Mexico. My father was counselor of the Mexican Embassy in Washington at the time. I think that I became a writer because I heard those stories -- all the stories that I didn't know about Mexico, about my own land. They were the storehouse of these great tales of migrants, revolution, highway robberies, bandits, love affairs, ways of dressing, eating -- they had the whole storehouse of the past in their heads and their hearts. So this was, for me, very fascinating, this relationship with my two grannies -- the two authors of my books really.
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Carlos Fuentes

Author, Scholar & Diplomat

I say, "I'm going to write this book," and now I sit down and I start sorting out chapters and imagining the book and saying, "Tonight, I think that tomorrow I will write such and such." I go to sleep. I wake up in the morning. I go to my table. I take the pen and something totally different comes out, which means that perhaps dreams are dictating part of your writing life in a very mysterious way. You have silly dreams. We all have silly dreams. We are naked on the street. How terrible! We fall off a roof. We're drowning in the sea. Those are the dreams you remember. But what about the dreams you don't remember? I think these are the really important dreams in your life, the underground dreams, the subterranean dreams that come out somehow in your life, and in my case, through literature. Because I can't explain otherwise why I write certain things I have never thought about before. And always on the day after a dreaming night. It's very magical.
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Athol Fugard

Playwright, Novelist and Actor

I was a student at the University of Cape Town. I was a good student. I must say that my writing always paralleled everything else that I was doing in life. It was always there, scribbling away at stories and notebooks and all of that. I was at the University of Cape Town studying philosophy and anthropology and social economics. I was a good student. I got class medals in all my subjects at the university. And I was in my third year when I realized that I had a sense that completing that degree that I was studying for, a bachelor of arts degree, was a trap. And it was a very, very difficult decision to make on my side, because my mother had scraped together as much cash as she could to get me into university because she singled me out as someone who was going to compensate for the frustrated ambitions in her own life. She invested in me. I was at university, and I sensed that getting this degree was potentially a trap to me as a writer, because in addition to enjoying my work in philosophy and all of that, there was the writer in me. And I wrote to my mother, who had really struggled to get me to university, and I said, "Mom, I'm not going to take my degree. I want to be a writer, and I am leaving the university because writers have to see the world." I still remember using that phrase, "Writers have to see the world, and so I'm going to see the world." After all the sacrifices she had made in order to get me at university, she wrote back to me and said -- she was in Port Elizabeth, I was in Cape Town -- she wrote back to me and said, "Hally," because that was my nickname as a child, "Hally, if that's what you must do, you must do it." Her faith in me was extraordinary and incredibly motivating in all the years that were to come ahead of me.
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