Quotes of Note

“In my time I have been considered the murderer of a friend, the jealous lover of a civil servant’s wife, and an obsessive player at roulette. I don’t wish to add to my chameleon nature the characteristics belonging to the cuckolder of a South American diplomat, a possibly illegitimate birth and an education by the Jesuits. Ah, it may be said Brown is a Catholic and so, we know, is Greene…[all characters] are boiled up in the kitchen of the unconscious and emerge unrecognizable even to the cook in most cases.” – Graham Greene

“I think of the victim first. Who is it I want to kill off? That’s the fun part. I think we all have homicidal impulses and it’s great to have license to let my homicidal flag fly.” – Mystery writer Elissa Grodin in a Huffington Post interview

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain

“The theory that I found the most interesting was suggested to me by a bookseller in England last year: she thought perhaps our interest in these futuristic narratives had to do with the fact that there are no more frontiers. You know, it’s no longer possible to set out as a pioneer and stake a claim and start a new life. Now that that’s all mapped and charted out and there are no more frontiers — that’s left us with a certain restlessness, that I suppose gets channeled into our interest in this futuristic, speculative fiction.” – Emily St. John Mandel in a NPR interview

“I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense. – Rabbi Harold Kushner

“I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can’t really put a book on the Internet. Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, ‘If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we’ll talk.’ All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don’t want to read manuscripts. They want to read books. Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket.” – Ray Bradbury

“Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.” – Vladimir Nabokov

“In my view, nineteen pounds of old books are at least nineteen times as delicious as one pound of fresh caviar.” – Anne Fadiman

“I’ve always been interested in Greek and Latin literature. I’m excited by the ways those traditions show how old our concerns are. If you read Livy, for instance, you find that almost everything that’s said in American politics had probably [been] said by the Romans, too: everything from concerns about men not being manly enough anymore to debates about the kinds of things the founding fathers cared about. With the Odyssey, it’s possible to see how many of the stories we still tell exist in ancient texts—they’re archetypal.” – Anna North in an Atlantic interview

“When I was 15, I read Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, because a girl on whom I had a crush threw it at me and said something like, ‘Why don’t you read this and try to be less stupid?’ I did read it and, although I remained pretty much as stupid as I’d been before, it was a revelation to me. I hadn’t known, until then, that you — that anyone — could do such things with language; I’d never seen sentences of such complexity, musicality, density, and beauty. I remember thinking, ‘Hey, she was doing with language something like what Jimi Hendrix does with a guitar.’ Mrs. Dalloway made me into a reader, and it was only a matter of time until I became a writer.” – Writer Michael Cunningham

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