Conversation should be like juggling; up go the balls and the plates, up and over, in and out, good solid objects that glitter in the footlights and fall with a bang if you miss them. But when dear Sebastian speaks it is like a little sphere of soapsud drifting off the end of an old clay pipe, anywhere, full of rainbow light for a second and then - phut! vanished, with nothing left at all, nothing.
conversation quotesjuggling quotesballs quotesplates quotesgood quotessolid quotesobjects quotesglitter quotesfootlights quotesfall quotesbang quotesmiss quotesdear quotessebastian quotesspeaks quotessphere quotessoapsud quotesdrifting quotesend quotesclay quotespipe quotesfull quotesrainbow quoteslight quotesphut quotesvanished quotesleft quotes
The langour of Youth - how unique and quintessential it is! How quickly, how irrecoverably, lost! The zest, the generous affections, the illusions, the despair, all the traditional attributes of Youth - all save this come and go with us through life...These things are a part of life itself; but languor - the relaxation of yet unwearied sinews, the mind sequestered and self-regarding, the sun standing still in the heavens and the earth throbbing to our own pulse - that belongs to Youth alone and dies with it.
langour quotesyouth quotesunique quotesquintessential quotesquickly quotesirrecoverably quoteslost quoteszest quotesgenerous quotesaffections quotesillusions quotesdespair quotestraditional quotesattributes quotessave quoteslifethese quotesthings quotespart quoteslife quoteslanguor quotesrelaxation quotesunwearied quotessinews quotesmind quotessequestered quotesselfregarding quotessun quotesstanding quotesheavens quotesearth quotesthrobbing quotespulse quotesbelongs quotesdies quotes
Novel-writing is a highly skilled and laborious trade. One does not just sit behind a screen jotting down other people's conversation. One has for one's raw material every single thing one has ever seen or heard or felt, and one has to go over that vast, smoldering rubbish-heap of experience, half stifled by fumes and dust, scraping and delving until one finds a few discarded valuables. Then one has to assemble these tarnished and dented fragments, polish them, set them in order, and try to make a coherent and significant arrangement of them.
novelwriting quoteshighly quotesskilled quoteslaborious quotestrade quotessit quotesscreen quotesjotting quotespeoples quotesconversation quotesones quotesraw quotesmaterial quotessingle quotesthing quotesheard quotesfelt quotesvast quotessmoldering quotesrubbishheap quotesexperience quoteshalf quotesstifled quotesfumes quotesdust quotesscraping quotesdelving quotesfinds quotesdiscarded quotesvaluables quotesassemble quotestarnished quotesdented quotesfragments quotespolish quotesset quotesorder quotesmake quotescoherent quotessignificant quotesarrangement quotes
I've always been bad. Probably I shall be bad again, punished again. But the worse I am, the more I need God. I can't shut myself out from His mercy. ... Or it may be a private bargain between me and God, that if I give up this one thing I want so much, however bad I am, He won't quite despair of me in the end.
Civilization - and by this I do not mean talking cinemas and tinned food, nor even surgery and hygienic houses, but the whole moral and artistic organization of Europe - has not in itself the power of survival. It came into being through Christianity, and without it has no significance or power to command allegiance... That is the first discovery, that Christianity is essential to civilization and that it is in greater need of combative strength than it has been for centuries.
civilization quotestalking quotescinemas quotestinned quotesfood quotessurgery quoteshygienic quoteshouses quotesmoral quotesartistic quotesorganization quoteseurope quotespower quotessurvival quoteschristianity quotessignificance quotescommand quotesallegiance quotesdiscovery quoteschristianity quotesessential quotescivilization quotesgreater quotescombative quotesstrength quotescenturies quotes
I've always been bad. Probably I shall be bad again, punished again. But the worse I am, the more I need God. I can't shut myself out from His mercy... Or it may be a private bargain between me and God, that if I give up this one thing I want so much, however bad I am, He won't quite despair of me in the end.
What an immature, self-destructive, antiquated mischief is man! How obscure and gross his prancing and chattering on his little stage of evolution! How loathsome and beyond words boring all the thoughts and self-approval of his biological by-product! this half-formed, ill-conditioned body! this erratic, maladjusted mechanism of his soul: on one side the harmonious instincts and balanced responses of the animal, on the other the inflexible purpose of the engine, and between them man, equally alien from the being of Nature and the doing of the machine, the vile becoming!
immature quotesselfdestructive quotesantiquated quotesmischief quotesman quotesobscure quotesgross quotesprancing quoteschattering quotesstage quotesevolution quotesloathsome quoteswords quotesboring quotesthoughts quotesselfapproval quotesbiological quotesbyproduct quoteshalfformed quotesillconditioned quotesbody quoteserratic quotesmaladjusted quotesmechanism quotessoul quotesside quotesharmonious quotesinstincts quotesbalanced quotesresponses quotesanimal quotesinflexible quotespurpose quotesengine quotesman quotesequally quotesalien quotesnature quotesmachine quotesvile quotes
He lay back for a little in his bed thinking about the smells of food... of the intoxicating breath of bakeries and dullness of buns... He planned dinners, of enchanting aromatic foods... endless dinners, in which one could alternate flavor with flavor from sunset to dawn without satiety, while one breathed great draughts of the bouquet of brandy.
lay quotesback quotesbed quotesthinking quotessmells quotesfood quotesintoxicating quotesbreath quotesbakeries quotesdullness quotesbuns quotesplanned quotesdinners quotesenchanting quotesaromatic quotesfoods quotesendless quotesalternate quotesflavor quotessunset quotesdawn quotessatiety quotesbreathed quotesgreat quotesdraughts quotesbouquet quotesbrandy quotes
He was not at all what is called 'a character'. He was an innocent, affable old man who had somehow preserved his good humor - much more than that, a mysterious and tranquil joy - throughout a life which to all outward observation had been overloaded with misfortune. He had like many another been born in full sunlight and lived to see night fall.
called quotesa quotescharacter quotesinnocent quotesaffable quotesman quotespreserved quotesgood quoteshumor quotesmysterious quotestranquil quotesjoy quoteslife quotesoutward quotesobservation quotesoverloaded quotesmisfortune quotesborn quotesfull quotessunlight quoteslived quotesnight quotesfall quotes
But I had no patience with this convent chatter. I had felt the brush take life in my hand that afternoon; I had had my finger in the great, succulent pie of creation. I was a man of the Renaissance that evening- of Browning's renaissance. I, who had walked the streets of Rome in Genoa velvet and had seen the stars through Galileo's tube, spurned the friars, with their dusty tomes, and their sunken, jealous eyes and their crabbed hair-splitting speech.
patience quotesconvent quoteschatter quotesfelt quotesbrush quoteslife quoteshand quotesafternoon quotesfinger quotesgreat quotessucculent quotespie quotescreation quotesman quotesrenaissance quotesevening quotesbrownings quotesrenaissance quoteswalked quotesstreets quotesrome quotesgenoa quotesvelvet quotesstars quotesgalileos quotestube quotesspurned quotesfriars quotesdusty quotestomes quotessunken quotesjealous quoteseyes quotescrabbed quoteshairsplitting quotesspeech quotes
I rejoiced in the Burgundy. It seemed a reminder that the world was an older and better place than Rex knew, that mankind in its long passion had learned another wisdom than his. By chance I met this same wine again, lunching with my wine merchant in St James's Street in the first Autumn of the war; it had softened and faded in the intervening years, but it still spoke in the pure, authentic accent of its prime, the same words of hope.
rejoiced quotesburgundy quotesreminder quotesworld quotesolder quotesplace quotesrex quotesknew quotesmankind quoteslong quotespassion quoteslearned quoteswisdom quoteschance quotesmet quoteswine quoteslunching quotesmerchant quotesst quotesjamess quotesstreet quotesautumn quoteswar quotessoftened quotesfaded quotesintervening quotesyears quotesspoke quotespure quotesauthentic quotesaccent quotesprime quoteswords quoteshope quotes
My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time. These memories, which are my life-for we possess nothing certainly except the past-were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark's, theywere everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning. These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime. These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again. The human soul enjoys these rare, classic periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves - the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleep-walker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outward eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, out-distance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share.
theme quotesmemory quoteswinged quoteshost quotessoared quotesgrey quotesmorning quoteswartime quotesmemories quoteslifefor quotespossess quotespastwere quotespigeons quotesst quotesmarks quotestheywere quotesfeet quotessingly quotespairs quoteshoneyvoiced quotescongregations quotesnodding quotesstrutting quoteswinking quotesrolling quotestender quotesfeathers quotesnecks quotesperching quotesstood quotesshoulder quotespecking quotesbroken quotesbiscuit quoteslips quotessuddenly quotesnoon quotesgun quotesboomed quotesmoment quotesflutter quotessweep quoteswings quotespavement quotesbare quotessky quotesdark quotestumult quotesfowl quotesmorning quotesmemories quotesmemorials quotespledges quotesvital quoteshours quoteslifetime quotesafflatus quoteshuman quotesspirit quotessprings quotesart quotesmystery quotesakin quotesepochs quoteshistory quotesrace quotescenturies quoteslived quotescontent quotesunknown quotesfrontiers quotesdigging quoteseating quotessleeping quotesbegetting quotesrequisite quotessurvival quotesgeneration quotesstupefy quotesworld quotescommit quotesmanner quotescrimes quotesfollow quoteswildest quoteschimeras quotesend quotesagony quotesleave quotesrecord quotesheights quotesscaled quotesrewards quoteswon quotesmankind quotesvision quotesfades quotessoul quotessickens quotesroutine quotesstarts quotesenjoys quotesrare quotesclassic quotesperiods quotesseldom quotessingle quotesunique quotescompany quotesworld quoteshoard quotesabstractions quotesreflections quotescounterfeits quotessensual quotesman quoteseconomic quotesman quotesreason quotesbeast quotesmachine quotessleepwalker quotesheaven quotesimage quotesindistinguishable quotesoutward quoteseye quotesborne quotessight quotespress quotesunresisting quotestill quoteschance quotesdrop quotesunnoticed quotesdodge quotesside quotesstreet quotespause quotesbreathe quotesfreely quotesbearings quotespush quotesahead quotesoutdistance quotesshadows quoteslead quotesdance quoteslength quotescatch quotesaskance quotesknowing quotessecret quotesshare quotes
Hooper was no romantic. He had not as a child ridden with Rupert's horse or sat among the camp fires at Xanthus-side; at the age when my eyes were dry to all save poetry - that stoic, red-skin interlude which our schools introduce between the fast-flowing tears of the child and the man - Hooper had wept often, but never for Henry's speech on St Crispin's day, nor for the epitaph at Thermopylae. The history they taught him had had few battles in it but, instead, a profusion of detail about humane legislation and recent industrial change. Gallipoli, Balaclava, Quebec, Lepanto, Bannockburn, Roncevales, and Marathon - these, and the Battle in the West where Arthur fell, and a hundred such names whose trumpet-notes, even now in my sere and lawless state, called to me irresistibly across the intervening years with all the clarity and strength of boyhood, sounded in vain to Hooper.
hooper quotesromantic quoteschild quotesridden quotesruperts quoteshorse quotessat quotescamp quotesfires quotesxanthusside quotesage quoteseyes quotesdry quotessave quotespoetry quotesstoic quotesredskin quotesinterlude quotesschools quotesintroduce quotesfastflowing quotestears quotesman quoteswept quoteshenrys quotesspeech quotesst quotescrispins quotesday quotesepitaph quotesthermopylae quoteshistory quotestaught quotesbattles quotesprofusion quotesdetail quoteshumane quoteslegislation quotesrecent quotesindustrial quoteschange quotesgallipoli quotesbalaclava quotesquebec quoteslepanto quotesbannockburn quotesroncevales quotesmarathon quotesbattle quoteswest quotesarthur quotesfell quoteshundred quotesnames quotestrumpetnotes quotessere quoteslawless quotesstate quotescalled quotesirresistibly quotesintervening quotesyears quotesclarity quotesstrength quotesboyhood quotessounded quotesvain quoteshooper quotes
It [being very rich] used to worry me, and I thought it wrong to have so many beautiful things when others had nothing. Now I realize that it is possible for the rich to sin by coveting the privileges of the poor. The poor have always been the favourites of God and his saints, but I believe that is is one of the special achievements of Grace to sanctify the whole of life, riches included.
rich quotesworry quotesthought quoteswrong quotesbeautiful quotesthings quotesrealize quotesrich quotessin quotescoveting quotesprivileges quotespoor quotespoor quotesfavourites quotesgod quotessaints quotesspecial quotesachievements quotesgrace quotessanctify quoteslife quotesriches quotesincluded quotes
We, Seth, Emperor of Azania, Chief of the Chiefs of Sakuyu, Lord of Wanda and Tyrant of the Seas, Bachelor of the Arts of Oxford University, being in this the twenty-fourth year of our life, summoned by the wisdom of Almighty God and the unanimous voice of our people to the throne of our ancestors, do hereby proclaim...
seth quotesemperor quotesazania quoteschief quoteschiefs quotessakuyu quoteslord quoteswanda quotestyrant quotesseas quotesbachelor quotesarts quotesoxford quotesuniversity quotestwentyfourth quotesyear quoteslife quotessummoned quoteswisdom quotesalmighty quotesgod quotesunanimous quotesvoice quotespeople quotesthrone quotesancestors quotesproclaim quotes
You know, " he added reflectively, "we've got a much easier job now than we should have had fifty years ago. If we'd had to modernise a country then it would have meant constitutional monarchy, bicameral legislature, proportional representation, women's suffrage, independent judicature, freedom of the press, referendums... " "What is all that?" asked the Emperor. "Just a few ideas that have ceased to be modern.
added quotesreflectively quoteseasier quotesjob quotesfifty quotesyears quotesago quotesmodernise quotescountry quotesmeant quotesconstitutional quotesmonarchy quotesbicameral quoteslegislature quotesproportional quotesrepresentation quoteswomens quotessuffrage quotesindependent quotesjudicature quotesfreedom quotespress quotesreferendums quotesasked quotesemperor quotesideas quotesceased quotesmodern quotes
The way ran zigzag through a forest of pine which the bitter wind, still that morning, had turned to ice; every bough was adorned with lines of stalactite which shivered and glittered in the morning sun; every needle had a brilliant, vitreous case and when she flicked her whip at a wayside shrub she brought down a tinkling shower of ice-leaves, each the veined impression of its crisp, green counterpart.
ran quoteszigzag quotesforest quotespine quotesbitter quoteswind quotesmorning quotesturned quotesice quotesbough quotesadorned quoteslines quotesstalactite quotesshivered quotesglittered quotesmorning quotessun quotesneedle quotesbrilliant quotesvitreous quotescase quotesflicked quoteswhip quoteswayside quotesshrub quotesbrought quotestinkling quotesshower quotesiceleaves quotesveined quotesimpression quotescrisp quotesgreen quotescounterpart quotes
I knew it all, the whole drab compass of marital disillusion; we had been through it together, the Army and I, from the first importunate courtship until now, when nothing remained to us except the chill bonds of law and duty and custom. I had played every scene in the domestic tragedy, had found the early tiffs become more frequent, the tears less affecting, the reconciliations less sweet, till they engendered a mood of aloofness and cool criticism, and the growing conviction that it was not myself but the loved one who was at fault. I caught the false notes in her voice and learned to listen for them apprehensively; I recognized the blank, resentful stare of incomprehension in her eyes, and the selfish, hard set of the corners of her mouth. I learned her, as one must learn a woman one has kept house with, day in, day out, for three and a half years; I learned her slatternly ways, the routine and mechanism of her charm, her jealousy and self-seeking, and her nervous trick with the fingers when she was lying. She was stripped of all enchantment now and I knew her for an uncongenial stranger to whom I had bound myself indissolubly in a moment of folly.
knew quotesdrab quotescompass quotesmarital quotesdisillusion quotesarmy quotesimportunate quotescourtship quotesremained quoteschill quotesbonds quoteslaw quotesduty quotescustom quotesplayed quotesscene quotesdomestic quotestragedy quotesfound quotesearly quotestiffs quotesfrequent quotestears quotesaffecting quotesreconciliations quotessweet quotestill quotesengendered quotesmood quotesaloofness quotescool quotescriticism quotesgrowing quotesconviction quotesloved quotesfault quotescaught quotesfalse quotesnotes quotesvoice quoteslearned quoteslisten quotesapprehensively quotesrecognized quotesblank quotesresentful quotesstare quotesincomprehension quoteseyes quotesselfish quoteshard quotesset quotescorners quotesmouth quoteslearn quoteswoman quoteshouse quotesday quoteshalf quotesyears quotesslatternly quotesways quotesroutine quotesmechanism quotescharm quotesjealousy quotesselfseeking quotesnervous quotestrick quotesfingers quoteslying quotesstripped quotesenchantment quotesuncongenial quotesstranger quotesbound quotesindissolubly quotesmoment quotesfolly quotes
Oh, why did nobody warn me?" cried Grimes in agony. "I should have been told. They should have told me in so many words. They should have warned me about Flossie, not about the fires of hell. I've risked them, and I don't mind risking them again, but they should have told me about marriage. They should have told me that at the end of that gay journey and flower-strewn path were the hideous lights of home and the voices of children.
warn quotescried quotesgrimes quotesagony quotestold quotestold quoteswords quoteswarned quotesflossie quotesfires quoteshell quotesrisked quotesmind quotesrisking quotesmarriage quotesend quotesgay quotesjourney quotesflowerstrewn quotespath quoteshideous quoteslights quoteshome quotesvoices quoteschildren quotes
I was thinking about honour. It's a thing that changes doesn't it? I mean, a hundred and fifty years ago we would have had to fight if challenged. Now we'd laugh. There must have been a time when it was rather an awkward question." "Yes. Moral theologians were never able to stop dueling - it took democracy to do that." "And in the next war, when we are completely democratic, I expect that it will be quite honourable for officers to leave their men behind. It'll be laid down in King's Regulations as their duty- to keep a cadre going to train new men to take the place of prisoners." "Perhaps men wouldn't take too kindly to being trained by deserters." "Don't you think that they'd respect them more for being fly? I reckon our trouble is that we're in the awkward stage - like a man challenged to a duel a hundred years ago.
thinking quoteshonour quotesthing quoteshundred quotesfifty quotesyears quotesago quotesfight quoteschallenged quoteslaugh quotestime quotesawkward quotesquestion quotesmoral quotestheologians quotesstop quotesdueling quotesdemocracy quoteswar quotescompletely quotesdemocratic quotesexpect quoteshonourable quotesofficers quotesleave quotesmen quoteslaid quoteskings quotesregulations quotesduty quotescadre quotestrain quotesplace quotesprisoners quoteskindly quotestrained quotesdeserters quotesrespect quotesfly quotesreckon quotestrouble quotesstage quotesman quoteschallenged quotesduel quotesago quotes
The langour of Youth - how unique and quintessential it is! How quickly, how irrecoverably, lost! The zest, the generous affections, the illusions, the despair, all the traditional attributes of Youth - all save this come and go with us through life... These things are a part of life itself; but languor - the relaxation of yet unwearied sinews, the mind sequestered and self-regarding, the sun standing still in the heavens and the earth throbbing to our own pulse - that belongs to Youth alone and dies with it.
langour quotesyouth quotesunique quotesquintessential quotesquickly quotesirrecoverably quoteslost quoteszest quotesgenerous quotesaffections quotesillusions quotesdespair quotestraditional quotesattributes quotessave quoteslife quotesthings quotespart quoteslife quoteslanguor quotesrelaxation quotesunwearied quotessinews quotesmind quotessequestered quotesselfregarding quotessun quotesstanding quotesheavens quotesearth quotesthrobbing quotespulse quotesbelongs quotesdies quotes
Two wives despaired of him, ' he said. 'When he got engaged to Sylvia, she made it a condition that he should take the cure at Zurich. And it worked. He came back in three months a different man. And he hasn't touched a drop since, even though Sylvia walked out on him.' 'Why did she do that?' Well, poor Charlie got rather a bore when he stopped drinking. But that's not really the point of the story.
wives quotesdespaired quotes quoteswhen quotesengaged quotessylvia quotesmade quotescondition quotescure quoteszurich quotesworked quotesback quotesmonths quotesman quotestouched quotesdrop quotessylvia quoteswalked quoteshim quoteswhy quotesthat quotespoor quotescharlie quotesbore quotesstopped quotesdrinking quotespoint quotesstory quotes
Don't give your opinions about Art and the Purpose of Life. They are of little interest and, anyway, you can't express them. Don't analyze yourself. Give the relevant facts and let your readers make their own judgments. Stick to your story. It is not the most important subject in history but it is one about which you are uniquely qualified to speak.
Oxford, in those days, was still a city of aquatint. In her spacious and quiet streets men walked and spoke as they had done in Newman's day; her autumnal mists, her grey springtime, and the rare glory of her summer days - such as that day - when the chestnut was in flower and the bells rang out high and clear over her gables and cupolas, exhaled the soft airs of centuries of youth. It was this cloistral hush which gave our laughter its resonance, and carried it still, joyously, over the intervening clamour.
oxford quotesdays quotescity quotesaquatint quotesspacious quotesquiet quotesstreets quotesmen quoteswalked quotesspoke quotesnewmans quotesday quotesautumnal quotesmists quotesgrey quotesspringtime quotesrare quotesglory quotessummer quotesdays quotesday quoteschestnut quotesflower quotesbells quotesrang quoteshigh quotesclear quotesgables quotescupolas quotesexhaled quotessoft quotesairs quotescenturies quotesyouth quotescloistral quoteshush quotesgave quoteslaughter quotesresonance quotescarried quotesjoyously quotesintervening quotesclamour quotes
Civilization - and by this I do not mean talking cinemas and tinned food, nor even surgery and hygienic houses, but the whole moral and artistic organization of Europe - has not in itself the power of survival. It came into being through Christianity, and without it has no significance or power to command allegiance ... It is no longer possible, as it was in the time of Gibbon, to accept the benefits of civilization and at the same time deny the supernatural basis on which it rests ... Christianity ... is in greater need of combative strength than it has been for centuries.
civilization quotestalking quotescinemas quotestinned quotesfood quotessurgery quoteshygienic quoteshouses quotesmoral quotesartistic quotesorganization quoteseurope quotespower quotessurvival quoteschristianity quotessignificance quotescommand quotesallegiance quoteslonger quotestime quotesgibbon quotesaccept quotesbenefits quotescivilization quotesdeny quotessupernatural quotesbasis quotesrests quoteschristianity quotesgreater quotescombative quotesstrength quotescenturies quotes