7+ quotes from Angels and Insects by A.S. Byatt

Quotes from Angels and Insects

A.S. Byatt ·  352 pages

Rating: (4.8K votes)


“She sat beside him on the bench, and her presence troubled him. He was inside the atmosphere, or light, or scent she spread, as a boat is inside the drag of a whirlpool, as a bee is caught in the lasso of perfume from the throat of a flower.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Angels and Insects


“The hands were ivory-coloured, the skin finely wrinkled everywhere, like the crust on a pool of wax, and under it appreared livid bruises, arthritic nodes, irregular tea-brown stains. ...The flesh under the horny nails was candlvwax-coloured, and bloodless.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Angels and Insects


“You are accompanied through life, Emily Jesse occasionally understood, not only by the beloved and accusing departed, but by your own ghost too, also accusing, also unappeased.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Angels and Insects


“You wrote something easily in youth, and later you came to see how difficult it all was.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Angels and Insects


“On the first occasion Mrs Papagay had met her, there had been a discussion of the process of grief, and Mrs Jesse had nodded sagely, "I know that. I have felt that,' like a kind of tragic chorus. 'I have felt everything; I know everything. I don’t want any new emotion. I know what it is to feel like a stoan.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Angels and Insects


“And Swedenborg himself saw birds during his sojourns in the Spirit World and it was revealed to him that — in the Grand Man — rational concepts are seen as birds. Because the head corresponds to the heavens and the air. He actually experienced in his body the fall of certain angels who had formed wrong opinions in their community about thoughts and influx — he felt a terrible tremor in his sinews and bones — and saw one dark and ugly bird and two fine and beautiful. And these solid birds were the thoughts of the angels, as he saw them in the world of his senses, beautiful reasonings and ugly falses. For at every level everything corresponds, from the most purely material to the most purely divine in the Divine Human.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Angels and Insects


“ls the Conjugial Angel stone
That here he stands with heavy head
The backward-looking pillared dead
Inert, moss-covered, aIl alone?

The Holy Ghost trawls ln the Void,
With fleshly Sophy on His Hook
The Sons of God crowd round to look
At plumpy limbs to be enjoyed

The Greater Man casts out the line
With dangling Sophy as the lure
Who howls around the Heavens' colure
To clasp the Human Form Divine

Rose-petals fall from fallen hair
That in the clay is redolent
Of liquid oozings and the scent
Of the dark Pit, the Beastly lair

And is my Love become the beast
That was, and is not, and yet is,
Who stretches scarlet holes to kiss
And clasps with claws the fleshly feast

Sweet Rosamund, adult'rous Rose
May lie inside her urn and stink
Whlle Alfred's tears tum into ink
And drop into her quelque-chose

The Angel spreads his golden wings
And raises high his golden cock
And man and wife together lock
Into one corpse that moans and sings”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Angels and Insects


About the author

A.S. Byatt
Born place: in Sheffield, Yorkshire, The United Kingdom
Born date August 24, 1936
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