“We all have our moments of brilliance and glory, and this was mine.”
“When writing about oneself, one must strive to be truthful. Truth is more important than modesty.”
“An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details.”
“The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. He needs it. It happens to be a fact that nearly every writer of fiction in the world drinks more whisky than is good for him. He does it to give himself faith hope and courage. A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul and that I am sure is why he does it.”
“my candle burns at both ends it will not last the night but arh my friends and oh my foes it gives a lovely light”
“It is almost worth going away because it's so lovely coming back.”
“Do you wonder then that this man’s behaviour used to puzzle me tremendously? He was an ordinary clergyman at that time as well as being Headmaster, and I would sit in the dim light of the school chapel and listen to him preaching about the Lamb of God and about Mercy and Forgiveness and all the rest of it and my young mind would become totally confused. I knew very well that only the night before this preacher had shown neither Forgiveness nor Mercy in flogging some small boy who had broken the rules.
So what was it all about? I used to ask myself.
Did they preach one thing and practise another, these men of God?
And if someone had told me at the time that this flogging clergyman was one day to become the Archbishop of Canterbury, I would never have believed it.
It was all this, I think, that made me begin to have doubts about religion and even about God. If this person, I kept telling myself, was one of God’s chosen salesmen on earth, then there must be something very wrong about the whole business.”
“You must remember that there was virtually no air travel in the early 1930s. Africa was two weeks away from England by boat and it took you about five weeks to get to China. These were distant and magic lands and nobody went to them just for a holiday. You went there to work. Nowadays you can go anywhere in the world in a few hours and nothing is fabulous anymore.”
“Then there was a hard brown lozenge called the Tonsil Tickler. The Tonsil Tickler tasted and smelled very strongly of chloroform. We had not the slightest doubt that these things were saturated in the dreaded anaesthetic which, as Thwaites had many times pointed out to us, could put you to sleep for hours at a stretch. "If my father has to saw off somebody's leg," he said, "he pours chloroform on to a pad and the person sniffs it and goes to sleep and my father saws his leg off without him even feeling it."
"But why do they put it into sweets and sell them to us?" we asked him. You might think a question like this would have baffled Thwaites. But Thwaites was never baffled.
"My father says Tonsil Ticklers were invented for dangerous prisoners in jail," he said. "They give them one with each meal and the chloroform makes them sleepy and stops them rioting."
"Yes," we said, "but why sell them to children?"
"It's a plot," Thwaites said. "A grown-up plot to keep us quiet.”
“I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follow with fixed hours and a fixed salary and very little original thinking to do. The life of a writer is absolute hell compared with the life of a businessman. The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him. If he is a writer of fiction he lives in a world of fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not. Two hours of writing fiction leaves this particular writer absolutely drained. For those two hours he has been miles away, he has been somewhere else, in a different place with totally different people, and the effort of swimming back into normal surroundings is very great. It is almost a shock. The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. He needs it. It happens to be a fact that nearly every writer of fiction in the world drinks more whisky than is good for him. He does it to give himself faith, hope and courage. A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.”
“All grown-ups appear as giants to small children. But Headmasters (and policemen) are the biggest giants of all and acquire a marvellously exaggerated stature.”
“I usually carried with me six loaded plates, which allowed me only six exposures, so that clicking the shutter even once was a serious business that had to be carefully thought out beforehand.”
“Bütün büyükler çocuklara dev gibi görünürler.”
“Eve dönüşün keyfini çıkarmak için evden uzaklaşmaya değer.”
“Vaig començar a adonar-me que podia resultar molt senzilla, la vida, si s'entrava en una rutina regular, amb hores fixes, salari fix i poca necessitat de tenir idees originals. La vida d´un escriptor és l'infern, comparada amb la d'un executiu. L'escriptor s'ha de forçar a treballar. S'ha de fer l'horari, i si no s'asseu a la taula de treball ningú no l'esbronca. Viu en un món de temor. Cada dia exigeix idees noves, i no pot estar mai segur de si les podrà seguir o no. Dues hores d'escriure ficció el deixa completament sec. (....) La persona que vol ser escriptor és un beneit. L'única compensació és uqe té tota la llibertat. No té més amo que el seu propi esperit; i es per això que es fa escriptor, n'estic segur”
“As I unbutton him, I kiss his skin— warm, fragrant, smelling of soap, his expensive cologne and him. Done, I slip him out of the garment and lay over his heart which thuds heavy and deep beneath my breast. Except for my gossamer-thin robe, we're almost skin to skin.”
“The sort of decision arrived at by saints and madmen is not revealed to others. It is forged little by little, in the folds of the spirit, tangential to reason, shielded from indiscreet eyes, not seeking the approval of others—who would never grant it—until it is at last put into practice. I imagine that in the process—the conceiving of a project and its ripening into action—the saint, the visionary, or the madman isolates himself more and more, walling himself up in solitude, safe from the intrusion of others.”
“May 1976. I have had some manure delivered for the garden and, since the manure heap is not far from the van, Miss S. is concerned that people passing might think the smell is coming from there. She wants me to put a notice on the gate to the effect that the smell is the manure, not her. I say no, without adding, as I could, that the manure actually smells much nicer.
I am working in the garden when Miss B., the social worker, comes with a boxful of clothes.
Miss S. is reluctant to open the van door, as she is listening to 'Any Answers', but eventually she slides on her bottom to the door of the van and examines the clothes. She is unimpressed.
MISS S.: I only asked for one coat.
MISS B.: Well, I brought three just in case you wanted a change.
MISS S.: I haven't got room for three. Besides, I was planning to wash this coat in the near future. That makes four.
MISS B.: This is my old nursing mac.
MISS S.: I have a mac. Besides, green doesn't suit me. Have you got the stick?
MISS B.: No. That's being sent down. It made to be made specially.
MISS S.: Will it be long enough?
MISS B.: Yes. It's a special stick.
MISS S.: I don't want a special stick. I want an ordinary stick. Does it have a rubber thing on?”
“ASK any wise man what he most desires and he will, more than likely, say "more wisdom.”
“Consciousness is yours. Conscience is given by the society.”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.