Quotes from The Virgin in the Garden

A.S. Byatt ·  428 pages

Rating: (2.7K votes)

“Lists are a form of power.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from The Virgin in the Garden

“...it is not possible to create the opposite of what one has always known, simply because the opposite is believed to be desired. Human beings need what they already know, even horrors.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from The Virgin in the Garden

“There was a moment during this time, when his face was on hers, cheek on cheek, brow on brow, heavy skull on skull, through soft skin and softer flesh. He thought: skulls separate people. In this one sense, I could say, they would say, I lose myself in her. But in that bone box, she thinks and thinks, as I think in mine, things the other won't hear, can't hear, though we go on like this for sixty years. What does she think I am? He had no idea. He had no idea what she was.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from The Virgin in the Garden

“A metamorphosis... The shining butterfly of the soul from the pupa of the body. Larva, pupa, imago. An image of art.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from The Virgin in the Garden

“Those words . . . national and portrait. They were both to do with identity: the identity of a culture (place, language and history), the identity of an individual human being as an object for mimetic representation.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from The Virgin in the Garden

“Contemporary' was in those days [1953] synonymous with 'modern' as it had not been before and is not now [1977].”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from The Virgin in the Garden

About the author

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