Aphorisms are bad for novels. They stick in the reader’s teeth.
Chic is a convent for unloved women.
I remember a table in Barchester Towers that had more character than the combined heroes of three recent novels I’ve read.
It is one of the paradoxes of American literature that our writers are forever looking back with love and nostalgia at lives they couldn’t wait to leave.
Lapped in poetry, wrapped in the picturesque, armed with logical sentences and inalienable words.
People have no idea what a hard job it is for two writers to be friends. Sooner or later you have to talk about each other’s work.
Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city.
She has always ridden the passions as if they were a magnificent horse.
Such a fatigue of adjectives, a drone of alliterations, a huffing of hyphenated words hurdling the meter like tired horses. Such a faded upholstery of tears, stars, bells, bones, flood and blood…a thud of consonants in tongue, night, dark, dust, seed, wound and wind.
The contents of someone’s bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait.
The epic implications of being human end in more than this: We start our lives as if they were momentous stories, with a beginning, a middle and an appropriate end, only to find that they are mostly middles.
The more I like a book, the more slowly I read. this spontaneous talking back to a book is one of the things that makes reading so valuable.
The tension between “yes” and “no,” between “I can” and “I cannot,” makes us feel that, in so many instances, human life is an interminable debate with one’s self.
There is something about seeing real people on a stage that makes a bad play more intimately, more personally offensive than any other art form.
There was a time when we expected nothing of our children but obedience, as opposed to the present, when we expect everything of them but obedience.
To be misunderstood can be the writer’s punishment for having disturbed the reader’s peace. The greater the disturbance, the greater the possibility of misunderstanding.
We are all tourists in history, and irony is what we win in wars.
When friends stop being frank and useful to each other, the whole world loses some of its radiance.
When Harriet goes to bed with a man, she always takes her wet blanket with her.
Anger and hatred lead to fear; compassion and concern for others allow us to develop self-confidence, which breeds trust and friendship.Dalai Lama