An aphorism is a generalization, therefore not modern.
People knew less of each other, and so were more individual. The entire world was not for them only a push or switch away. Strangers were strange, and sometimes with an exciting, beautiful strangeness. It may be better for humanity that we should communicate more and more. But I am a heretic, I thin
The more abhorrent a news item the more comforting it was to be the recipient, since the fact that it had happened elsewhere proved that it had not happened here, was not happening here, and would therefore never happen here.
Death is the room that is always empty.
I am going to explain to you why we went to war. Why mankind always does to war. It is not social or political. It is not countries that go to war, but men. It is like salt. Once one has been to war, one has salt for the rest of one's life. Men love war because it allows them to look serious. Becaus
You are like a porcupine. When the animal has its spines erect, it cannot eat. If you do not eat, you will starve. And your prickles will die with the rest of your body.
I knew I would always want to go on living with myself, however hollow I became, however diseased.
But however good you get at translating personality into line or paint it's no go if your personality isn't worth translating.
I do not plan my fiction any more than I normally plan woodland walks; I follow the path that seems most promising at any given point, not some itinerary decided before entry.
He felt himself in suspension between the two worlds, the warm, neat civilization behind his back, the cool, dark mystery outside. We all write poems; it is simply that poets are the ones who write in words.
The bowed head, the buried face. She is silent, she will never speak, never forgive, never reach a hand, never leave this frozen present tense. All waits, suspended. Suspended the autumn trees, the autumn sky, anonymous people. A blackbird, poor fool, sings out of season from the willows by the lake
The craving to risk death is our last great perversion. We come from night, we go into night. Why live in night?
People who teach you cram old ideas, old views, old ways, into you. Like covering plants with layer after layer of old earth; it's no wonder the poor things so rarely come up fresh and green.
The great majority of modern third-person narration is "I" narration very thinly disguised.
You must make, always. You must act, if you believe something. Talking about acting is like boasting about pictures you're going to paint. The most terrible bad form.
On the whole, dialogue is the most difficult thing, without any doubt. It's very difficult, unfortunately. You have to detach yourself from the notion of a lifelike quality. You see, actually lifelike, tape-recorded dialogue like this has very little to do with good novel dialogue. It's a matter of
Our present educational systems are all paramilitary. Their aim is to produce servants or soldiers who obey without question and who accepts their training as the best possible training. Those who are most successful in the state are those who have the most interest in prolonging the state as it is;
Medieval theologians used to dispute how the angels in the heaven spent their time, when not balancing on needle points and singing anthems to the Lord. I know. They slump glued to their clouds, glasses at the ready, as the Archangel Micheal (that well-known slasher) and stonewalling St Peter open a
I just think of things as beautiful or not. Can't you understand? I don't think of good or bad. Just of beautiful or ugly. I think a lot of nice things are ugly and a lot of nasty things are beautiful.
It came to meâ€¦that I didnâ€™t want to be anywhere else in the world at that moment, that what I was feeling at that moment justified all I had been through, because all I had been through was my being there. I was experiencingâ€¦a new self-acceptance, a sense that I had to be this mind and this bo
Men love war because it allows them to look serious. Because it is the one thing that stops women laughing at them.
Alive. Alive in the way that death is alive.
Wealth is a monster. It takes a month to learn to control it financially. And many years to learn to control it psychologically.
Between skin and skin, there is only light.
All pasts are like poems; one can derive a thousand things, but not live in them.
Ask me to marry you." "Will you marry me?" "No.
We talked for hours. He talked and I listened. It was like wind and sunlight. It blew all the cobwebs away.
He is solid; immovable, iron-willed. He showed me one day his killing bottle. I'm imprisoned in it. Fluttering against the glass. Because I can see through it I still think I can escape. I have hope. But it's all an illusion. A thick round wall of glass.
They looked down on her; and she looked up through them.
I must fight with my weapons. Not his. Not selfishness and brutality and shame and resentment.