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All Quotes by author - A. S. Byatt
" America is full of readers of all different sorts who love books in many different ways, and I keep meeting them. And I think editors should look after them, and make less effort to please people who don't actually like books. "
" As a little girl, I didn't like stories about little girls. I liked stories about dragons and beasts and princes and princesses and fear and terror and the Four Musketeers and almost anything other than nice little girls making moral decisions about whether to tell the teacher about what the other little girl did or did not do. "
" Books that change you, even later in life, give you a kind of electrical shock as the world takes a different shape. "
" Cyclists. I really hate them. I wish they would not be so self-righteous and realise they are a danger to pedestrians. I wish cyclists would not vindictively snap off wing mirrors on cars when they were trying to cross in front of the car at a danger to motorists and pedestrians. "
" Human beings love stories because they safely show us beginnings, middles and ends. "
" I acquired a hunger for fairy tales in the dark days of blackout and blitz in the Second World War. "
" I am a profound pessimist both about life and about human relations and about politics and ecology. Humans are inadequate and stupid creatures who sooner or later make a mess, and those who are trying to do good do a lot more damage than those who are muddling along. "
" I did a lot of my writing as though I was an academic, doing some piece of research as perfectly as possible. "
" I'd like to write the way Matisse paints. "
" I don't like gurus. I don't like people who ask you to follow or believe. I like people who ask you to think independently. "
" I don't understand why, in my work, writing is always so dangerous. It's very destructive. People who write books are destroyers. "
" If a novelist tells you something she knows or thinks, and you believe her, that is not because either of you think she is God, but because she is doing her work - as a novelist. "
" I grew up with that completely fictive idea of motherhood, where the mother never strayed from the kitchen. All the women in my books are very afraid that if they do anything with their minds they won't be complete women. I don't think my daughters' generation has that feeling. "
" I know that part of the reason I read Tolkien when I'm ill is that there is an almost total absence of sexuality in his world, which is restful. "
" In my mind's eye, Shakespeare is a huge, hot sea-beast, with fire in his veins and ice on his claws and inscrutable eyes, who looks like an inchoate hump under the encrustations of live barnacle-commentaries, limpets and trailing weeds. "
" I think that most of the children's writers live in the world that they've created, and their children are kind of phantoms that wander around the edge of it in the world, but actually the children's writers are the children. "
" I think the virtue I prize above all others is curiosity. If you look really hard at almost anybody, and try to see why they're doing what they're doing, taking a dig at them ceases to be what you want to do even if you hate them. "
" I watch a lot of sport on television. I only watch certain sports, and I only watch them live - I don't think I've ever been able to watch a replay of a match or game of which the result was already decided. I feel bound to cheat and look up what can be looked up. "
" My professional and human obsession is the nature of language, and my best relationships are with other writers. In many ways, I know George Eliot better than I know my husband. "
" Never stop paying attention to things. Never make your mind up finally. Do not hold beliefs. "
" On buses and trains, I always think about the inexhaustible variety of human genes. We see types, and occasionally twins, but never doubles. All faces are unique, and this is exhilarating, despite the increasingly plastic similarity of TV stars and actors. "
" Reading a newspaper is like reading someone's letters, as opposed to a biography or a history. The writer really does not know what will happen. A novelist needs to feel what that is like. "
" The more research you do, the more at ease you are in the world you're writing about. It doesn't encumber you, it makes you free. "
" The point of painting is not really deception or imitation. "
" We talk about feelings. And about sex. And about bodies, and their gratification, violation, repair, decoration, deferred, maybe permanently deferred, mortality. Feelings are a bodily thing, and respecting them is called, is, kindness. "
" You can understand a lot about yourself by working out which fairytale you use to present your world to yourself in. "
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