No blame should attach to telling the truth. But it does, it does.
In real life, it is the hare who wins. Every time. Look around you. And in any case it is my contention that Aesop was writing for the tortoise market. Hares have no time to read. They are too busy winning the game.
Real love is a pilgrimage. It happens when there is no strategy, but it is very rare because most people are strategists.
It is my contention that Aesop was writing for the tortoise market. hares have no time to read.
Time misspent in youth is sometimes all the freedom one ever has.
Old men should have more care to end life well than to live long.
The lessons taught in great books are misleading. The commerce in life is rarely so simple and never so just.
A man of such obvious and exemplary charm must be a liar.
Writing novels preserves you in a state of innocence – a lot passes you by – simply because your attention is otherwise diverted.
Accountability in friendship is the equivalent of love without strategy.
All good fortune is a gift of the gods, and you don’t win the favor of the ancient gods by being good, but by being bold.
What is interesting about self-analysis is that it leads nowhere – it is an art form in itself.
You can never betray the people who are dead, so you go on being a public Jew; the dead can’t answer slurs, but I’m here. I would love to think that Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, but he doesn’t.
Existentialism is about being a saint without God; being your own hero, without all the sanction and support of religion or society.
Like many rich men, he thought in anecdotes; like many simple women, she thought in terms of biography.
A complete woman is probably not a very admirable creature. She is manipulative, uses other people to get her own way, and works within whatever system she is in.
Good women always think it is their fault when someone else is being offensive. Bad women never take the blame for anything.
It will be a pity if women in the more conventional mould are to be phased out, for there will never be anyone to go home to.
Great writers are the saints for the godless.
The essence of romantic love is that wonderful beginning, after which sadness and impossibility may become the rule.
In real life, of course, it is the hare that wins. Every time. Look around you.
You never know what you will learn till you start writing. Then you discover truths you never knew existed.
There are moments when you feel free, moments when you have energy, moments when you have hope, but you can’t rely on any of these things to see you through. Circumstances do that.
You have no idea how promising the world begins to look once you have decided to have it all for yourself. And how much healthier your decisions are once they become entirely selfish.
Life… is not simply a series of exciting new ventures. The future is not always a whole new ball game. There tends to be unfinished business. One trails all sorts of things around with one, things that simply won’t be got rid of.
I was a teacher most of my life, which I loved. I had a very happy working life, and when I retired, I thought I must do something, and I’ve always read a lot of fiction – you learn so much from fiction. My sentimental education came mostly from fiction, I should say, so I thought I’d try.
I’m not very popular, because they’re bleak and they’re mournful and all the rest of it and I get censorious reviews. But I’m only writing fiction. I’m not making munitions, so I think it’s acceptable.
I’ve never got on very well with Jane Austen.
I’m a middle-class, middle-brow novelist. And that’s it. It amuses me.
I was brought up to look after my parents. My family were Polish Jews, and we lived with my grandmother, with uncles and aunts and cousins all around, and I thought everybody lived like that.
I never learnt Hebrew because my health was fragile, and it was thought that learning Hebrew would be an added burden. I regret it, because I would like to be able to join in fully. Not that I am a believer, but I would like to be.
People say that I am always serious and depressing, but it seems to me that the English are never serious – they are flippant, complacent, ineffable, but never serious, which is sometimes maddening.
If I were happy, married with six children, I wouldn’t be writing. And I doubt if I should want to.