November 11, 2016

P. D. James Qutoes

“A man who lives with nature is used to violence and is companionable with death. There is more violence in an English hedgerow than in the meanest streets of a great city.”

“God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest.”

“Great literature cannot grow from a neglected or impoverished soil. Only if we actually tend or care will it transpire that every hundred years or so we might get a Middlemarch.”

“His sleep was a sensuous gluttony of oblivion.”

“Human kindness is like a defective tap, the first gush may be impressive but the stream soon dries up.”

“I believe that political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism.”

“I can understand the poor and stupid voting for Marxism or one of its fashionable variants. If you’ve no hope of being other than a slave, you may as well opt for the most efficient form of slavery.”

“I don’t think writers choose the genre, the genre chooses us. I wrote out of the wish to create order out of disorder, the liking of a pattern.”

“I find it extraordinary that a straightforward if inelegant device for ensuring the survival of the species should involve human beings in such emotional turmoil. Does sex have to be taken so seriously?”

“In 1930s mysteries, all sorts of motives were credible which aren’t credible today, especially motives of preventing guilty sexual secrets from coming out. Nowadays, people sell their guilty sexual secrets.”

“It was not… that she was unaware of the frayed and ragged edges of life. She would merely iron them out with a firm hand and neatly hem them down.”

“It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.”

“Jealousy, he thought, was as physical as fear; the same dryness of the mouth, the thudding heart, the restlessness which destroyed appetite and peace.”

“Life had taught him that the unforgivable was usually the most easily forgiven.”

“Metaphysical speculation is about as pointless as a discussion on the meaning of one’s lungs. They’re for breathing.”

“No one has it who isn’t capable of genuinely liking others, at least at the actual moment of meeting and speaking. Charm is always genuine; it may be superficial but it isn’t false.”

“There comes a time when every scientist, even God, has to write off an experiment.”

“We English are good at forgiving our enemies; it releases us from the obligation of liking our friends.”

“What a child doesn’t receive he can seldom later give.”

“What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order.”