The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.
The greatest gift is a passion for reading.
Adversity is a great teacher, but this teacher makes us pay dearly for its instruction; and often the profit we derive, is not worth the price we paid.
Books give not wisdom where none was before. But where some is, there reading makes it more.
Sometimes one has the feeling of an almost supernatural character to the shifts and changes in our national mood. They appear beyond the prose of cause and effect ...
The famous carry about with them a great weight of patriarchal baggage-the footnotes of their lives.
The private and serious drama of guilt is not often a useful one for fiction today and its disappearance, following perhaps the disappearance from life, appears as a natural, almost unnoticed relief, like some of the challenging illnesses wiped out by drug and vaccines.
The future may be an enemy. Time can turn happy days and nights into nothing.
History ... with its long, leisurely, gentlemanly labors, the books arriving by post, the cards to be kept and filed, the sections to be copied, the documents to be checked, is the ideal pursuit for the New England mind.
Memory - the very skin of life.
Since films and television have staged everything imaginable before it happens, a true event, taking place in the real world, brings to mind the landscape of films.
Self-love is an idolatry. Self-hatred is a tragedy.
Flattery is a challenge. The proper turning away from it, undercutting, diminishing it without offense or vehemence, is a social grace sweeter even than the swift determination to keep ahead in the race of hospitality.
In the long run wives are to be paid in a peculiar coin — consideration for their feelings. As it usually turns out this is an enormous, unthinkable inflation few men will remit, or if they will, only with a sense of being overcharged.
Sentences in which I have tried for a certain light tone -- many of those have to do with events, upheavals, destructions that caused me to weep like a child.
The fifties - they seem to have taken place on a sunny afternoon that asked nothing of you except a drifting belief in the moment and its power to satisfy.
The language of the younger generation has the brutality of the city and an assertion of threatening power at hand, not to come. It is military, theatrical, and at its most coherent probably a lasting repudiation of empty courtesy and bureaucratic euphemism.
Canadians, do not vomit on me!
It is June. This is what I have decided to do with my life just now. I will do this work and lead this life, the one I am leading today. Each morning the blue clock and the crocheted bedspread, the table with the Phone, the books and magazines, the Times at the door.
Now, my novel begins. No, now I begin my novel—and yet I cannot decide whether to call myself I or she.
While you are living, part of you has slipped away to the cemetery.
They had created themselves together, and they always saw themselves, their youth, their love, their lost youth and lost love, their failures and memories, as a sort of living fiction.
How certain human beings are able to create works of art is a mystery, and why they should wish to do so, at a great cost to themselves usually, is another mystery. Works are not created by one's life; every life is rich in material.
Making a living is nothing; the great difficulty is making a point, making a difference-with words.
Houses of evil similarity appeared like rows of disciplined, humiliated orphans.
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