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ANITA BROOKNER QUOTES

Writing has freed me from the despair of living.

ANITA BROOKNER, The Paris Review, fall 1987

Real love is a pilgrimage. It happens when there is no strategy, but it is very rare because most people are strategists.

ANITA BROOKNER, Women Writers Talk

You are wrong if you think you cannot live without love. I cannot live without it. I do not mean that I go into a decline, develop odd symptons, became a caricature. I mean that I cannot live well without it. I cannot think or act or speak or write or even dream with any kind of energy in the absence of love. I feel excluded from the living world. I become cold, fish-like, immobile. I implode.

ANITA BROOKNER, Hotel du Lac

Life is a pilgrimage and if you don’t play by the rules you don’t find the Road to Damascus, you find the Crown of Thorns.

ANITA BROOKNER, The Paris Review, fall 1987

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.

ANITA BROOKNER, A Friend from England

Time misspent in youth is sometimes all the freedom one ever has; that is why the gods are always young.

ANITA BROOKNER, A Misalliance

Romanticism is not just a mode; it literally eats into every life. Women will never get rid of just waiting for the right man.

ANITA BROOKNER, Women Writers Talk

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.

ANITA BROOKNER, Lewis Percy

The essence of romantic love is that wonderful beginning, after which sadness and impossibility may become the rule.

ANITA BROOKNER, A Friend from England

Nobody grows up. Everyone carries around all the selves that they have ever been, intact, waiting to be reactivated in moments of pain, of fear, of danger. Everything is retrievable, every shock, every hurt. But perhaps it becomes a duty to abandon the stock of time that one carries within oneself, to discard it in favour of the present, so that one’s embrace may be turned outwards to the world in which one has made one’s home.

ANITA BROOKNER, Latecomers

The truth I’m trying to convey is not a startling one, it is simply a peeling away of affectation. I use whatever gift I have to get behind the facade.

ANITA BROOKNER, The Paris Review, fall 1987

It seems to me that the English are never serious—they are flippant, complacent, ineffable, but never serious, which is sometimes maddening.

ANITA BROOKNER, The Paris Review, fall 1987

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.

ANITA BROOKNER, Hotel du Lac

The lessons taught in great books are misleading. The commerce in life is rarely so simple and never so just.

ANITA BROOKNER, Novelists in Interview

It was then that I saw the business of writing for what it truly was and is to me. It is your penance for not being lucky. It is an attempt to reach others and to make them love you. It is your instinctive protest, when you find you have no voice at the world's tribunals, and that no one will speak for you. I would give my entire output of words, past, present and to come, in exchange for easier access to the world, for permission to state "I hurt" or " I hate" or " I want". Or indeed, "Look at me". And I do not go back on this. For once a thing is known it can never be unknown. It can only be forgotten. And writing is the enemy of forgetfulness, or thoughtlessness. For the writer there is no oblivion. Only endless memory.

ANITA BROOKNER, Look at Me

I am not a romantic. I am a domestic animal. I do not sigh and yearn for extravagant displays of passion, for the grand affair, the world well lost for love. I know all that, and know that it leaves you lonely. No, what I crave is the simplicity of routine. An evening walk, arm in arm, in fine weather. A game of cards. Time for idle talk. Preparing a meal together.

ANITA BROOKNER, Hotel du Lac

You never know what you will learn till you start writing. Then you discover truths you never knew existed.

ANITA BROOKNER, attributed, Journal for You, 2003

To remain pure a novel has to cast a moral puzzle. Anything else is mere negotiation.

ANITA BROOKNER, The Paris Review, fall 1987

A man can go from being a lover to being a stranger in three moves flat ... but a woman under the guise of friendship will engage in acts of duplicity which come to light very much later. There are different species of self-justification.

ANITA BROOKNER, Novelists in Interview

Death is only a small interruption.

ANITA BROOKNER, Latecomers

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.

ANITA BROOKNER, Writers at Work

Good women always think it is their fault when someone else is being offensive. Bad women never take the blame for anything.

ANITA BROOKNER, Hotel du Lac

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.

ANITA BROOKNER, The Paris Review, fall 1987

No man is free of his own history.

ANITA BROOKNER, Latecomers

With men passion is all at the beginning and with women it is all along.

ANITA BROOKNER, The Paris Review, fall 1987

My idea of absolute happiness is to sit in a hot garden all, reading, or writing, utterly safe in the knowledge that the person I love will come home to me in the evening. Every evening.

ANITA BROOKNER, Hotel du Lac


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