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Anita Brookner quotes (showing 1-30 of 34)

“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
tags: women
“Dr Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature”
Anita Brookner, A Start In Life
“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.'

'You are a romantic, Edith,' repeated Mr Neville, with a smile.

'It is you who are wrong,' she replied. 'I have been listening to that particular accusation for most of my life. 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
“Problems of human behavior still continue to baffle us, but at least in the Library we have them properly filed.”
Anita Brookner
“I suppose what one wants really is ideal company and books are ideal company.”
Anita Brookner
“A woman owes it to herself to have pretty things. And if she feels good she looks good.

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. My idea of absolute happiness is to sit in a hot garden all day, reading or writing, utterly safe in the knowledge that the person I love will come home to me in the evening. Every evening. I am not a romantic. I am a domesticated 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
“The essence of romantic love is that wonderful beginning, after which sadness and impossibility may become the rule.

Anita Brookner
“In real life, of course, it is the hare that wins. Every time. Look around you.”
Anita Brookner
“That sun, that light had faded, and she had faded with them. Now she was as grey as the season itself.”
Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
“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
“And without understanding, could each properly love the other?”
Anita Brookner, Latecomers
“You never know what you will learn till you start writing. Then you discover truths you never knew existed.


Anita Brookner
“Real love is a pilgrimage. It happens when there is no strategy, but it is very rare because most people are strategists”
Anita Brookner
“For once a thing is known, it can never be unknown. It can only be forgotten.”
Anita Brookner, Look at Me
“[…] 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
“[...] death is only a small interruption.”
Anita Brookner, Latecomers
tags: death
“[…] as if the next thing must quickly come along to occupy her, or the abyss might open. What abyss? The abyss that waits for all of us, when all our actions seem futile, when the ability to fill the day seems stalled, and the waiting takes on an edge of dread. ”
Anita Brookner, Latecomers
“The evening passes somehow; I watch television with Nancy, or I write. It is difficult, not having a family, and it is difficult to explain. I always go to bed early. And I am always ready for Monday morning, that time that other people dread.”
Anita Brookner, Look at Me
“Literature for me was a magnificent destiny for which I was not yet fully prepared. 76”
Anita Brookner, A Family Romance
“ Siz bir romantiksiniz, Edith," diyerek sözünü yineledi Mr.Neville gülümseyerek.
"Yanılan sizsiniz," diye yanıtladı Edith. "Ömrüm boyunca bu suçlamayı dinledim durdum.Romantik değilim ben.Ben, evcil bir hayvanım. Ahlayıp ohlayıp taşkın tutku gösterilerinin, büyük aşkların özlemini çekmiyorum, aşk için dünyayı hepten gözden çıkarmıyorum. Bütün bunları biliyorum ve bunun insanı yapayalnız bıraktığını da biliyorum. Hayır, benim can attığım şey rutin yaşamın yalınlığı. Güzel bir havada kol kola bir akşam yürüyüşü.Bir iskambil oyunu. Gevezelik etmek. Bir yemeği birlikte hazırlamak”
Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
“I reminded myself of someone, but someone I had not seen for a long time.”
Anita Brookner, Brief Lives
“But it was a significant exercise, for it meant that I considered myself worthy, as I had never done before. That change in my consciousness was so bewildering that I looked back on my previous life with a sort of amazed pity. That narrowness, those scruples, that prolonged childhood... I even, and this is a great test, began to consider journeys I might make, for my own pleasure, without him. I had never been to Greece and I thought I might go now, some time soon. And I knew that if I went I should enjoy it, as I had never enjoyed a journey before. Because I should have James to come back to. By the very fact of his existence, he had given the validity to my entire future.”
Anita Brookner, Look at Me
“I could not, somehow, make contact with any familiar emotion. As I lingered in front of a lighted window, apparently beguiled by a pair of burgundy leather shoes, I could only identify a feeling of exclusion. I felt as if the laws of the universe no longer applied to me, since I was outside the normal frames of reference. A biological nonentity, to be phased out. And somewhere, intruding helplessly and to no avail into my consciousness, the anger of the underdog, plotting bloody revolution, plotting revenge.”
Anita Brookner, Look at Me
“As a devil's advocate Mr Neville was faultless. And yet, she knew, there was a flaw in his reasoning, just as there was a flaw in his ability to feel.”
Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
“[...] no man is free of his own history.”
Anita Brookner, Latecomers
tags: past
“Hartmann had the ideas and Fibich did the worrying: it suited them both perfectly.”
Anita Brookner, Latecomers
“Kavgalar tatlıya bağlanabilir, ama başkalarını mahcup düşürenler asla tümüyle unutulamaz.”
Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
“They sat islanded in their foreignness, irrelevant now that the holiday season had ended, anachronistic, outstaying their welcome, no longer necessary to anyone's plans. Priorities had shifted; the little town was settling down for its long uninterrupted hibernation. No one came here in the winter. The weather was too bleak, the snow too distant, the amenities too sparse to tempt visitors. And they felt that the backs of the residents had been turned on them with a sigh of relief, reminding them of their transitory nature, their fundamental unreality. And when Monica at last succeeded in ordering coffee, they still sat, glumly, for another ten minutes, before the busy waitress remembered their order.
'Homesick,' said Edith finally. 'Yes.' But she thought of her little house as if it had existed in another life, another dimension. She thought of it as something to which she might never return. The seasons had changed since she last saw it; she was no longer the person who could sit up in bed in the early morning and let the sun warm her shoulders and the light make her impatient for the day to begin. That sun, that light had faded, and she had faded with them. Now she was as grey as the season itself. She bent her head over her coffee, trying to believe that it was the steam rising from the cup that was making her eyes prick. This cannot go on, she thought.”
Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
“Biliyor musunuz," dedi Edith, on dakika süren sessiz inişten sonra, "Şu gülümsemenizi birazcık sevimsiz buluyorum."
Mr. Neville'in gülümsemesi yüzüne daha da yayıldı. "Beni daha iyi tanıdığınızda," dedi, "Gülümseyişimin gerçekte ne kadar sevimsiz olduğunu anlayacaksınız.”
Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
“I think that those few words were my greatest mistake.”
Anita Brookner, Brief Lives

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