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Alan Hollinghurst quotes (showing 1-30 of 42)

“He wanted pure compliments, just as he wanted unconditional love.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“The worse they are the more they see beauty in each other.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“...all his longings came out as a kind of disdain for what he longed for.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“It was the time of year when the atmosphere streamed with unexpected hints and memories, and a paradoxical sense of renewal.”
Alan Hollinghurst
“she kept sliding down, in small half-willing surrenders, till she was a heap, with the book held tiringly above her face.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger's Child
“Now he had chanced on one of he standard hard-on sessions of the shower, as on both sides of him and across the room three queens sported horizontal members which they turned around from time to time to conceal or display, barely exchanging looks as they resolved. The old men took no interest in this activity, knowing perhaps from long experience that it rarely meant anything or led anywhere, was a brief and helpless surrender to the forcing-house of the shower. In a few seconds the hard-on might pass from one end of the room to the other with the foolish perfection of a Busby Berkeley routine.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Swimming-Pool Library
“There was the noise itself, which he thought of vaguely as the noise of classical music, sameish and rhetorical, full of feelings people surely never had”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger's Child
tags: music
“All families are silly in their own way.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
tags: parody
“To apologize for what you most wanted to do, to concede that it was obnoxious, boring, 'vulgar and unsafe' --- that was the worst thing.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“The pursuit of love seemed to need the cultivation of indifference.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“Nick felt a tear rise to his eye at the thought of the child's utter innocence of hangovers.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
tags: humor
“Delight is délice, délit is a misdemeanour'
'Well, it's bloody close...'
'Well, they often are....”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“I like things to reverberate, to be suggestive.”
Alan Hollinghurst
“On the stairs he was crying so much he hardly saw where he was going - not a mad boo-hoo but wailing sheets of tears, shaken into funny groans by the bump of each step as he hurried down.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger's Child
“...but he felt the relief of being alone as well...the forgotten solitude which measures and verifies the strength of an affair, and which, being temporary, is a kind of pleasure.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“He somehow saw that to her being drunk had its whole long sentimental history, whereas to him it was a freakish novelty.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger's Child
“Ricky clearly never hurried, he was his own lazy happening.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“She felt that at some point she must finally and formally talk to Louisa about Hubert, and ask her to acknowledge that the worst possible thing had happened to her as well.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger's Child
tags: grief
“After that they browsed for a minute or two in a semi-detached fashion. Nick found a set of Trollope which had a relatively modest and approachable look among the rest, and took down The Way We Live Now, with an armorial bookplate, the pages uncut. “What have you found there?” said Lord Kessler, in a genially possessive tone. “Ah, you’re a Trollope man, are you?”

“I’m not sure I am, really,” said Nick. “I always think he wrote too fast. What was it Henry James said, about Trollope and his ‘great heavy shovelfuls of testimony to constituted English matters’?”

Lord Kessler paid a moment’s wry respect to this bit of showing off, but said, “Oh, Trollope’s good. He’s very good on money.”

“Oh…yes…” said Nick, feeling doubly disqualified by his complete ignorance of money and by the aesthetic prejudice which had stopped him from ever reading Trollope. “To be honest, there’s a lot of him I haven’t yet read.”

“No, this one is pretty good,” Nick said, gazing at the spine with an air of judicious concession. Sometimes his memory of books he pretended to have read became almost as vivid as that of books he had read and half forgotten, by some fertile process of auto-suggestion. He pressed the volume back into place and closed the gilded cage.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“I can’t bear the smell of cigars, can you?” said Lady Partridge.

“Lionel hates it too,” murmured Rachel. As did Nick, to whom the dry lavatorial stench of cigars signified the inexplicable confidence of other men’s tastes and habits, and their readiness to impose them on their fellows.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
tags: cigars, men
“ 'Can't really say?' Nick said, and heard, as he sometimes did, his own father's note of evasive sympathy. It was how his family sidled round its various crises; nothing was named, and you never knew for sure if the tone was subtly comprehensive, or just a form of cowardice.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“What the problem was was this colossal redundancy, the squandering of brilliant technique on cheap material, ...”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“You can drive, Nick,' and threw them over to him. It was typical of Wani to dress up a command
as a treat.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“Paul was blandness itself, just tinged with pink.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger's Child
“They had kissed the first time they did coke together, their first kiss, Wani’s mouth sour with wine, his tongue darting, his eyes timidly closed. Each time after that was a re-enactment of a thrilling beginning. Anything seemed possible – the world was not only doable, conquerable, but lovable: it showed its weaknesses and you knew it would submit to you. You saw your own charm reflected in its eyes. Nick stood and kissed Wani in the middle of the room – two or three heavenly minutes that had been waiting to happen, a glowing collision, a secret rift in the end of the day.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty: Picador Classic
“And something else came back, from that later first morning at Kensington Park Gardens: a sense that the house was not only an enhancement of Toby's interest but a compensation for his lack of it.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“...like the roses and begonias they seemed to take and hold the richly filtered evening light.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
“She felt something similar, but worse in a way, about hundreds and hundreds of books she’d read, novels, biographies, occasional books, about music and art—she could remember nothing about them at all, so that it seemed rather pointless even to say that she had read them; such claims were things people set great store by but she hardly supposed they recalled any more than she did. Sometimes a book persisted as a coloured shadow at the edge of sight, as vague and unrecapturable as something seen in the rain from a passing vehicle; looked at directly it vanished altogether. Sometimes there were atmospheres, even the rudiments of a scene; a man in an office looking over Regent’s Park, rain in the street outside—a little blurred etching of a situation she would never, could never, trace back to its source in a novel she had read some time, she thought, in the past thirty years.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger's Child
“And going into the showers I saw a suntanned young lad in pale blue trunks that I rather liked the look of.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Swimming-Pool Library
“He thought other resourceful people would have come, over the years, to look at it, and that the house would wear its own mild frown of self-regard, a certain half-friendly awareness of being admired. It would live up to its fame. But really there was nothing to see. The upstairs windows seemed to ponder blankly on the reflections of clouds.”
Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger's Child

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