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Edward St. Aubyn quotes (showing 1-30 of 136)

“People never remember happiness with the care that they lavish on preserving every detail of their suffering.”
Edward St. Aubyn
“No pain is too small if it hurts, but any pain is too big if it's cherished.”
Edward St. Aubyn
“Everything was usual. That was depression: being stuck, clinging to an out-of-date version of oneself.”
Edward St. Aubyn, The Patrick Melrose Novels
“Surely: the adverb of a man without an argument.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Bad News
“He found her pretty in a bewildered, washed-out way, but it was her restlessness that aroused him, the quiet exasperation of a woman who longs to throw herself into something significant, but cannot find what it is.”
Edward St. Aubyn, The Patrick Melrose Novels
“Looking after children can be a subtle way of giving up... They become the whole ones, the well ones, the postponement of happiness, the ones who won't drink too much, give up, get divorced, become mentally ill. The part of oneself that's fighting against decay and depression is transferred to guarding them from decay and depression. In the meantime one decays and gets depressed.”
Edward St. Aubyn, The Patrick Melrose Novels
“The best way to contradict him is to let him talk”
Edward St. Aubyn
“The idea that an afterlife had been invented to reassure people who couldn't face the finality of death was no more plausible than the idea that the finality of death had been invented to reassure people who couldn't face the nightmare of endless experience.”
Edward St. Aubyn
“He was just one of those Englishmen who was always saying silly things to sound less pompous, and pompous things to sound less silly.”
Edward St. Aubyn
“It seems people spend the majority of their lives believing they're dying, with the only consolation being that at one point they get to be right. ”
Edward St. Aubyn, Some Hope: A Trilogy
“The claim that every man kills the thing he loves seemed to him a wild guess compared with the near certainty of a man turning into the thing he hates.”
Edward St. Aubyn
“What could he do but accept the disturbing extent to which memory was fictional and hope that the fiction lay at the service of a truth less richly represented by the original facts?”
Edward St. Aubyn, The Patrick Melrose Novels
“At the beginning, there had been talk of using some of her money to start a home for alcoholics. In a sense they had succeeded.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Never Mind
“We are entering the Dark Ages, my friend, but this time there will be lots of neon, and screen savers, and street lighting.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Lost for Words
“The measure of a work of art is how much art it has in it, not how much ‘relevance’. Relevant to whom? Relevant to what? Nothing is more ephemeral than a hot topic.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Lost for Words
“In my rather brief medical practice,' said David modestly, 'I found that people spend their whole lives imagining they are about to die. Their only consolation is that one day they're right.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Never Mind
“Mind you, I don’t know why people get so fixated on happiness, which always eludes them, when there are so many other invigorating experiences available, like rage, jealousy, disgust, and so forth.” - Some Hope”
Edward St. Aubyn, Some Hope
“If you were madly in love, you’d want me to win,’ said Katherine.

“‘I’m not sure that’s true,’ said Sam. ‘I think love is about equality: both of us equally happy with either result. One-sided self-sacrifice is only enabling someone else’s egoism. Altruists always end up riddled with resentment, or if they make that last superhuman effort, with spiritual pride.’

“‘Oh,’ said Katherine, ‘you mean you’re not going to enable my egoism.’

“‘Okay, okay,’ said Sam ‘you’re right – love is doing everything you want all the time.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Lost for Words
“With her curling blond hair and her slender limbs and her beautiful clothes, Inez was alluring in an obvious way, and yet it was easy enough to see that her slightly protruding blue eyes were blank screens of self-love on which a small selection of fake emotions was allowed to flicker.”
Edward St. Aubyn, At Last
“Could one have a time-release epiphany, an epiphany without realizing it had happened? Or were they always trumpeted by angels and preceded by temporary blindness, Patrick wondered, as he walked down the corridor in the wrong direction.”
Edward St. Aubyn, The Patrick Melrose Novels
“Rome wasn’t deconstructed in a day.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Lost for Words
“Just as a novelist may sometimes wonder why he invents characters who do not exist and makes them do things which do not matter, so a philosopher may wonder why he invents cases that cannot occur in order to determine what must be the case.”
Edward St. Aubyn, The Patrick Melrose Novels
“It was never quite clear to Eleanor why the English thought it was so distinguished to have done nothing for a long time in the same place,”
Edward St. Aubyn, The Patrick Melrose Novels
“No, he mustn't think about it, or indeed about anything, and especially not about heroin, because heroin was the one thing that really worked, the only thing that stopped him scampering around in a hamster's wheel of unanswerable questions. Heroin was the cavalry. Heroin was the missing chair leg, made with such precision that it matched every splinter of the break. Heroin landed purring at the base of his skull, and wrapped itself darkly around his nervous system, like a black cat curling up on its favourite cushion. It was as soft and rich as the throat of a wood pigeon, or the splash of sealing wax onto a page, or a handful of gems slipping from palm to palm.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Bad News
“..."the waiting-room atmosphere in which death was the delayed train...”
Edward St. Aubyn
“Personally I think that competition should be encouraged in war and sport and business, but that it makes no sense in the arts. If an artist is good, nobody else can do what he or she does and therefore all comparisons are incoherent.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Lost for Words
“But that, after all, was the point of romantic folly. If it hadn’t all gone horribly wrong, it wouldn’t have been the real thing.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Lost for Words
“She was ghastly and quite mad, but when I grew up I figured her worst punishment was to be herself and I didn't have to do anything more.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Some Hope
“Nobody can find me here, he thought. And then he thought, what if nobody can find me here?”
Edward St. Aubyn
“Nothing so stubborn could change until it became more painful to avoid than to confront.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Lost for Words

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