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Transcription Transcription by Kate Atkinson
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“Do not equate nationalism with patriotism... Nationalism is the first step on the road to Fascism.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“The future was coming nearer, one relentless goose step after the next. Juliet could still remember when Hitler had seemed like a harmless clown. No one was amused now. (“The clowns are the dangerous ones,” Perry said.)”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“The world is a comedy to those that think; a tragedy to those that feel,”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“[…] but her mother's death had revealed that there was no metaphor too ostentatious for grief. It was a terrible thing and demanded embellishment.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“Choice, it seemed, was one of the first casualties of war.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“The blame generally has to fall somewhere, Miss Armstrong. Women and the Jews tend to be first in line, unfortunately.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“Human nature favors the tribal. Tribalism engenders violence. It was ever thus and so it will ever be.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“Why was it that the females of the species were always the ones left to tidy up, she wondered? I expect Jesus came out of the tomb...and said to his mother, "Can you tidy it up a bit back there?”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“Juliet felt slighted yet relieved. It was curious how you could hold two quite opposing feelings at the same time, an unsettling emotional discord. She felt an odd pang at the sight of him. She had been fond of him. She had been his girl. Reader, I didn’t marry him, she thought.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“Perhaps sex was something you had to learn and then stick at until you were good at it, like hockey or the piano. But an initial lesson would be helpful.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“Juliet and Hartley had long ago abandoned manners with each other. It was refreshing to behave without respect towards someone.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“People always said they wanted the truth, but really they were perfectly content with a facsimile.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“...it had probably been a long enough life. Yet suddenly it all seemed like an illusion, a dream that had happened to someone else. What an odd thing existence was.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“He was the perfect gentleman and, unlike the salesmen in the Fitzrovia hotel, there were no attempts at fumbling—in fact they often performed an awkward little dance around their small office to avoid touching at all, as if Juliet were a desk or a chair, not a girl in her prime. It seemed that she had acquired all the drawbacks of being a mistress and none of the advantages—like sex. (She was becoming bolder with the word, if not the act.) For Perry, it seemed to be the other way round—he had all the advantages of having a mistress and none of the drawbacks. Like sex.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“but her mother’s death had revealed that there was no metaphor too ostentatious for grief. It was a terrible thing and demanded embellishment.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“he had a firm voice, a nice low register that spoke of both kindness and unassailable authority, which seemed the perfect combination in a man—in the romance novels her mother had been fond of, anyway”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“It was the war, Juliet thought, remembering the photograph of the flamingo’s creased wife, it has made refugees of us all.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“Juliet sighed and wondered if one day she would think herself to death. Was that possible? And would it be painful?”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“Being flippant was harder work than being earnest”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“As the first clod of earth hit her mother’s coffin, Juliet could barely catch a breath. Her mother would suffocate beneath all that earth, she thought, but Juliet was suffocating too. An image came to her mind—the martyrs who were pressed to death by stones piled on top of them. That is me, she thought, I am crushed by loss. “Don’t seek out elaborate metaphors,” her English teacher had said of her school essays, but her mother’s death had revealed that there was no metaphor too ostentatious for grief. It was a terrible thing and demanded embellishment.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“not so much an agent provocateur as an agent passif, if such a thing could be said to exist. (“Sometimes,” Perry said, “saying nothing can be your strongest weapon.”)”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“The brooding landscape they were currently traversing, the lowering sky above their heads and the rugged terrain beneath their feet, were all conspiring to make her feel like an unfortunate Brontë sister, traipsing endlessly across the moors after unobtainable fulfillment. Perry himself was not entirely without Heathcliffian qualities—the absence of levity, the ruthless disregard for a girl’s comfort, the way he had of scrutinizing you as if you were a puzzle to be solved. Would he solve her? Perhaps she wasn’t complicated enough for him. (On the other hand, perhaps she was too complicated.)”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“It had been a while since Juliet had shared her bed with anyone. There had been a few, but she thought of them as mistakes rather than lovers,”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“The beauty of the pearl was just the poor oyster trying to protect itself from the grit. From the truth...”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“I need to talk to you.” “People always say that,” Hartley said grimly, “but usually what they need is not to talk.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“No one was amused now. (‘The clowns are the dangerous ones,’ Perry said.)”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“If he turned round suddenly and caught her—like a game of statues—she could say she was going to Harrods.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director General. It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“The war had been a tide that had receded and now here it was lapping around her ankles again.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription
“her. It was a cruel thing, trying to sprout and find the light of day. It was truth. She wasn’t sure that she wanted it.”
Kate Atkinson, Transcription

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