Penelope Lively - Quotes

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I'm intrigued by the way in which physical appearance can often direct a person's life; things happen differently for a beautiful woman than for a plain one. ---->>>

Getting to know someone else involves curiosity about where they have come from, who they are. ---->>>

We make choices but are constantly foiled by happenstance. ---->>>

Equally, we require a collective past - hence the endless reinterpretations of history, frequently to suit the perceptions of the present. ---->>>

The Photograph is concerned with the power that the past has to interfere with the present: the time bomb in the cupboard. ---->>>

I'm not an historian but I can get interested - obsessively interested - with any aspect of the past, whether it's palaeontology or archaeology or the very recent past. ---->>>

We all need a past - that's where our sense of identity comes from. ---->>>

The pleasure of writing fiction is that you are always spotting some new approach, an alternative way of telling a story and manipulating characters; the novel is such a wonderfully flexible form. ---->>>

It seems to me that everything that happens to us is a disconcerting mix of choice and contingency. ---->>>

We read Greek and Norse mythology until it came out of our ears. And the Bible. ---->>>

All I know for certain is that reading is of the most intense importance to me; if I were not able to read, to revisit old favorites and experiment with names new to me, I would be starved - probably too starved to go on writing myself. ---->>>

I didn't think I had anything particular to say, but I thought I might have something to say to children. ---->>>

The consideration of change over the century is about loss, though I think that social change is gain rather than loss. ---->>>

You learn a lot, writing fiction. ---->>>

Deep down I have this atavistic feeling that really I should be in the country. ---->>>

I've always been fascinated by the operation of memory - the way in which it is not linear but fragmented, and its ambivalence. ---->>>

I have long been interested in landscape history, and when younger and more robust I used to do much tramping of the English landscape in search of ancient field systems, drove roads, indications of prehistoric settlement. ---->>>

It was a combination of an intense interest in children's literature, which I've always had, and the feeling that I'd just have a go and see if I could do it. ---->>>

There's a preoccupation with memory and the operation of memory and a rather rapacious interest in history. ---->>>

I'm now an agnostic but I grew up on the King James version, which I'm eternally grateful for. ---->>>

The present hardly exists, after all-it becomes the past even as it happens. A tricky medium, time - and central to the concerns of fiction. ---->>>

Every novel generates its own climate, when you get going. ---->>>

I rather like getting away from fiction. ---->>>

Conventional forms of narrative allow for different points of view, but for this book I wanted a structure whereby each of the main characters contributed a distinctive version of the story. ---->>>

I didn't want it to be a book that made pronouncements. ---->>>

I didn't write anything until I was well over 30. ---->>>

I do like to embed a fictional character firmly in an occupation. ---->>>

I have had to empty two family homes during the last few years - first, the house that had been my grandmother's since 1923, and then my own country home, which we had lived in for over twenty years. ---->>>

I'm not an historian and I'm not wanting to write about how I perceive the social change over the century as a historian, but as somebody who's walked through it and whose life has been dictated by it too, as all our lives are. ---->>>

I'm writing another novel and I know what I'm going to do after, which may be something more like this again, maybe some strange mixture of fiction and non-fiction. ---->>>

Since then, I have just read and read - but, that said, I suppose there is a raft of writers to whom I return again and again, not so much because I want to write like them, even if I were capable of it, but simply for a sort of stylistic shot in the arm. ---->>>

I can walk about London and see a society that seems an absolutely revolutionary change from the 1950s, that seems completely and utterly different, and then I can pick up on something where you suddenly see that it's not. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: English
Born: 03-17, 1933
Birthplace:
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Occupation: Author
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