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    p. d. james Quotes

    Early this morning, 1 January 2021, three minutes after midnight, the last human being to be born on earth was killed in a pub brawl in a suburb of Buenos Aires, aged twenty-five years, two months and twelve days.
    — P. D. James
    tags: human  earth  year 
     
    What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order.
    — P. D. James
    tags: murder  stories 
     
    Not so much two ships passing in the night as two ships sailing together for a time but always bound for different ports.
    — P. D. James
    tags: time  night 
     
    If our sex life were determined by our first youthful experiments, most of the world would be doomed to celibacy. In no area of human experience are human beings more convinced that something better can be had only if they persevere.
    — P. D. James
    tags: world  experience  human  sex  doomed 
     
    Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.
    — P. D. James
    tags: write  sell 
     
    In youth we take egregious risks because death has no reality for us. Youth goes caparisoned in immortality. It is only in middle age that we are shadowed by the awareness of the transitoriness of life.
    — P. D. James
    If this were fiction, could even the most brilliant novelist contrive to make credible so short a period in which pride had been subdued and prejudice overcome?
    — P. D. James
    tags: prejudice  fiction  pride 
     
    Don't just plan to write - write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.
    — P. D. James
    tags: dreaming  writing  write 
     
    The world is changed not by the self-regarding, but by men and women prepared to make fools of themselves.
    — P. D. James
    tags: men  women  world  fools 
     
    Work did bestow dignity, status, meaning. Wasn't that why people dreaded unemployment, why some men found retirement so traumatic?
    — P. D. James
    tags: men  people  work  meaning  dignity 
     
    The modern holy trinity is money, sex and celebrity.
    — P. D. James
    tags: celebrity  sex  holy  money 
     
    We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it.
    — P. D. James
    tags: world  language  respect  write 
     
    Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other ­people. Nothing that happens to a writer " however happy, however tragic " is ever wasted.
    — P. D. James
    tags: experience  mind 
     
    Man is diminished if he lives without knowledge of his past; without hope of a future he becomes a beast.
    — P. D. James
    tags: men  live  future  hope 
     
    A politician is required to listen to humbug, talk humbug, condone humbug. The most we can hope for is that we don't actually believe it.
    — P. D. James
    tags: believe  hope 
     
    Authors always take rejection badly. They equate it with infanticide.
    — P. D. James
    tags: author 
     
    We can experience nothing but the present moment, live in no other second of time, and to understand this is as close as we can get to eternal life.
    — P. D. James
    I knew the facts of death before I knew the facts of life. There never was a time when I didn't see the skull beneath the skin.
    — P. D. James
    tags: death  time  facts 
     
    When I heard, Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, I thought, Did he fall or was he pushed?
    — P. D. James
    tags: thoughts 
     
    to look back on one's life is to experience the capriciousness of memory. ... the past is not static. It can be relived only in memory, and memory is a device for forgetting as well as remembering. It, too, is not immutable. It rediscovers, reinvents, reorganizes. Like a passage of prose it can be revised and repunctuated. To that extent, every autobiography is a work of fiction and every work of fiction an autobiography.
    — P. D. James
    It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.
    — P. D. James
    tags: memory 
     
    I don't think writers choose the genre, the genre chooses us. I wrote out of the wish to create order out of disorder, the liking of a pattern.
    — P. D. James
    tags: wishes 
     
    It is always easy to question the judgement of others in matters of which we may be imperfectly informed.
    — P. D. James
    We English are good at forgiving our enemies; it releases us from the obligation of liking our friends.
    — P. D. James
    tags: friends 
     
    Books of quotations ... afford me one of the most undemanding but satisfying forms of reading pleasure.
    — P. D. James
    tags: pleasure  reading  book 
     
    I love the idea of bringing order out of disorder which is what the mystery is about. I like the way in which it affirms the sanity of human life and exorcises irrational guilts.
    — P. D. James
    tags: mystery  human  guilt  ideas 
     
    The world is full of people who have lost faith: politicians who have lost faith in politics, social workers who have lost faith in social work, schoolteachers who have lost faith in teaching and, for all I know, policemen who have lost faith in policing and poets who have lost faith in poetry. It's a condition of faith that it gets lost from time to time, or at least mislaid.
    — P. D. James
    Perfect love may cast our fear, but fear is remarkably potent in casting out love.
    — P. D. James
    tags: fear 
     
    Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft.
    — P. D. James
    tags: power  craft 
     
    [My father and his friends] believed in equality for women without troubling to acquire the basic domestic skills which would have made that equality possible.
    — P. D. James
    tags: women  equality  father 
     
    All fiction is largely autobiographical and much autobiography is, of course, fiction.
    — P. D. James
    tags: fiction 
     
    Creativity doesn't flourish in an atmosphere of despotism, coercion and fear.
    — P. D. James
    tags: fear  creativity 
     
    We live in a society which salves its conscience more by helping the interestingly unfortunate than the dull deserving.
    — P. D. James
    tags: society  live  conscience 
     
    I can understand the poor and stupid voting for Marxism or one of its fashionable variants. If you've no hope of being other than a slave, you may as well opt for the most efficient form of slavery.
    — P. D. James
    tags: slavery  poor  hope 
     
    It's easy to get a reputation for wisdom. It's only necessary to live long, speak little and do less.
    — P. D. James
    tags: live  wisdom 
     
    I don't see why escapist literature shouldn't also be a work of art.
    — P. D. James
    tags: work  literature 
     
    Can we ever break free of the devices and desires of our own hearts? Might not our conscience be telling us what we most want to hear?
    — P. D. James
    It shows considerable wisdom to know what you want in life and then to direct all your energies towards getting it.
    — P. D. James
    tags: energy  wisdom 
     
    the most successful marriages were always based on both partners feeling that they had done rather well for themselves.
    — P. D. James
    Every island to a child is a treasure island.
    — P. D. James
    tags: children  child 
     
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