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A. S. Byatt

I think vestigially there's a synesthete in me, but not like a real one who immediately knows what colour Wednesday is.
A. S. Byatt think
I grew up with that completely fictive idea of motherhood, where the mother never strayed from the kitchen. All the women in my books are very afraid that if they do anything with their minds they won't be complete women. I don't think my daughters' generation has that feeling.
A. S. Byatt books
There are things I take sides about, like capital punishment, which it seems to me there is only one side about: it is evil. But there are two or three sides to sexual harassment, and the moment you get into particular cases, there is injustice in every conceivable direction. It's a mess.
A. S. Byatt art
Where would we be without inhibitions? They're quite useful things when you look at some of the things humans do if they lose them.
A. S. Byatt man
You can understand a lot about yourself by working out which fairytale you use to present your world to yourself in.
A. S. Byatt work
I am a profound pessimist both about life and about human relations and about politics and ecology. Humans are inadequate and stupid creatures who sooner or later make a mess, and those who are trying to do good do a lot more damage than those who are muddling along.
A. S. Byatt life
I acquired a hunger for fairy tales in the dark days of blackout and blitz in the Second World War.
A. S. Byatt dark
I don't only write about English literature; I also write about chaos theory and... ants. I can understand ants.
A. S. Byatt literature
Biographies are no longer written to explain or explore the greatness of the great. They redress balances, explore secret weaknesses, demolish legends.
A. S. Byatt greatness
Books that change you, even later in life, give you a kind of electrical shock as the world takes a different shape.
A. S. Byatt life
The point of painting is not really deception or imitation.
A. S. Byatt pain
I am not sure how much good is done by moralising about fairy tales. This can be unsubtle - telling children that virtue will be rewarded, when in fact it is mostly simply the fact of being the central character that ensures a favourable outcome. Fairy tales are not, on the whole, parables.
A. S. Byatt war
We talk about feelings. And about sex. And about bodies, and their gratification, violation, repair, decoration, deferred, maybe permanently deferred, mortality. Feelings are a bodily thing, and respecting them is called, is, kindness.
A. S. Byatt sex
Why do we take pleasure in gruesome death, neatly packaged as a puzzle to which we may find a satisfactory solution through clues - or if we are not clever enough, have it revealed by the all-powerful tale-teller at the end of the book? It is something to do with being reduced to, and comforted by, playing by the rules.
A. S. Byatt death
As a little girl, I didn't like stories about little girls. I liked stories about dragons and beasts and princes and princesses and fear and terror and the Four Musketeers and almost anything other than nice little girls making moral decisions about whether to tell the teacher about what the other little girl did or did not do.
A. S. Byatt fear
Cyclists. I really hate them. I wish they would not be so self-righteous and realise they are a danger to pedestrians. I wish cyclists would not vindictively snap off wing mirrors on cars when they were trying to cross in front of the car at a danger to motorists and pedestrians.
A. S. Byatt self
For a long time, I felt instinctively irritated - sometimes repelled - by scientific friends' automatic use of the word 'mechanism' for automatic bodily processes. A machine was man-made; it was not a sentient being; a man was not a machine.
A. S. Byatt time
In my mind's eye, Shakespeare is a huge, hot sea-beast, with fire in his veins and ice on his claws and inscrutable eyes, who looks like an inchoate hump under the encrustations of live barnacle-commentaries, limpets and trailing weeds.
A. S. Byatt mind
On buses and trains, I always think about the inexhaustible variety of human genes. We see types, and occasionally twins, but never doubles. All faces are unique, and this is exhilarating, despite the increasingly plastic similarity of TV stars and actors.
A. S. Byatt man
Reading a newspaper is like reading someone's letters, as opposed to a biography or a history. The writer really does not know what will happen. A novelist needs to feel what that is like.
A. S. Byatt reading
Human beings love stories because they safely show us beginnings, middles and ends.
A. S. Byatt love
I don't like gurus. I don't like people who ask you to follow or believe. I like people who ask you to think independently.
A. S. Byatt people
I don't think it is an easy thing to write and expect to be commercial, even if you are from Venus and a hermaphrodite.
A. S. Byatt you
The more research you do, the more at ease you are in the world you're writing about. It doesn't encumber you, it makes you free.
A. S. Byatt writing
I have a dreadful fear that the more you try to prevent revealing the self, the more you do.
A. S. Byatt fear
I think vestigially theres a synesthete in me, but not like a real one who immediately knows what colour Wednesday is.
A S Byatt think

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