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Conventional forms of narrative allow for different points of view,
by Penelope Lively

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.
- Penelope Lively

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

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

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.
- Penelope Lively

 

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.
- Penelope Lively

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

I rather like getting away from fiction.
- Penelope Lively

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

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

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.
- Penelope Lively

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

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

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

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.
- Penelope Lively

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

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

You learn a lot, writing fiction.
- Penelope Lively

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

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

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

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.
- Penelope Lively

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

We make choices but are constantly foiled by happenstance.
- Penelope Lively

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

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

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.
- Penelope Lively

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.
- Penelope Lively

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.
- Penelope Lively

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.
- Penelope Lively

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.
- Penelope Lively

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.
- Penelope Lively

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.
- Penelope Lively

People should think things out fresh
and not just accept conventional terms
and the conventional way of doing things.
- R. Buckminster Fuller

Conventional people are roused to fury
by departure from convention,
largely because they regard such departure
as a criticism of themselves.
- Bertrand Russell

The conventional notions of art have changed,
and a lot of things done today are considered works
of art that would have been rejected in the past.
- David Rockefeller

It is now conventional wisdom that Americans do not
care why we went to war in Iraq,
that it is enough that the world is better off without Saddam Hussein.
- Adam Schiff

The conventional army loses if it does not win.
The guerrilla wins if he does not lose.
- Henry A. Kissinger

Conventional show-biz savvy held that Americans hated
to be the objects of satire.
- Carroll O'Connor

I don't think anyone has exhausted the range of sound
possible in a conventional rock band,
but people do become slaves to their own easiest techniques.
- Steve Albini

I think Tierney is also more libertarian than he is
conservative in the conventional sense.
- Daniel Okrent

Again, conventional Catholicism does not much appeal to me.
- Paul Farmer

I'm not a money manager, but I can tell you what the conventional wisdom is.
The younger you are, the more risk you can take on.
- Maria Bartiromo

People always blame the girl; she should have said no.
A monosyllable, but conventional wisdom has always
been that boys can't manage it.
- Anna Quindlen

As for Tenacious D, of course it could work as a full length movie;
all it requires is a great writer and great director
with an ability to think outside of conventional film comedy.
- David Cross

It will be a pity if women in the more conventional
mould are to be phased out,
for there will never be anyone to go home to.
- Anita Brookner

Guy Rivers, a conventional piece as regards the love
affair which makes a part of the plot,
is a tale of deadly strife between the laws of Georgia and a fiendish bandit.
- Carl Clinton Van Doren

They used to be seen as insane or unthinkable acts of madmen.
But if they take place they'll be called "war" too.
And there will still be no conventional war.
- Bruce Sterling

The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program
and we need to cut welfare.
Just the opposite!
We need more welfare and fewer jobs.
- Jerry Brown

Conventional manners are a kind of literacy test for
the alien who comes among us.
- Katharine Fullerton Gerould

Charlie's not your conventional mathematician...
we sexed him up a little bit.
- David Krumholtz

It is conventional to call "monster" any blending of dissonant elements.
I call "monster" every original inexhaustible beauty.
- Alfred Jarry

I don't think Jimi committed suicide in the conventional way.
He just decided to exit when he wanted to.
- Eric Burdon

The hope of a new politics does not lie in formulating
a left-wing reply to the right-it lies in rejecting
conventional political categories.
- Christopher Lasch

The public history of modern art is the story of conventional
people not knowing what they are dealing with.
- Golda Meir

As a rule, I am very careful to be shallow and conventional
where depth and originality are wasted.
- Lucy Maud Montgomery

In most conventional novels, God is not allowed to be nuts.
Nor are nuts allowed to be God.
- John Sladek

I believe that this is a different war than America
has ever fought in the past.
It is a non-conventional war.
It means that you've got to use every tool you've got available to you.
- Hugh Shelton

Economists often like startling theorems,
results which seem to run counter to conventional wisdom.
- Joseph E. Stiglitz

I think in conventional magazine wisdom,
you need to have a redesign every decade or so.
- Timothy White

Mainstream media tend to just mouth the conventional wisdom,
to see everything through the filter of right and left.
- Arianna Huffington

I really don't consider myself to be a conventional Hollywood star.
I've never really been marketed by the big studios
to do mass market box office films.
- Laura Dern

States are like people.
They do not question the awful status quo until some
dramatic event overturns the conventional and lax way of thinking.
- Victor Davis Hanson

The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

The public has lost faith in the ability of Social
Security and Medicare to provide for old age.
They've lost faith in the banking system and in conventional medical insurance.
- Ron Chernow

The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Sanity is only that which is within the frame of reference of conventional thought.
- Erich Fromm

I'm a sworn enemy of convention.
I despise the conventional in anything,
even the arts.
- Hedy Lamarr

People who play conventional music are threatened by
electronica and don't consider it to be as valuable as what they do.
- Bill Laswell

The conventional definition of management is getting
work done through people,
but real management is developing people through work.
- Agha Hasan Abedi

I've always shied away from conventional wisdom,
though I know the power of it.
- Peter Jennings

I really identified with Jess, because my own dream was acting,
which isn't the most conventional profession.
- Parminder Nagra


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