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I'm not an historian and I'm not wanting to write about
by 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

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

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

 

You learn a lot, writing fiction.
- 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 didn't think I had anything particular to say,
but I thought I might have something to say to children.
- Penelope Lively

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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

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

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

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

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

Every novel generates its own climate,
when you get going.
- 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 rather like getting away from 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.
- Rabindranath Tagore

The mind is not a vessel to be filled
but a fire to be kindled.
- Plutarch

The essence of life is not in
the great victories and grand failures,
but in the simple joys.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The true meaning of life is to plant trees,
under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
- Nelson Henderson

Everything has beauty,
but not everyone sees it.
- Confucius

A good traveler has no fixed plans,
and is not intent on arriving.
- Lao Tzu

Love one another but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea
between the shores of your souls.
- Khalil Gibran

Every child comes with the message
that God is not yet discouraged of man.
- Rabindranath Tagore

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
- Lao Tzu

I am not afraid of storms
for I am learning how to sail my ship.
- Louisa May Alcott

You will not be punished for your anger,
you will be punished by your anger.
- The Buddha

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
- Marianne Williamson

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.
- Rabindranath Tagore

The world is perfect. It's a mess.
It has always been a mess.
We are not going to change it.
Our job is to straighten out our own lives.
- Joseph Campbell

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly,
"one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
- Hans Christian Andersen

Lord, grant that I might not so much
seek to be loved as to love.
- St. Francis of Assisi

The beauty does not live out there;
the beauty's in my eyes.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

To know yet to think that one does not know is best;
Not to know yet to think that one knows
will lead to difficulty.
- Lao Tzu

I do not need anyone's permission to be my true self.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Self-respect is not a function of size, age, or wealth.
Breathe deep, sing loud and sweet,
"I am me, I am unique, I am magnificent."
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Everything is a miracle,
not just the beautiful and lovely things.
- Anonymous

Treat those who are good with goodness,
and also treat those who are not good with goodness.
Thus goodness is attained.
Be honest to those who are honest,
and be also honest to those who are not honest.
Thus honesty is attained.
- Lao Tzu

The wise man does not lay up his own treasures.
The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.
- Lao Tzu

Do not let Sunday be taken from you.
If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan.
- Albert Schweitzer

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.
If we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.
- Anne Bradstreet

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures
is not to hate them,
but to be indifferent to them:
that's the essence of inhumanity.
- George Bernard Shaw

Stand Tall, Stand Proud.
Know that you are unique and magnificent.
You do not need the approval of others.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

One does not discover new lands without consenting
to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
- Andre Gide

You do not need anyone's permission to be your true self.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers
but to be fearless when facing them.
- Rabindranath Tagore

Life is NOT "Supposed to be Fair."
Know that there is no single way that life is "supposed" to be.
Demanding that life meet our expectations
is a sure fire recipe for a miserable existence.
Life is a game with no rules.
Life just happens to us regardless of our best intentions.
Our only path to happiness lies in being open
to receiving whatever life throws at us -
with Gratitude. Have NO Expectations of life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The key to forgiveness is to forgive from the heart -
not from the mind.
- Sheri Rosenthal

One can not reflect in streaming water.
Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.
- Lao Tzu

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children.
- Native American Proverb

Love is granting another the space to be
the way they are and the way they are not.
- Werner Erhard

It's not whether you get knocked down;
it's whether you get back up.
- Vince Lombardi

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.
- The Buddha

Our lives are defined not by the challenges we encounter,
but by how we respond to those challenges.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Treat the earth well.
It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.
- Native American traditional


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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