Quotes by: A. S. Byatt

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A. S. Byatt
Byatt in June 2007 in Lyon, France
Born Antonia Susan Drabble
(1936-08-24) 24 August 1936 (age 80)
Sheffield, England
Occupation Writer, poet
Nationality English
Period 1964–present
Notable awards Booker Prize
Website
asbyatt.com

I like feeling my way into different minds and experiences. It comes naturally and always has.
A. S. Byatt
A surprising number of people - including many students of literature - will tell you they haven't really lived in a book since they were children. Sadly, being taught literature often destroys the life of the books.
A. S. Byatt
Never stop paying attention to things. Never make your mind up finally. Do not hold beliefs.
A. S. Byatt
I always say I write my own novels and the characters don't take control of me, but in fact, I look at the characters in the early stages and I think, 'What is he or she like,' and they slowly come together and they become the person they are.
A. S. Byatt
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
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
I have a dreadful fear that the more you try to prevent revealing the self, the more you do.
A. S. Byatt
I did a lot of my writing as though I was an academic, doing some piece of research as perfectly as possible.
A. S. Byatt
I am not an academic who happens to have written a novel. I am a novelist who happens to be quite good academically.
A. S. Byatt
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
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
If a novelist tells you something she knows or thinks, and you believe her, that is not because either of you think she is God, but because she is doing her work - as a novelist.
A. S. Byatt
Human beings love stories because they safely show us beginnings, middles and ends.
A. S. Byatt
I acquired a hunger for fairy tales in the dark days of blackout and blitz in the Second World War.
A. S. Byatt
I know that part of the reason I read Tolkien when I'm ill is that there is an almost total absence of sexuality in his world, which is restful.
A. S. Byatt
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
It's because I'm a feminist that I can't stand women limiting other women's imaginations. It really makes me angry.
A. S. Byatt
I am suspicious of writers who go looking for issues to address. Writers are neither preachers nor journalists. Journalists know much more than most writers about what's going on in the world. And if you want to change things, you do journalism.
A. S. Byatt
In novels in general - and also on the television - we do live in a world where bodies is what we are. We do not talk about the spirit or the soul, and there is a sense that we no longer talk about beliefs, either Freudian or Marxist.
A. S. Byatt
I'm not very interested in myself. I do have a deep moral belief that you should always look out at other things and not be self-centred.
A. S. Byatt
I find the attempt to find things out, which scientists are possessed by, to be as human as breathing, or feeding, or sex. And so the science has to be in the novels as science and not just as metaphors.
A. S. Byatt
America is full of readers of all different sorts who love books in many different ways, and I keep meeting them. And I think editors should look after them, and make less effort to please people who don't actually like books.
A. S. Byatt
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