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Quotes of the day: P.D. James

Published Sunday, August 02, 2015 @ 8:09 AM EDT
Aug 02 2015

Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL (August 3, 1920 – November 17,2014), known as P.D. James, was an English crime writer. She rose to fame for her series of detective novels starring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A politician is required to listen to humbug, talk humbug, condone humbug. The most we can hope is that we don't actually believe it.

All fiction is largely autobiographical and much autobiography is, of course, fiction.

Charm is always genuine; it may be superficial but it isn't false.

God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest.

Human kindness is like a defective tap, the first gush may be impressive but the stream soon dries up.

I believe that political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism.

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.

If from infancy you treat children as gods they are liable in adulthood to act as devils.

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.

In 1930s mysteries, all sorts of motives were credible which aren't credible today, especially motives of preventing guilty sexual secrets from coming out. Nowadays, people sell their guilty sexual secrets.

It shows considerable wisdom to know what you want in life and then to direct all your energies towards getting it.

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.

Man is diminished if he lives without knowledge of his past; without hope of a future he becomes a beast.

Perhaps it's only when people are dead that we can safely show how much we cared about them. We know that it's too late then for them to do anything about it.

Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious.

There comes a time when every scientist, even God, has to write off an experiment.

Time didn't heal, but it anesthetized. The human mind could only feel so much.

We all die alone. We shall endure death as once we enjoyed birth. You can't share either experience.

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.

We English are good at forgiving our enemies; it releases us from the obligation of liking our friends.

What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give.

What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order.

Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.

It is always easy to question the judgement of others in matters of which we may be imperfectly informed.

I wonder if childhood is ever really happy. Just as well, perhaps. To be blissfully happy so young would leave one always seeking to recapture the unobtainable.

Categories: P.D. James, Quotes of the day


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