The tension between "yes" and "no," between "I can" and "I cannot," makes us feel that, in so many instances, human life is an interminable debate with one's self.

— Anatole Broyard

The most gorgeous Anatole Broyard quotes that will inspire your inner self

Aphorisms are bad for novels. They stick in the reader's teeth.

80

The contents of someone's bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait.

43

To be misunderstood can be the writer's punishment for having disturbed the reader's peace. The greater the disturbance, the greater the possibility of misunderstanding.

18

If a book is really good, it deserves to be read again, and if it's great, it should be read at least three times.

15

In an age like ours, which is not given to letter-writing, we forget what an important part it used to play in people's lives.

12

Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city.

12

Travel is like adultery: one is always tempted to be unfaithful to one's own country. To have imagination is inevitably to be dissatisfied with where you live. There is in men, as Peter Quennell said, "a centrifugal tendency." In our wanderlust, we are lovers looking for consummation.

11

A bookcase is as good as a view, as much of a panorama as the sight of a city or a river. There are dawns and sunsets in books - storms and zephyrs.

10

There was a time when we expected nothing of our children but obedience, as opposed to the present, when we expect everything of them but obedience.

9

It is one of the paradoxes of American literature that our writers are forever looking back with love and nostalgia at lives they couldn't wait to leave.

9

We are all tourists in history, and irony is what we win in wars.

8

There are few things more subtly distressing than an inappropriate gift from someone close to you.

8

About Anatole Broyard

Quotes 39 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Critic
Birthday October 16

When friends stop being frank and useful to each other, the whole world loses some of its radiance.

7

The more I like a book, the more reluctant I am to turn the page.

Lovers, even book lovers, tend to cling. No one-night stands or "reads" for them.

6

A book is meant not only to be read, but to haunt you, to importune you like a lover or a parent, to be in your teeth like a piece of gristle.

5

An aphorism is a generalization of sorts, and our present-day writers seem more at home with the particular.

3

The epic implications of being human end in more than this: We start our lives as if they were momentous stories, with a beginning, a middle and an appropriate end, only to find that they are mostly middles.

3

Chic is a convent for unloved women.

2

The more I like a book, the more slowly I read.

this spontaneous talking back to a book is one of the things that makes reading so valuable.

2

The contents of someone's bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait. (About Books; Recoiling, Rereading, Retelling, New York Times, February 22, 1987)

1

There is something about seeing real people on a stage that makes a bad play more intimately, more personally offensive than any other art form.

0

The moment a book is lent I begin to miss it.

0

I feel about lending a book the way most fathers feel about their daughters living with a man out of wedlock.

0

People have no idea what a hard job it is for two writers to be friends.

Sooner or later you have to talk about each other's work.

0

Two people making love, she once said, are like one drowned person resuscitating the other.

0

To choose a writer for a friend is like palling around with your cardiologist, who might be musing as you talk to him that you are a sinking man. A writer's love for another writer is never quite free of malice. He may enjoy discussing your failures even more than you do. He probably sees you as tragic, like his characters - or unworthy of tragedy, which is worse.

0

Sometimes it seems that we might have been happier if we had once had an aristocracy to blame everything on.

0

Either a writer doesn't want to talk about his work, or he talks about it more than you want.

0

For years they have been using the role of 'sex object' as a cover while they spied out the land.

0

In novels, I said, people are transfigured by love.

They’re elevated, made different, lifted out of their ordinariness…It’s not so much to ask, I said. I just want love to live up to its publicity.

0

The first divorce in the world may have been a tragedy, but the hundred-millionth is not necessarily one.

0

I remember a table in BarchesterTowers that had more character than the combined heroes of three recent novels I've read.

0

Ruefulness is one of the classical tones of American fiction.

It fosters a native, deglamorized form of anxiety.

0

We don't simply read books. We become them.

0

A whole generation of writers dined out on the dialectic between original cultures and their culture by "progress.

0

Lapped in poetry, wrapped in the picturesque, armed with logical sentences and inalienable words.

0

Sex almost always disappoints me in novels.

Everything can be said or done now, and that's what I often find: everything, a feeling of generality or dispersal. But in my experience, true sex is so particular, so peculiar to the person who yearns for it. Only he or she, and no one else, would desire so very much that very person under those circumstances. In fiction, I miss that sense of terrific specificity.

0

Paranoids are the only ones who notice things anymore.

0
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