As a writer I care about America, and care about its carelessness.

— Andrew O'Hagan

The most instructive Andrew O'Hagan quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

Once upon a time, I thought that politics was the name we gave to our higher instincts. That was before Margaret Thatcher, who came to power when I was 11 years old.

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The first rule of travel is that you should always go with someone you love, which is why I travel alone.

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I wasn't like other boys. At any rate, I wasn't like my three elder brothers: they excelled at football and they were like other boys, going up to bed each night hugging annuals filled with stories about the glories of Pele and Danny McGrain.

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A living museum must surely see itself as a locus of argument.

A breathing art institution is not a lockup but a moveable feast.

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I'm not interested in writers who are overcome with certainty, with single-mindedness, or with a sense of how consistent and morally upstanding they are. My writers are in the thick of it and they seek the truth, rather than embody it, and sometimes they find truths that don't sit palatably or easily together. That's life. That's personality. And that's writing.

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Traveling alone offers the chance to test the limits of what you think you know about yourself.

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Always trust strangers, it's the people you know that let you down.

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Art you can flush down the loo means nothing to me, even were the loo to be selected by Marcel Duchamp

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I've been asked which of the other arts novel-writing is most like, and I have come to believe it is acting. Of course, in terms of pattern it can be like music, in terms of structure it can be like painting, but the job to me is most like acting.

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The working class of England take their deracination completely for granted.

Disenchantment is the happy code that informs every byway of the underclass: service jobs, celebrity dreams, Lotto wins, leisured poverty on pre-crunch credit cards, it's all there, part of the story of an English people whose grandparents never had it so good.

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We do not read to pass the time, but to inhabit time.

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It was beguiling to live in a country, Scotland, that didn't look enough like itself to be a location for its own movies... I remember consulting a film book and discovering that Arthur Freed decided to shoot Brigadoon in Hollywood because nowhere in Scotland looked Scottish enough.

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About Andrew O'Hagan

Quotes 21 sayings
Profession Novelist
Birthday 1968

Fans of football and fans of nationhood have a similar zeal.

Read the fanzines: their contributors could find a needle-sized diss in a haystack of compliments, and their passions are fundamentalist.

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I was 10 when I realised I couldn't stand football.

I'd tried, obviously, before this - no one wants to give in to social pariah-hood without a fight. I had stood frozen on pitches, done some running about and shouted a lot, as though I cared.

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I think I am becoming obsessive-compulsive.

David Beckham apparently turns all the Diet Coke cans in his fridge to face the same way every morning, and I nerdily sharpen all the pencils in my pot before sitting down to work.

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Like children all over the world, by the age of 10 I'd come to believe that most of the really humane creatures were not really human at all.

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The idea that people in novels should be more sympathetic than people in life simply baffles me.

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As an old creative industry full of cruelty and moral sense, British journalism once flourished on the imperative that people required the truth in order to survive. But people don't require that now. They want sensation and they want it for nothing.

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It's not a crime not to know yourself. It's not a crime to send life away. It's just a shame.

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'Reality' is a notion that journalists take for granted.

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