Kashmir has always been more than a mere place. It has the quality of an experience, or a state of mind, or perhaps an ideal.

— Jan Morris

The most scandalous Jan Morris quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

There are only two rules. One is E. M. Forster's guide to Alexandria; the best way to know Alexandria is to wander aimlessly. The second is from the Psalms; grin like a dog and run about through the city.

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Wherever you go in life, you will feel somewhere over your shoulder a pink, castellated shimmering presence, the domes and riggings and crooked pinacles of the Serenissima

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To the stern student of affairs, Beirut is a phenomenon, beguiling perhaps, but quite, quite impossible.

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Venice is a cheek-by-jowl, back-of-the-hand, under-the-counter, higgledy-piggledy, anecdotal city, and she is rich in piquant wrinkled things, like an assortment of bric-a-brac in the house of a wayward connoisseur, or parasites on an oyster-shell.

12

Book lovers will understand me, and they will know too that part of the pleasure of a library lies in its very existence.

12

Movement was the essence of Manhattan.

It had always been so, and now its sense of flow, energy, openness, elasticity as Charles Dickens had called it, was headier than ever. Half the city’s skill and aspirations seemed to go into the propagation of motion.

8

the personality of St. John's, Newfoundland, hits you like a smack in the face with a dried cod, enthusiastically administered by its citizenry.

8

Vermonters, it seems to me, are like ethnics in their own land.

They are exceedingly conscious of their difference from other Americans, and they talk a great deal about outsiders, newcomers, and people from the south.

8

Worldwide travel is not compulsory. Great minds have been fostered entirely by staying close to home. Moses never got further than the Promised Land. Da Vinci and Beethoven never left Europe. Shakespeare hardly went anywhere at all-certainly not to Elsinore or the coast of Bohemia.

7

I believe the transsexual urge, at least as I have experienced it, to be far more than a social compulsion, but biological, imaginative, and essentially spiritual, too.

7

There is always a sneer in Las Vegas.

The mountains around it sneer. The desert sneers. And arrogant in the middle of its wide valley, dominating those diligent sprawling suburbs, the downtown city sneers like anything.

5

Basque is one of the world's more alarming languages.

Only a handful of adult foreigners, they say, have ever managed to learn it. The Devil tried once and mastered only three words - profanities, I assume.

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About Jan Morris

Quotes 39 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

if there is one place in the United States where private styles make up for public images, it is San Francisco, where all lapsed lovers of America, even loyalists like me experiencing spasms of disillusionment, should be taken for refresher courses. The tides of all-American conformity beat vainly against the San Franciscan rock.

5

The city bursts with ideas as with traffic, a swirl of newness and surprise.

Who can be bored in a city? If you are tired of one activity you can try something else, change your job, take your custom to another restaurant.

5

Leningrad ... is a city with the gift of timelessness.

4

Chicago's downtown seems to me to constitute, all in all, the best-looking twentieth-century city, the city where contemporary technique has best been matched by artistry, intelligence, and comparatively moderated greed. No doubt about it, if style were the one gauge, Chicago would be among the greatest of all the cities of the world.

4

As to sex, the original pleasure, I cannot recommend too highly the advantages of androgyny.

3

[Travel seems] not just a way of having a good time, but something that every self-respecting citizen ought to undertake, like a high-fiber diet, say, or a deodorant.

3

It was an American who said that while a Frenchman's truth was akin to a straight line, a Welshman's truth was more in the nature of a curve, and it is a fact that Welsh affairs are entangled always in parabola, double-meaning and implication. This makes for a web-like interest.

2

I resist the idea that travel writing has got to be factual.

1

Vermonters are not only charmless of manner, on the whole;

they are also, as far as I can judge, utterly without pretence, and give the salutary impression that they don't care ten cents whether you are amused, affronted, intrigued, or bored stiff by them. Hardly anybody asked me how I liked Vermont. Not a soul said 'Have a nice day!

1

Buildings are seldom just buildings in downtown Chicago, they are Examples, and not a city on Earth, I swear, is as knowledgeably preoccupied with architectural meaning. Where else would a department store include in its advertisements the name of the architect who created it, or a newspaper property section throw in a scholarly exposition of theoretical design?

0

If I was an aspirant litterateur, I was also an aspirant anarchist.

I have disliked Authority always, though sometimes seduced by its resplendence.

0

I know well the delectable thrill of moving into a new house somewhere altogether else, in somebody else’s county, where the climate is different, the food is different, the light is different, where the mundane preoccupations of life at home don’t seem to apply and it is even fun to go shopping.

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Indians love to reduce the prosaic to the mystic.

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I had reached the conclusion myself that sex was not a division but a continuum, that almost nobody was altogether of one sex or another, and that the infinite subtlety of the shading from one extreme to the other was one of the most beautiful of nature's phenomena.

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Australia is a country not so much of fulfillment as of theatrical expectation.

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I half cherish the hope that the end of history will be Swissness.

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Travel, which was once either a necessity or an adventure, has become very largely a commodity, and from all sides we are persuaded into thinking that it is a social requirement, too.

0

Its smallness is not petty; on the contrary, it is profound.

0

Dublin ... is not only the capital of a nation, but the capital of an idea. The idea of Irishness is not universally beloved. Some people mock it, some hate it, some fear it. On the whole, though, I think it fair to say, the world interprets it chiefly as a particular kind of happiness, a happiness sometimes boozy and violent, but essentially innocent: and this ineradicable spirit of merriment informs the Dublin genius to this day.

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The genius of Canada remains essentially a deflationary genius.

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I was born with the wrong body, being feminine by gender but male by sex, and I could achieve completeness only when the one was adjusted to the other.

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The more I was treated as a woman, the more woman I became.

A adapted willy-nilly. If I was assumed to be incompetent at reversing cars, or opening bottles, oddly incompetent I found myself becoming. If a case was thought too heavy for me, inexplicably I found it so myself.

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The language itself, whether you speak it or not, whether you love it or hate it, is like some bewitchment or seduction from the past, drifting across the country down the centuries, subtly affecting the nations sensibilities even when its meaning is forgotten.

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I’ve become obsessed with the idea of reconciliation, particularly reconciliation with nature but with people too, of course. I think that travel has been a kind of search for that, a pursuit for unity and even an attempt to contribute to a sense of unity.

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Was there ever a name more full of purpose than Chicago's? .

.. spoken as Chicagoans themselves speak it, with a bit of a spit to give heft to its slither, it is gloriously onomatopoetic.

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I am when the Chinese, who know everything, build a house, they consult the precepts of an ancient science, Feng Shui, which tells them exactly how, when, and where the work must be done, and so brings good fortune to the home forever.

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