You can't state difference and also state equality. We have to state sameness to understand equality.— Zadie Smith
The most almighty Zadie Smith quotes that will add value to your life
As far as I'm concerned, if you want to find out about the last day of WWII or the roots of the Indian Mutiny, get thee to a books catalogue.
The past is always tense, the future perfect.
Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories.
Pulchritude--beauty where you would least suspect it, hidden in a word that looked like it should signify a belch or a skin infection.
She wore her sexuality with an older woman's ease, and not like an awkward purse, never knowing how to hold it, where to hang it, or when to just put it down.
Cambridge was a joy. Tediously. People reading books in a posh place. It was my fantasy. I loved it. I miss it still.
…maybe the whole Internet will simply become like Facebook: falsely jolly, fake-friendly, self-promoting, slickly disingenuous….” - Zadie Smith
Women often have a great need to portray themselves as sympathetic and pleasing, but we're also dark people with dark thoughts.
Life’s not a video game, Felix- there aren’t a certain number of points that send you to the next level. There isn’t actually any next level. The bad news is that everybody dies at the end. Game Over.
We are so convinced of the goodness of ourselves, and the goodness of our love, we cannot bear to believe that there might be something more worthy of love than us, more worthy of worship. Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water. Not everybody deserves love all the time.
...They cannot escape their history any more than you yourself can lose your shadow.
No fiction, no myths, no lies, no tangled webs - this is how Irie imagined her homeland. Because homeland is one of the magical fantasy words like unicorn and soul and infinity that have now passed into language.
There's a perception that novels can't usually allow for your kind of absolute attention to detail.
Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand - but tell it.
Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.
And now the moment. Such a moment has a peculiar character. It is brief and temporal indeed, like every moment; it is transient as all moments are; it is past, like every moment in the next moment. And yet it is decisive, and filled with the eternal. Such a moment ought to have a distinctive name; let us call it the Fullness of Time.
Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love.
No. Everybody deserves clean water. Not everybody deserves love all the time.
The world is now multicultural the same way the world is round.
It's not a selling point, it's not a 'quirky' feature, it's not a cynical marketing ploy, it's not an artistic statement, it's not even a plot device. It's a fact, like seedless grapes.
My short stories have always pushed twenty pages.
That's no length for a short story to be. You either do them short like Carver or you stop trying.
I like books that don't give you an easy ride.
I like the feeling of discomfort. The sense of being implicated.
A trauma is something one repeats and repeats, after all, and this is the tragedy of the Iqbals--that they can't help but reenact the dash they once made from one land to another, from one faith to another, from one brown mother country into the pale, freckled arms of an imperial sovereign.
It reminds me that those of us who turn in disgust from what we consider an overinflated liberal-bourgeois sense of self should be careful what we wish for: our denuded networked selves don't look more free, they just look more owned.
When a human being becomes a set of data on a website like Facebook, he or she is reduced. Everything shrinks. Individual character. Friendships. Language. Sensibility.
I always remind myself that [ Jean-Paul] Sartre and [Simone] de Beauvoir didn't have children. And when you don't have children, it might be easier to believe that the child doesn't come with something.
You become a different writer when you approach a short story.
When things are not always having to represent other things, you find real human beings begin to cautiously appear on your pages.
You are never stronger...than when you land on the other side of despair.
People don't settle for people. They resolve to be with them. It takes faith. You draw a circle in the sand and agree to stand in it and believe in it.
I like books that expose me to people unlike me and books that do battle against caricature or simplification. That, to me, is the heroic in fiction.
It's a feeling of happiness that knocks me clean out of adjectives.
I think sometimes that the best reason for writing novels is to experience those four and a half hours after you write the final word.
English writing tends to fall into two categories - the big, baggy epic novel or the fairly controlled, tidy novel. For a long time, I was a fan of the big, baggy novel, but there's definitely an advantage to having a little bit more control.
To a novelist, fluidity is the ultimate good omen;
suddenly difficult problems are simply solved, intractable structural knots loosen themselves, and you come upon the key without even recognizing that this is what you hold.
It's still easier to find the correct Hoover bag than to find one pure person, one pure faith, on the globe.
I often worry that my idea of personhood is nostalgic, irrational, inaccurate.
But surely to tell these tall tales and others like them would be to spread the myth, the wicked lie, that the past is always tense and the future, perfect.
I know to argue against our online lives seems like the argument of the grumpy, old Luddite novelist, but I really always try to make the argument from the perspective of personal pleasure.
I tap danced for ten years before I began to understand people don't make musicals anymore. All I wanted to do was be at MGM working for Arthur Freed or Gene Kelly or Vincent Minelli. Historical and geographical constraints made this impossible. Slowly but surely the pen became mightier than the double pick-up time step with shuffle.
I cannot believe homosexuality is that much fun. Heterosexuality certainly is not.
English, as a subject, never really got over its upstart nature.
It tries to bulk itself up with hopeless jargon and specious complexity, tries to imitate subjects it can never be.
But it makes an immigrant laugh to hear the fears of the nationalist, scared of infection, penetration, miscegenation, when this is small fry, peanuts, compared to what the immigrant fears - dissolution, disappearance.
This is what divorce is: taking things you no longer want from people you no longer love.
The arena of women's lives is somewhat more intimate.
If a woman goes out with an incredibly attractive man and they break up, that woman is not more attractive to men. It's completely irrelevant to them. That's an example of the way women's minds work.
No matter what anyone says, suicide takes guts.
It's for heroes and martyrs, truly vainglorious men. Archie was none of these. He was a man whose significance in the Greater Scheme of Things could be figured along familiar ratios: Pebble : Beach Raindrop : Ocean Needle : Haystack
I never attended a creative writing class in my life. I have a horror of them.
Rarely does one see a squirrel tremble.
I read Carver. Julio Cortázar. Amis's essays. Baldwin. Lorrie Moore. Capote. Saramago. Larkin. Wodehouse. Anything, anything at all, that doesn't sound like me.
They had nothing to say to each other.
A five-year age gap between siblings is like a garden that needs constant attention. Even three months apart allows the weeds to grow up between you.
World makers, social network makers, ask one question first: 'How can I do it?'
Art is the Western myth, with which we both console ourselves and make ourselves.
Oh, I know that. You know me, baby, I cannot be broken. Takes a giant to snap me in half.
When I was 21 I wanted to write like Kafka.
But, unfortunately for me, I wrote like a script editor for The Simpsons who'd briefly joined a religious cult and then discovered Foucault. Such is life.