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Before Very Nobility

In the contemporary world, we think of politeness as surface behavior, like frosting - it's sweet and attractive and finishes off the cake. But 19th century nobility and the enlightened thinkers and stoics before them viewed manners in a very different way. To them, manners are an outward expression of an inward struggle.

- Amor Towles

Through Social Class

I prefer to put myself in an environment that's further afield and look through the eyes of someone who differs from me in age, ethnicity, gender, and/or social class. I think a little displacement makes me a sharper observer.

- Amor Towles

Want Nostalgia Admirable

Of course, you wouldn't want to re-create the era of aristocracy; it was a totally unfair era. The finer aspects of it were admirable, and so there's nostalgia for that: the behavior, the values, the cultural sensitivities.

- Amor Towles

Very Bay Area Boulevard

One restaurant I visit without fail, whenever I'm in the Bay Area, is the Boulevard at 1 Mission Street, a few strides from the waterfront. It has excellent food and wine very much in the modern California style, but I go there less for any one dish than for the pleasure of dining with the restaurant's chefs.

- Amor Towles

More About Tell

What can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli.

- Amor Towles

Which Read Given

I had read Harold Bloom's 'Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?' Late in his life, having read everything, Bloom asked which books had given him wisdom. I had just read a bunch of contemporary novels that had no wisdom for me.

- Amor Towles

Feels Allowed Rooms

You can build a place that is beautiful, but nobody feels comfortable sitting in it, and the kids aren't allowed to go into many of the rooms. Or a place can look lived in, but it doesn't please the eye.

- Amor Towles

Been Fiction Kid

I've been writing fiction since I was a kid. From the age of 15 to 25, I probably wrote more than 50 short stories, one of which was published in 'The Paris Review' in 1989.

- Amor Towles

Which Art Been

My personal challenge as an artist has been having a day job which is intellectually satisfying and fun - and thus can easily supplant the desire to make art.

- Amor Towles

Hidden 1930s Civility

While I began writing 'Rules of Civility' in 2006, the genesis of the book dates back to the early 1990s, when I happened upon a copy of 'Many Are Called,' the collection of portraits that Walker Evans took on the New York City subways in the late 1930s with a hidden camera.

- Amor Towles

Having Woman Grandmother

My grandmother, who was simultaneously a woman of manners and verve, fended off marriage proposals until she was 30 because she was having too much fun to settle down.

- Amor Towles

Love Survive Russian

As awful as the crimes of Stalinism were, the vast majority of the Russian population was trying to survive, to love, to have a sense of purpose.

- Amor Towles

Purpose Hammered Elements

All the historical elements should feel organic to the story but not hammered down to serve a purpose.

- Amor Towles

Deserve Very Nature

By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration but our reconsideration.

- Amor Towles

Came Revelation Boston

To a bookish boy in a Boston suburb in the mid-1970s, the lyrics of Cole Porter came as something of a revelation.

- Amor Towles

Imagined Dad Boston

Dad has worked as a banker at the same firm in Boston, living in the same suburban neighborhood for over 50 years. Later in life, when I got out of graduate school and imagined myself living the life of a writer like Hemingway or Kerouac, his practical self inevitably encouraged me to get a steady a job and raise a family, just like he did.

- Amor Towles

Always Thought Inside

I always thought I was a writer on the inside, but after a few years of not writing, you can't make that claim anymore.

- Amor Towles

Being Minutes 60 Minutes

I totally remember that: being 25 and unemployed and trying to stretch each cappuccino for 60 minutes.

- Amor Towles

Think Some I Think

I think that, every individual you invent in narrative work, you have to have some root in who that person is. That may be an aspect of yourself; it may be an aspect of something that you like, that you don't like. It may be an aspect that you wish you had. Maybe something you admire in another person.

- Amor Towles

Study Aspects Russian

We study, as Americans, the extreme aspects of repression under the Stalinist era. We're focused on them. The vast majority of Russian citizens, it was a much softer type of being disconcerted.

- Amor Towles

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Think About Tell

I don't think you can tell the objective truth about a person. That's why people write novels.

- A. N. Wilson

Will More About

Today, India consumes about 682 watts per capita, far lesser than developed nations. As India develops, it will definitely require a lot more energy.

- A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

About Been Learned

The poet exposes himself to the risk. All that has been said about poetry, all that he has learned about poetry, is only a partial assurance.

- A. R. Ammons

About Away Germany

My kids miss me when I'm away, but I don't mind living out of a suitcase. The U.K., U.S., France, Germany, Iraq... it's such a thrill meeting people of different cultures, learning about and from them. It's changed my perception about life, humanity and spirituality.

- A. R. Rahman

About Chaos Ants

I don't only write about English literature; I also write about chaos theory and... ants. I can understand ants.

- A. S. Byatt

About Capital Injustice

There are things I take sides about, like capital punishment, which it seems to me there is only one side about: it is evil. But there are two or three sides to sexual harassment, and the moment you get into particular cases, there is injustice in every conceivable direction. It's a mess.

- A. S. Byatt

About Increasingly TV

On buses and trains, I always think about the inexhaustible variety of human genes. We see types, and occasionally twins, but never doubles. All faces are unique, and this is exhilarating, despite the increasingly plastic similarity of TV stars and actors.

- A. S. Byatt

About Feet Instrument

Growing up, I didn't come from a musical family. Neither of my parents played an instrument, sang out loud, or listened to the radio with frequency. The record collection in the living room was only about 2 feet long - and that included 4 solid inches of Neil Diamond and Herb Alpert.

- Amor Towles

Play However Instrument

Many MIDI files contain entire musical compositions. Because MIDI supports only 16 channels, however, no more than 16 different instruments can play at any time, and one of those is the key-based percussion instrument.

- Charles Petzold

Nothing Feet Hundred

You're 5 feet nothing, a hundred and nothing.

- Charles S. Dutton

Study I Write Instrument

I write in my study, where I also have my prayer altar. I believe that keeps me focused and gives me positive energy and reminds me that I'm merely the instrument of greater creative forces.

- Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Small Seven Instrument

I got my first instrument for Christmas when I was three or four years old. My parents got me a mandolin because it was the only instrument that would fit me because I was so small. I went straight from that into the drums when I was six, and then I started playing guitar when I was seven or eight.

- Chord Overstreet

Voice Main Instrument

My main horn is a hybrid of a flugelhorn a coronet and a trumpet, but that's really because, for me, each instrument to me had a different voice, and I liked them all, but I didn't like any one of them singularly.

- Christian Scott

Learn Instrument Plenty

Learn your instrument. Be honest. Don't do anything phony. There is so much crap floating around. There is plenty of room for a bit of honest writing.

- Christine McVie

Instrument Develop Talent

If you're a musician, there's no instrument that can be withheld from you. If you're drawn to it, develop the talent for it.

- Cynthia Robinson

Nature Feel Feet

By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.

- Thomas Merton

Going Feet Africa

Nobody in Africa loves to be a beggar or a recipient of aid. Everywhere I go in Africa, people say, 'When are we going to stand up on our feet?'

- Mo Ibrahim

Very Fact Feet

I'm in fact a hair under six feet, but I'm very svelte. People would never see me if I turned sideways.

- Mo Rocca

Been Feet Emotions

I'll continue on the path I've been taking, feet on the ground, describing people's lives, describing people's emotions, writing from the standpoint of the ordinary people.

- Mo Yan

Feet Door Slapped

I grew up a huge fan of The Three Stooges and Monty Python, so somebody getting slapped in the face with a fish, or falling out of a chair, or running into a door, or tripping over their own feet and eating it, is all stuff I find really, really funny.

- Thomas Sadoski

Own Feet My Own

It was my wish since I was a child to become something, to be able to stand on my own two feet, to do something for myself.

- Qandeel Baloch