Now to be precise. I had seen the whole building as an image of living, praying man. But inside it was a richly written book to instruct that man.
I've come across a novel called The Palm-Wine Drinkard, by the Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola, that is really remarkable because it is a kind of fantasy of West African mythology all told in West African English which, of course, is not the same as standard English.
I was the only boy in our school what had asthma," said the fat boy with a touch of pride. "And I've been wearing specs since I was three.
If you... scaled down human beings, scaled down society, if you land with a group of little boys, they are more like a scaled-down version of society than a group of little girls would be.
Now we, if not in the spirit, have been caught up to see our earth, our mother, Gaia Mater, set like a jewel in space. We have no excuse now for supposing her riches inexhaustible nor the area we have to live on limitless because unbounded. We are the children of that great blue white jewel. Through our mother we are part of the solar system and part through that of the whole universe. In the blazing poetry of the fact we are children of the stars.
The skull regarded Ralph like one who knows all the answers and won't tell.
I stood, in shame and confusion, seeing for the first time despite my anger a different picture of Evie in her life-long struggle to be clean and sweet. It was as if this object of frustration and desire had suddenly acquired the attributes of a person rather than a thing.
Art is partly communication, but only partly. The rest is discovery.
Consider a man riding a bicycle. Whoever he is, we can say three things about him. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. Most important of all, we know that if at any point between the beginning and the end of his journey he stops moving and does not get off the bicycle he will fall off it. That is a metaphor for the journey through life of any living thing, and I think of any society of living things.
No human endeavour can ever be wholly good… it must always have a cost.
When I wrote 'Lord of the Flies' -- I had no idea it would even get published.
His manual of heaven and hell lay open before me, and I could perceive my nothingness in this scheme.
Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!
I'd rather there wasn't an afterlife, really. I'd much rather not be me for thousands of years.
We musn't let anything happen to Piggy, must we?
At the moment of vision, the eyes see nothing.
The conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.
Honestly, I haven't the time to read contemporary writers. I know this is awful, but in the main it is true.
We have a disharmony in our natures. We cannot live together without injuring each other.
I will tell you what man is. He is a freak, an ejected foetus robbed of his natural development, thrown out into the world with a naked covering of parchment, with too little room for his teeth and a soft bulging skull like a bubble. But nature stirs a pudding there.
It seems to me that we do live in two worlds... there is this physical one, which is coherant, and there is the spiritual one, which to the average man with his flashes of religious experience, is very often incoherant. This experience of having two worlds to live in all the time, or not all the time, is a vital one, and is what living is like.
Then you have people coming up like Malcolm Bradbury, a relatively young writer who deals with the academic scene and deals with it, I think, brilliantly.
The deep sea breaking miles away on the reef made an undertone less perceptible than the susurration of the blood.
Utopias are presented for our inspection as a critique of the human state. If they are to be treated as anything but trivial exercises of the imagination. I suggest there is a simple test we can apply. We must forget the whole paraphernalia of social description, demonstration, expostulation, approbation, condemnation. We have to say to ourselves, How would I myself live in this proposed society? How long would it be before I went stark staring mad?
They walked along, two continents of experience and feeling unable to communicate.
Biography always has fulfiled this role. Robinson Crusoe is a biography, as is Tom Jones. You can go through the whole range of the novel, and you will find it is biography. The only difference between one example and the other is that sometimes it's a partial biography and sometimes it's a total biography. Clarissa, for example, is a partial biography of Clarissa and a partial biography of Lovelace. In other words, it doesn't follow Lovelace from when he is in the cradle, though it takes him to the grave.
The world, that understandable and lawful world, was slipping away.
Before the Second World War I believed in the perfectibility of social man; that a correct structure of society would produce goodwill; and that therefore you could remove all social ills by a reorganisation of society. .... but after the war I did not because I was unable to. I had discovered what one man could do to another... I must say that anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wrong in the head.
He noticed, without understanding, how the flames were visible now against the dull light. Evening was come, not with calm beauty but with the threat of violence.
They accepted the pleasures of morning, the bright sun, the whelming sea and sweet air, as a time when play was good and life so full that hope was not necessary and therefore forgotten.
Simon became inarticulate in his effort to express mankind's essential illness.
When you take a child who's hollering like hell, sit him on your knee, and say "once upon a time," you stop him hollering. As long as you go on telling him a story, he will listen. Novelists who neglect this fundamental effect do so at their peril. They become what is known as the experimental novelist, and an experimental novel is not really a novel at all.
History is the nothing people write about a nothing.
I think they've got 250 languages in Nigeria, and so English is a sort of lingua franca between the 250 languages.
I am here; and here is nowhere in particular.
Among the virtues and vices that make up the British character, we have one vice, at least, that Americans ought to view with sympathy. For they appear to be the only people who share it with us. I mean our worship of the antique. I do not refer to beauty or even historical association. I refer to age, to a quantity of years.
Ralph... would treat the day's decisions as though he were playing chess. The only trouble was that he would never be a very good chess player.
Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.
An orotundity, which I define as Nobelitis a pomposity in which one is treated as representative of more than oneself by someone conscious of representing more than himself.
Malcolm Bradbury made the point, and I don't know whether it's a valid one or not, that the real English at the moment is not the English spoken in England or in America or even in Canada or Australia or New Zealand. The real English is the English which is a second language, so that it's rather like Latin in the days of the Roman Empire when people had their own languages, but had Latin in order to communicate.
We need an assembly, not for cleverness, but for setting things straight.
I mean, if we're concerned genuinely with writing, I think we probably get on with our work. I think this is very true of English writers, but perhaps not so true of French writers, who seem to read each other passionately, extensively, and endlessly, and who then talk about it to each other -- which is splendid.
With lack of sleep and too much understanding I grow a little crazy, I think, like all men at sea who live too close to each other and too close thereby to all that is monstrous under the sun and moon.
Man produces evil as a bee produces honey.
They looked at each other, baffled, in love and hate.
What could be safer than the bus center with its lamps and wheels?
Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon's dead body moved out towards the open sea.
I have been in many countries, and I have found there people examining their own love of life, sense of peril, their own common sense. The one thing they cannot understand is why that same love of life, sense of peril and above all common sense, is not invariably shared among their leaders and rulers.
I do think that art that doesn't communicate is useless.
He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one's waking life was spent watching one's feet.
It's simpler to believe in a miracle.
My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.
To be in a world which is a hell, to be of that world and neither to believe in or guess at anything but that world is not merely hell but the only possible damnation: the act of a man damning himself. It may be.
Boys do not evaluate a book. They divide books into categories. There are sexy books, war books, westerns, travel books, science fiction. A boy will accept anything from a section he knows rather than risk another sort. He has to have the label on the bottle to know it is the mixture as before.
I don't like the word 'allegorical', I don't like the word 'symbolic' -- the word I really like is 'mythic', and people always think that means 'full of lies', whereas of course what it really means is 'full of truth which cannot be told in any other way but a story'.
Roger stooped, picked up a stone, aimed and threw it at Henry-threw it to miss. The stone, that token of preposterous time, bounced five yards to Henry's right and fell in the water. Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law. Roger was conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins.
I am astonished at the ease with which uninformed persons come to a settled, a passionate opinion when they have no grounds for judgment.
En büyük düşünceler, en basit olanlarıdır.
People don't help much.
Experimental novels are sometimes terribly clever and very seldom read. But the story that appeals to the child sitting on your knee is the one that satisfies the curiosity we all have about what happened then, and then, and then. This is the final restriction put on the technique of telling a story. A basic thing called story is built into the human condition. It's what we are; it's something to which we react.
It may be -- I hope it is -- redemption to guess and perhaps perceive that the universe, the hell which we see for all its beauty, vastness, majesty, is only part of a whole which is quite unimaginable.
Maybe half a dozen think they are a community, but, in general terms, I think English writers tend to face outwards, away from each other, and write in their own patch, as it were.
What kind of human person has a favorite eraser?
A novel ensures that we can look before and after, take action at whatever pace we choose, read again and again, skip and go back. The story in a book is humble and serviceable, available, friendly, is not switched on and off but taken up and put down, lasts a lifetime.
We just got to go on, that's all. That's what grownups would do.
I think there might even come a time when I would read Virgil again. Ovid's Metamorphoses, perhaps, not because the music goes round and round and never comes out, but because it's an extraordinary picture of ceaseless change that never comes to an end.
You'll get back to where you came from.
The candle-buds opened their wide white flowers....Their scent spilled out into the air and took possession of the island.
I am optimistic when I consider the spiritual dimension which the scientist's discipline forces him to ignore.
How would I myself live in this proposed society? How long would it be before I went stark staring mad?
Since most scientists are just a bit religious, and most religious are seldom wholly unscientific, we find humanity in a comical position. His scientific intellect believes in the possibility of miracles inside a black hole, while his religious intellect believes in them outside it.
The Navy's a very gentlemanly business. You fire at the horizon to sink a ship and then you pull people out of the water and say, 'Frightfully sorry, old chap.'
Couldn't a fire outrun a galloping horse?
Serve you right if something did get you, you useless lot of cry-babies!
Maybe there is a beast. Maybe it's only us.
The writer probably knows what he meant when he wrote a book, but he should immediately forget what he meant when he's written it.
"Allow me to tell you, Mr Taylor," said I, but quietly as the occassion demanded, "that one gentleman does not rejoice at the misfortune of another in public."
While I was still a boy, I came to the conclusion that there were three grades of thinking; and since I was later to claim thinking as my hobby, I came to an even stranger conclusion -- namely, that I myself could not think at all.
How can you expect to be rescued if you don't put first things first and act proper?
Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are?
Heaven lies around us in our infancy.
What a man does defiles him, not what is done by others.