Famous Quotes & Sayings

Muriel Spark Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Muriel Spark.

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Famous Quotes By Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 1934662

You look for one thing and you find another. — Muriel Spark

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I often wonder if we were all characters in one of God's dreams. — Muriel Spark

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Try as i do, i can't recall her surname. Indeed, her very abstractedness and insubstantial personality seemed to say 'forget me'; she seemed to live in parenthesis; ... — Muriel Spark

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I am a hoarder of two things: documents and trusted friends. — Muriel Spark

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It's a whydunnit in q-sharp major and it has a message: never talk to the sort of girls that you wouldn't leave lying about in your drawing-room for the servants to pick up. — Muriel Spark

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[...] there were other people's Edinburghs quite different from hers [...] — Muriel Spark

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Hildegard had long felt that sentimentality was a luxury she could not afford. — Muriel Spark

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There was altogether too much candor in married life; it was an indelicate modern idea, and frequently led to upsets in a household, if not divorce ... — Muriel Spark

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Sandwiches,' she said, 'like diamonds, are forever. — Muriel Spark

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You can lie awake at night and think; the quality of insomnia depends entirely on what you decide to think of. Can you decide to think? - Yes, you can. — Muriel Spark

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Beware the ire of the calm. — Muriel Spark

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Let us run up debts. One is nobody without debts. — Muriel Spark

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No medicine man these days can afford to be without a portable tape recorder. Without the aid of this modern device, which may be easily concealed in the undergrowth of the jungle, the old tribal authority will rapidly become undermined by the mounting influenece of modern skepticism. — Muriel Spark

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Nothing can be more puritanical in application than the virtues. — Muriel Spark

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The words of the double-tongued are as if they were harmless, but they reach even to the inner part of the bowels. Praise be to the Lord, who distinguishes our cause and delivers us from the unjust and deceitful man. — Muriel Spark

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I used to think it a pity that her mother rather than she had not thought of birth control. — Muriel Spark

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The true novelist is one who understands the work as a continuous poem, is a myth-maker, and the wonder of the art resides in the endless different ways of telling a story. — Muriel Spark

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Godfrey's wife Charmian sat with her eyes closed, attempting to put her thoughts into alphabetical order which Godfrey had told her was better than no order at all, since she now had grasp of neither logic nor chronology. — Muriel Spark

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It is a good thing to go to Paris for a few days if you have had a lot of trouble, and that is my advice to everyone except Parisians. — Muriel Spark

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Saving and pinching to get married, you're losing the best time of your life. — Muriel Spark

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We often laughed at others in our house, and I picked up the craft of being polite while people were present and laughing later if there was anything to laugh about. — Muriel Spark

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4:15. Not 4 not 4:30 but 4:15. She thought to intimidate me with the use of quarter hours. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 1442287

New York, home of the vivisectors of the mind, and of the mentally vivisected still to be reassembled, of those who live intact, habitually wondering about their states of sanity, and home of those whose minds have been dead, bearing the scars of resurrection. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 76734

It is one of the secrets of Nature in its mood of mockery that fine weather lays heavier weight on the mind and hearts of the depressed and the inwardly tormented than does a really bad day with dark rain sniveling continuously and sympathetically from a dirty sky. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 557347

If I had my life over again I should form the habit of nightly composing myself to thoughts of death. I would practise, as it were, the remembrance of death. There is no other practise which so intensifies life. Death, when it approaches, ought not to take one by surprise. It should be part of the full expectancy of life. Without an ever-present sense of death life is insipid. You might as well live on the whites of eggs. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 1461935

Art and religion first; then philosophy; lastly science. That is the order of the great subjects of life, that's their order of importance. — Muriel Spark

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I never trust the airlines from those countries where the pilots believe in the afterlife. You are safer when they don't. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 2143247

Do you know, Sandy dear, all my ambitions are for you and Rose. You have got insight, perhaps not quite spiritual, but you're a deep one, and Rose has got instinct.'
'Perhaps not quite spiritual' said Sandy.
'Yes,' said Miss Brodie, 'you're right. Rose has got a future by virtue of her instinct.'
...
'I ought to know because my prime has brought me instinct and insight, both. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 177613

In fact, it was the religion of Calvin of which Sandy felt deprived, or rather a specified recognition of it. She desired this birthright; something definite to reject. It pervaded the place in proportion as it was unacknowledged. In some ways the most real and rooted people whom Sandy knew were Miss Gaunt and the Kerr sisters who made no evasions about their believe that Gold had planned for practically everybody before they were born an nasty surprise when they died. Later, when Sandy read John Calvin, she found that although popular conceptions of Calvinism were sometimes mistaken, in this particular there was no mistake, indeed it was but a mild understanding of the case, he having made it God's pleasure to implant in certain people an erroneous since of joy and salvation, so that their surprise at the end might be the nastier. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 797394

It is impossible to repent of love. The sin of love does not exist. — Muriel Spark

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You don't know what it's like trying to eat enough to live on and at the same time avoid fats and carbohydrates. — Muriel Spark

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Be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 675785

No mind should submit their mind to another mind He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still
that's my motto. I won't be brainwashed. — Muriel Spark

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One should only see a psychiatrist out of boredom. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 113903

If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work ... the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp ... The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 157446

[My novel] took up the sweetest part of my mind and the rarest part of my imagination; it was like being in love and better. All day long when I was busy [ ... ], I had my unfinished novel personified almost as a secret companion and accomplice following me like a shadow wherever I went, whatever I did. — Muriel Spark

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To put it squarely, as I say in my memoir, the eternal triangle has come full circle. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 382027

Six years previously, Miss Brodie had led her new class into the garden for a history lesson underneath the big elm. On the way through the school corridors they passed the headmistress's study. The door was wide open, the room was empty.
'Little girls,' said Miss Brodie, 'come and observe this.'
They clustered round the open door while she pointed to a large poster pinned with drawing-pins on the opposite wall within the room. It depicted a man's big face. Underneath were the words 'Safety First'.
'This is Stanley Baldwin who got in as Prime Minister and got out again ere long,' said Miss Brodie. 'Miss Mackay retains him on the wall because she believes in the slogan "Safety First". But Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth and Beauty come first. Follow me. — Muriel Spark

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Remember you must die. — Muriel Spark

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If you choose the sort of life which has no conventional pattern you have to try to make an art of it, or it is a mess. — Muriel Spark

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It is impossible to persuade a man who does not disagree but smiles. — Muriel Spark

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She wasn't a person to whom things happen. She did all the happenings. — Muriel Spark

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These things happen in threes,' said Milly in her way of uttering bits of folk-wisdom; she was spooning tea into the heated teapot. She always mixed tea with maxims. — Muriel Spark

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The sparkle and morning-freshness of the shop, and the butter-conjuring girl, formed a mind-picture which accompanied the whole of my youth.(about the Buttercup Dairy) — Muriel Spark

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How wonderful it feels to be an artist and a woman in the twentieth century, — Muriel Spark

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Goodness, Truth and Beauty come first — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 645617

Sex is all right" he says
"It's all right at the time, and it's all right before" says Lise, "but the problem is afterwards. That is, if you're not an animal. Most of the time, afterwards is pretty sad. — Muriel Spark

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Looking forward to going home, I was necessarily looking backward. — Muriel Spark

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It never really occurred to her that literary men, if they like women at all, do not want literary women but girls. — Muriel Spark

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Without an ever-present sense of death life is insipid. — Muriel Spark

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People who quoted the Scriptures in criticism of others were terrible bores and usually they misapplied the text. One could prove anything against anyone from the Bible. — Muriel Spark

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If you're going to do a thing, you should do it thoroughly. If you're going to be a Christian, you may as well be a Catholic. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 767301

Her lips are slightly parted: she, whose lips are usually pressed together with the daily disapprovals of the accountants' office where she has worked continually, except for the months of illness, since she was 18, that is to say, for 16 years and some months. Her lips, when she does not speak or eat, are normally pressed together like the ruled line of a balance sheet, marked straight with her old-fashioned lipstick, a final and judjing mouth, a precision instrument. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 779469

You're quite wrong there, Collie. One does miss sex. The body has a life of it's own. We do miss what we haven't had, you and I. Biologically. Ask Sigmund Freud. It is revealed in dreams. The absent touch of warm limbs at night, the absent — Muriel Spark

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Ridicule is the only honorable weapon we have left. — Muriel Spark

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I'm old-fashioned beyond my years. — Muriel Spark

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For those who like that sort of thing," said Miss Brodie in her best Edinburgh voice, "That is the sort of thing they like. — Muriel Spark

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It was a gusty day, and from the windows of Caroline's top-floor flat, only the sky was visible with its little hurrying clouds. It was a day when being indoors was meaningful, wasting an afternoon in superior confidences with a friend before the two-barred electric heater. — Muriel Spark

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She did not know then that the price of allowing false opinions was the gradual loss of one's capacity for forming true ones. — Muriel Spark

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Neurotics are awfully quick to notice other people's mentalities ... — Muriel Spark

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The letters of famous people can be placed into two categories: there is the type of letter which becomes itself a valuable contribution to literature through its wit, style or wisdom; another kind is that whose main importance lies in the provision of a background to their author's life. Especially in the correspondence of great writers and poets, these two factors are very often combined ... — Muriel Spark

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Frankness is usually a euphemism for rudeness. — Muriel Spark

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A work of art is like living people. — Muriel Spark

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Interviews can be stimulating. It depends on the intelligence of the interviewer. — Muriel Spark

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Being in love is something like poetry. Certainly, you can analyze and expound its various senses and intentions, but there is always something left over, mysteriously hovering between music and meaning. — Muriel Spark

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To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil's soul. — Muriel Spark

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A rebellion against a tyrant is only immoral when it hasn't got a chance. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 1177798

These years are still the years of my prime. It is important to recognise the years of one's prime, always remember that. — Muriel Spark

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But you won't be able to pin her down on sex. Have you thought of politics? — Muriel Spark

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One's prime is elusive. You little girls, when you grow up, must be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. You must then live it to the full. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 1290452

It was then that Miss Brodie looked beautiful and fragile, just as dark, heavy Edinburgh itself could suddenly be changed into a floating city when the light was a special pearly white and fell upon one of the gracefully fashioned streets. In the same way Miss Brodie's masterful features became clear and sweet to Sandy when viewed in the curious light of the woman's folly, and she never felt more affection for her in her later years than when she thought upon Miss Brodie silly. — Muriel Spark

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At that time many of the men looked like Rupert Brooke, whose portrait still hung in everyone's imagination. — Muriel Spark

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Allow me, in conclusion, to congratulate you warmly upon your sexual intercourse, as well as your singing. — Muriel Spark

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The word 'education' comes from the root e from ex, out, and duco, I lead. It means a leading out. To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil's soul. To Miss Mackay it is a putting in of something that is not there, and that is not what I call education, I call it intrusion, from the Latin root prefix in meaning in and the stem trudo, I thrust. — Muriel Spark

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The sacrifice of pleasures is of course itself a pleasure. — Muriel Spark

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I am putting old heads on your young shoulders,' Miss Brodie had told them at the time. — Muriel Spark

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Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life. — Muriel Spark

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When people say that nothing happens in their lives I believe them. But you must understand that everything happens to an artist; time is always redeemed, nothing is lost and wonders never cease. — Muriel Spark

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He turns a page of his newspaper and folds it conveniently for reading, and reads it without looking at her again, settling further into his seat with the slight sigh of one whose visitor has left and who is at last alone. — Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark Quotes 1503044

I wouldn't take the Pope too seriously. He's a Pole first, a pope second, and maybe a Christian third. — Muriel Spark

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Miss Brodie was easily the equal of both sisters together, she was the square on the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle and they were only the squares on the other two sides. — Muriel Spark

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The Brodie set did not for a moment doubt that she would prevail. As soon expect Julius Caesar to apply for a job at a crank school as Miss Brodie. She would never resign. If the authorities wanted to get rid of her she would have to be assassinated. — Muriel Spark

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How do you know when you're in love?' she said.
'The traffic improves and the cost of living seems very low. — Muriel Spark

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The one certain way for a woman to hold a man is to leave him for religion. — Muriel Spark

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It is difficult for people of advanced years to start remembering they must die. It is best to form the habit while young. — Muriel Spark

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After thirty years' hostile fellowship with Collie, of course she did quite well understand that collie had a habit of skipping several stages in the logical sequence of her thoughts and would utter apparently disconnected statements, especially when confused by unfamiliar subject or the presence of a man — Muriel Spark

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I was just as anxious to prevent injustice as to cause justice. — Muriel Spark

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I see no reason to keep silent about my enjoyment of the sound of my own voice as I work. — Muriel Spark

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We have invented sex guilt to take our minds off the real thing. — Muriel Spark

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Jealousy ... is an affliction of the spirit which, unlike some sins of the flesh, gives no one any pleasure. — Muriel Spark

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Parents learn a lot from their children about coping with life. — Muriel Spark

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Sooner or later I do what I want to do. — Muriel Spark

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Never apologise, never explain. — Muriel Spark

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Contradictions in human character are one of its most consistent notes ... — Muriel Spark

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It isn't necessarily the great and famous beauty spots we fall in love with. As with people, so with places. Love is unforeseen, and we can all find ourselves affectionately attached to the minor and the less obvious. — Muriel Spark

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I have a great desire to make people smile - not laugh. Laughter is too aggressive. People bare their teeth. — Muriel Spark

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So great was the noise during the day that I used to lie awake at night listening to silence. — Muriel Spark

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It is well, when in difficulties, to say never a word, neither black nor white. Speech is silver but silence is golden. — Muriel Spark

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From my experience of life I believe my personal motto should be: 'Beware of any man bringing flowers. — Muriel Spark

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Flattening their scorn underneath the chariot wheels of her superiority. — Muriel Spark