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Murderers will try to recall t...

Murderers will try to recall the sequence of events, they will remember exactly what they did just before and just after. But they can never remember the actual moment of killing. This is why [they] will always leave a clue.

48 quotes

rather like a car coming towar...

rather like a car coming towards you. I knew I had to do it sometime. And it seemed like a natural progression from the other people I'd done.

48 quotes

[Well, we'll tackle that a bit...

[Well, we'll tackle that a bit later. Back to biography:] The only way of writing any kind of study, say the Thomas More one, is to so fully enter his sensibility that you become a part of it, and he becomes a part of you, ... In that process you begin to see the heart of his design. It would be foolish and unproductive to see it as a totally alien system of belief. Far better to enter it in a spirit of communion.

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That's tittle-tattle. It was c...

That's tittle-tattle. It was completely overblown. I'm surprised at you. Next it'll be 'I hear you drink a lot'. That's the normal one. 'He drinks too much, he's hardly ever sober.' Well if I was hardly ever sober, how would I have written 30 fucking books?

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And I think that's the spirit ...

And I think that's the spirit of Shakespeare, which somehow touched it . . . I don't know what that process is or means, but it certainly takes place.

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I just wanted to be an ordinar...

I just wanted to be an ordinary, middle-class person. When I was at Cambridge, I made great efforts to lose the last remnants of my Cockney accent.

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I love soap operas - the stori...

I love soap operas - the stories, the plots! And I love the game shows and the courtroom dramas and the detectives - Jessica Fletcher, 'Columbo,' 'Perry Mason,' 'L.A. Law.' Any sense of guilt appeals to me in a television program - a sense of guilt, or a sense of making a lot of money.

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The embrace of present and pas...

The embrace of present and past time, in which English antiquarianism becomes a form of alchemy, engenders a strange timelessness. It is as if the little bird which flew through the Anglo-Saxon banqueting hall, in Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, gained the outer air and became the lark ascending in Vaughan Williams's orchestral setting. The unbroken chain is that of English music itself.

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He stood beneath the white tow...

He stood beneath the white tower, and looked up at it with that mournful expression which his face always carried in repose: for one moment he thought of climbing up its cracked and broken stone, and then from its summit screaming down at the silent city as a child might scream at a chained animal.

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Why should a novelist not also...

Why should a novelist not also be a historian? To force unnatural divisions within the English language is to work against its capacious and accommodating nature. To expect a writer to produce only novels, or only histories, is equivalent to demanding from a composer that he or she write only string quartets or piano sonatas.

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And the smell of the library w...

And the smell of the library was always the same - the musty odour of old clothes mixed with the keener scent of unwashed bodies, creating what the chief librarian had once described as 'the steam of the social soup.'

48 quotes

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