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Elizabeth Bowen Quotes

Elizabeth Dorothea Cole Bowen, was an Anglo-Irish novelist and short story writer.
(1899 - 1973)

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All your youth you want to have your greatness taken for granted; when you find it taken for granted, you are unnerved.

Art is one thing that can go on mattering once it has stopped hurting.

Autumn arrives in early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.

Each of us keeps, battened down inside himself, a sort of lunatic giant -impossible socially, but full-scale. It's the knockings and batterings we sometimes hear in each other that keep our intercourse from utter banality.
[Human Relations]

Education is not so important as people think.

Experience isn't interesting till it begins to repeat itself-in fact, till it does that, it hardly is experience.
[Self Knowledge]

Fantasy is toxic: the private cruelty and the world war both have their start in the heated brain.

Fate is not an eagle, it creeps like a rat.

For people who live on expectations, to face up to their realization is something of an ordeal.

Habit is not mere subjugation, it is a tender tie; when one remembers habit it seems to have been happiness.
[One Day]

I became, and remain, my characters' close and intent watcher: their director, never. Their creator I cannot feel that I was, or am.

I think the main thing, don't you, is to keep the show on the road.

If a theme or idea is too near the surface, the novel becomes simply a tract illustrating an idea.

If you look at life one way, there is always cause for alarm.

Illusions are art, for the feeling person, and it is by art that we live, if we do.

In big houses in which things are done properly, there is always the religious element. The diurnal cycle is observed with more feeling when there are servants to do the work.

Intimacies between women often go backwards, beginning in revelations and ending in small talk.

Ireland is a great country to die or be married in.

It is not helpful to help a friend by putting coins in his pockets when he has got holes in his pockets.

Jealousy is no more than feeling alone against smiling enemies.

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