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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

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

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

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

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

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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Behind Next Immortality

I suppose that every one of us hopes secretly for immortality; to leave, I mean, a name behind him which will live forever in this world, whatever he may be doing, himself, in the next.

- A. A. Milne

Rather Green Weeks

It seems astonishing to be paid for indulging in pure pleasure. For me to go to Coburg is rather as if a trainspotter was sent for a few weeks to Swindon or a chocoholic asked on holiday by Green and Black.

- A. N. Wilson

Next Been Idea

After 'Lindbergh,' my publisher asked whom I wanted to write about next. I said, 'There's one idea I've been carrying in my hip pocket for 35 years. It's Woodrow Wilson.'

- A. Scott Berg

Like College Broken

Don't ever dare to take your college as a matter of course - because, like democracy and freedom, many people you'll never know have broken their hearts to get it for you.

- Alice Miller

Thought College Very

I loved it. I just thought I wanted to stay in college forever. I came to New York all by myself; I didn't have any friends there. But it was fine. I felt comfortable. I started thinking, 'Maybe graduate school?' I was really cool with people who were smart, who knew stuff. It's very romantic and stimulating.

- Alice Smith

College Away Week

My mother had bought a sewing machine for me. When I went away to college, she gave me a sewing machine, a typewriter and a suitcase, and my mother made $17 a week working as a maid 12 hours a day, and she did that for me.

- Alice Walker

College Over Year

I met Howard Zinn in 1961, my first year at Spelman College in Atlanta. He was the tall, rangy, good-looking professor that many of the girls at Spelman swooned over.

- Alice Walker

Think College Africa

I started writing as a child. But I didn't think of myself actually writing until I was in college. And I had gone to Africa as a sophomore or something - no, maybe junior - and wrote a book of poems. And that was my beginning. I published that book.

- Alice Walker

College Made Mattered

I made my first white women friends in college; they loved me and were loyal to our friendship, but I understood, as they did, that they were white women and that whiteness mattered.

- Alice Walker

Always College Play

I always wanted to play a mental patient. I was fascinated with playing crazy people in college, and I don't know if I ever quite perfected it.

- Alison Brie

Idea Weeks Country

Every day, it's a different country, different time zone. If you asked me where home was, I've never felt like I've had that. My idea of comfort is to leave a place. Two weeks is sort of my max.

- Alison Mosshart

Next I Remember London

London 2012 was the toughest time in our relationship but also the best. Things could get fractious - we were both competing for gold - but standing next to my brother on the start line for a home Olympics was so special. I remember saying: 'Let's go.'

- Alistair Brownlee

Next Deal Perfect

When you ride fast and then rest for a bit, it causes a spike in your heart rate and helps your body deal with lactic acid. But you don't need to make it too complicated. Yorkshire is perfect because the hills work as intervals - you ride up them hard and then recover before the next one. Or you can just sprint to the next tree or lamppost.

- Alistair Brownlee

Hours Weeks Week

It's better to train for 4-5 hours a week than to do ten hours one week then nothing for two weeks. It helps your body adapt and also maintains your fitness.

- Alistair Brownlee

Next Been Brought

Though Washington had closed down for the holidays, the next day, December 26, a key message from Hanoi brought Kissinger racing back to his office. It was the signal the White House had anxiously been awaiting; it was also the day of one of the biggest raids by the giant B-52s.

- Alistair Horne

Think Next Anybody

I don't think anybody who has any wisdom regrets a minute of their life, as long as it takes you to the next minute, when things get a little better, and even when it doesn't.

- Allan Gurganus

Next Very Door

I tell residents, if you gave me two patients with identical problems, and one of them had family at the bedside with a lot of laughter, plus photos and a quilt from home, and next door was another patient who was alone every time I came by - I'm going to be very nervous about the isolated patient's mental status.

- Allan Hamilton

Should Weeks Law

There should be a law that there's a pajama day every few weeks.

- Alyson Hannigan

Weeks Gig Booked

I didn't know much about the 'Walking Dead' until after I booked the gig, and then I watched the first four seasons. I binge watched them in two weeks, and at that moment I realised, 'Oh, this is a much bigger thing than I thought it was.'

- Alycia Debnam-Carey

Weeks TV Couple

Film is a lot different. You have the whole script in its entirety, and you have a couple of weeks to learn different scenes, really go over them and rehearse them so when you get to them they're more fleshed out. But TV shows are harder.

- Alycia Debnam-Carey

Through Weeks Changes

The first few weeks of being a mom were profound, not just emotionally but also, physically. All the changes you instinctually go through are miraculous.

- Alyssa Milano