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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

Been Lot Student

As both a student of history and a man devoted to living in the present, I admit that I do not spend a lot of time imagining how things might otherwise have been. But I do like to think there is a difference between being resigned to a situation and reconciled to it.

- Amor Towles

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Work Before Mixed

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.

- A. A. Milne

Before Though Still

I still get really nervous, though, before each performance. It kind of hits about 15 minutes before we go onstage - sometimes I don't even want to go on. But once I'm onstage I'm fine.

- Alison Lohman

Before Use Shrimp

If you're going to saute something, lightly spray olive oil in the pan or on veggies before you serve them. It adds a nice flavor. We grill a lot, so I'll use a little on my corn or my shrimp.

- Alison Sweeney

Before About Print

History was a hobby for about, oh, 20 years before I got into print.

- Alison Weir

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

Always Sociable Nobility

Rascals are always sociable, more's the pity! and the chief sign that a man has any nobility in his character is the little pleasure he takes in others' company.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Like Through Nobility

There's no nobility with war. It's tear-'em-up destruction that leaves you frustrated, bitter and angry... If you really knew what it was like for an hour, you wouldn't want anyone to go through it.

- Charles Durning

Before Dreams Dream

You have to dream before your dreams can come true.

- A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Before Love Learn

You learn a lot about love before you ever get there. You learn at least as much about love from books as you do from watching your parents.

- A. S. Byatt

Before I Think Color

I like to write about painting because I think visually. I see my writing as blocks of color before it forms itself. I think I also care about painting because I'm not musical. Painting to me is not a metaphor for writing, but something people do that can never be reduced to words.

- A. S. Byatt

Everybody Shut Nobility

You have the right to kill me, but you don't have the right to judge me. That's life. There's nobility in that. There's focus. It's genuine. It's crystal and it's pure and it's available to everybody, so just shut your traps and put down your McDonalds, your vaccines, your Us Weekly, your TMZ and the rest of it.

- Charlie Sheen

Work Traditional Nobility

There's nobility in hard work, traditional values.

- D. B. Sweeney

Police Officers Nobility

I am excited to be doing 'SVU' - I think there's a lot of inherent drama and a lot of inherent conflict in procedural shows. I have a lot of respect for police officers and the work that they do. There's a lot of nobility to depicting what these officers do on a day to day basis.

- Danny Pino

Some Films Nobility

In most films - especially in regards to the protagonist - really from the get-go they set up some scenario that endears that character to the audience. Or imbues him with some nobility or heroism or something.

- Joaquin Phoenix

Very New New York

It's very expensive to bring a band to New York.

- Dee Dee Ramone

Very Hard Tour

It's very hard to tour.

- Dee Dee Ramone

Very Small Questioning

If you're in such a position of power and your ego is such that this is not possible, then its essential to have a small cadre of very bright, committed people who are questioning, exploring and understanding these emerging concepts.

- Dee Hock

Very Aware Empty

It is certain, indeed, that the sacred writers were apt to make great allowances for people with empty stomachs, and though I am well aware that the present profane ones think this very reprehensible, I venture to agree with the sacred writers.

- James Payn

Bus Very Humble

Cultivating literature as I do upon a little oatmeal, and driving, when in a position to be driven at all, in that humble vehicle, the 'bus, I have had, perhaps, exceptional opportunities for observing their mutual position and behaviour; and it is very peculiar.

- James Payn

Love About Very

'The Wire' fans are very specific and hard core. Nobody is neutral about 'The Wire.' You either love it, or you couldn't watch it, and there is no in-between.

- Deirdre Lovejoy

Always Very Big

I was never very good at being an unemployed actor. I always thought that I should have been doing something pro-active. I was never good at doing juvenile leads. I suppose it's because I have this big sarcastic head on me.

- Deirdre O'Kane