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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

Feels Allowed Rooms

You can build a place that is beautiful, but nobody feels comfortable sitting in it, and the kids aren't allowed to go into many of the rooms. Or a place can look lived in, but it doesn't please the eye.

- 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

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

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

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Intelligence Think Always

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

- A. A. Milne

Always Vain Them

I gave up writing children's books. I wanted to escape from them as I had once wanted to escape from 'Punch': as I have always wanted to escape. In vain.

- A. A. Milne

Always Art Works

In India, nobody really talks about works of art; they always talk about the appreciation of art. You buy this for 3,000 rupees, it'll become 30,000 in two months.

- A. Balasubramaniam

Always Been Devoted

Americans have been remarkably devoted to the capacity for belief, to idealism. That's why we get into trouble all the time. We're always viewed as naive.

- A. Bartlett Giamatti

Always Yourself Try

If you just try long enough and hard enough, you can always manage to boot yourself in the posterior.

- A. J. Liebling

Always Them Everyone

Everyone always says, 'When you look at a boy band, one of them has to be gay.' No, they don't.

- A. J. McLean

Always Reason Given

No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.

- A. J. P. Taylor

May Months November

The Bay of Bengal is hit frequently by cyclones. The months of November and May, in particular, are dangerous in this regard.

- A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Becoming Months Town

Within three months I had gone from being this black sheep of the town to suddenly becoming a pop star.

- Alison Moyet

Nine Months TV

I like the consistency of a TV show, but I like it for three months out of my year, not nine.

- Allison Mack

Months Know Theater

In theater, we know a scheduled season months in advance.

- Allison Tolman

Months Six Oil Industry

Government experts have estimated that ANWR reserves would only provide enough oil for six months of U.S. oil consumption. In addition, the oil industry itself has estimated that it would take 10 years to bring this oil to the market.

- Allyson Schwartz

Always Deal Months

As a youth, I always did a good deal of reading in the summer months, having suffered since birth from an allergy to athletic activity.

- Amor Towles

Ever Never Months

I've never, ever had a job that lasted for more than a few months.

- Amy Landecker

Deal About Had

We never had a huge squad and we never had a great deal of choice. But in many ways that helps because you've got to make do with what you've got. You don't have too many problems about picking the team you just hope that everyone turns up on the day.

- Jack Charlton

Work Need Deal

So not only do we need to deal with threats as they emerge, we have to be thinking in anticipation of future threats, and the things we do have to be things that enable the system to continue to work.

- Janet Napolitano

Which Deal Public Sector

I'm angry that the private sector, which is supposed to be in charge of running gasoline into the Valley, doesn't have its act together to deal with a critical situation, so now the public sector has to step in.

- Janet Napolitano

Deal Even Turning

I got a book deal without even turning in one shred of a writing sample.

- Janice Dickinson

Deal Big Broke

This is a big deal. My wife and I sat in our home and we watched those young men get slaughtered on the streets of Mogadishu in the absence of a plan. It broke our heart.

- Dick Armey

Other Deal Both Sides

The macro of any negotiation is that the only time you can cut a deal is when both sides are hurting. If either side is - is well and feeling happy, you can't get a deal. Then they go for victory. You need - if they're willing to settle for things the other side can live with, it's because they're hurting a little bit.

- Dick Morris

Deal Father Bring

My father was a Catholic, but my mother wasn't. She had to do that weird deal you do as a Catholic - they deign to sanction your marriage and you have to bring your children up as Catholics.

- Jared Harris