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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

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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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

Girl One Day Inside

I pray to God I get inside a girl's head one day and see what in the WORLD they are thinking.

- A. J. McLean

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

Feel Good Feel Inside

I have to feel good on the inside to look glamorous.

- Amanda Seyfried

I Think Inside Counts

When I receive letters from girls that say, 'You give me confidence,' I think, 'Wow, this is amazing.' That's my goal: to let people know it's truly what's on the inside that counts.

- Amber Riley

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

Inside Body Liberal

I'm a liberal inside a liberal's body.

- Ana Gasteyer

Inside Because Go

I go inside the Octagon for fight. I don't joke, because it's danger.

- Anderson Silva

About Inside Hold

The last thing I want to do is to write about real things. I am not interested in reality and in real human beings and their real day-to-day problems - I just want to say to them, 'Hold still, and I'm just going to unpack, see what's inside.'

- Andre Aciman

Thought Doing Gift

I don't want to be thought of as a survivor because you have to continue getting involved in difficult situations to show off that particular gift, and I'm not interested in doing that anymore.

- Carrie Fisher

Thought My Life Nature

So when I was 24, someone suggested to me that I was bipolar, and I thought that was ridiculous. I just thought he was trying to get out of treating me. But he was also responding to the chaotic nature of my life.

- Carrie Fisher

Thought Gotten How Far

If you sell yourself short before you even start, you'll never know how far you could have gone. Ambition is a wonderful thing and has gotten me farther than I ever thought I'd go.

- Carrie Vaughn

Thought About Idea

With scripts I've always looked at them and thought about kids, you know? Thought about the world and the impact... I won't do nudity and I never felt comfortable with that whole idea or things with huge sexual content - not my thing.

- Carrie-Anne Moss

Thought Got Stool

I went from a playing in a bar on a bar stool for free beer and tip money, where people weren't paying attention to me, to now I've got their attention. It's up to me to what I feed them with my music. It's up to me how I do that. I've put a lot of thought into how great the songs are, and how I want people to perceive me.

- Jake Owen

Thought Happy Archie

Millions of people thought Archie was a happy hero.

- Carroll O'Connor

Thought Stupid Reason

The reason I moved to California the first time was to build the Cobra. I thought it was stupid to have a 1918 taxicab engine in what Europeans like to call a performance car when a little American V-8 could do the job better.

- Carroll Shelby