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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

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

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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Money More His

A writer wants something more than money for his work: he wants permanence.

- A. A. Milne

More Life Long

When you get to my age life seems little more than one long march to and from the lavatory.

- A. C. Benson

More Ways Does

Malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man.

- A. E. Housman

More Ways Does

And malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man.

- A. E. Housman

Think More Father

I'm no where as tough as my father. I really think that I am more open to change than he was.

- A. J. Foyt

More Poor Concept

There is no concept more generally cherished by publishers than that of the Undeserving Poor.

- A. J. Liebling

More Most Shop

I shop more than most women.

- A. J. McLean

Think About Tell

I don't think you can tell the objective truth about a person. That's why people write novels.

- A. N. Wilson

Another Play Tell

Of all liars the most arrogant are biographers: those who would have us believe, having surveyed a few boxes full of letters, diaries, bank statements and photographs, that they can play at the recording angel and tell the whole truth about another human life.

- A. N. Wilson

Almost Other Tell

As a little girl, I didn't like stories about little girls. I liked stories about dragons and beasts and princes and princesses and fear and terror and the Four Musketeers and almost anything other than nice little girls making moral decisions about whether to tell the teacher about what the other little girl did or did not do.

- A. S. Byatt

Game Tell Least

I always cringe when people tell me they don't eat breakfast, as though that's a good thing. Eek! You have to start the day off with something in your stomach to get your metabolism active. Also, the mental game of 'holding out,' not eating for as long as possible, at least for me, was a really unhealthy mental place.

- Alison Sweeney

Name Tell Last

I don't tell many people my last name.

- Allegra Versace

About Tell Tonight

I may not know everything about physical talent or anything like that, but I have a sharp mind when it comes to that look: being able to look into somebody's eyes to tell if they are going to be in the foxhole with you tonight, or if they are not.

- Allen Iverson

Culture Movies Tell

Movies can tell us about our place, or lack of place, in our culture.

- Allison Anders

More About View

I'm not worried any more about changing people's view of me.

- Delta Goodrem

Here About Fiction

I started writing short stories. I tried writing horror, mystery, science fiction. I joined a little critique group here in town and ran my stories past them. After about three years, I tackled my first novel, Subterranean. It took me 11 months to write.

- James Rollins

Another About Sometimes

I do have an office where about 70 percent of my writing gets done, but sometimes it does get a bit stir-crazy to be cooped up in there, so I'll grab my laptop and write somewhere else: another room in the house, out on the patio, or even Heaven-forbid, a trip to Starbucks. But I also write on the road.

- James Rollins

About Mom Type

Me and my mom are just alike in every type of way. I talk to my mom about everything.

- DeMar DeRozan

About Back Death

There was one reviewer from the 'New York Times,' I forget his name, who said I was 'death warmed over.' I wrote him back that I knew more about death than he did. The 'Times' fired him, put him in the cooking department!

- James Rosenquist

About Young Tell

I don't think there's going to be a day when I don't think about food or my body, but I'm living with it, and I wish I could tell young girls to find their safe place and stay with it.

- Demi Lovato

About Skin Feel

Despite what anti-aging ads say, growing older can be better. I feel better in my skin, 100 percent. You have greater effects of gravity, but the better sense of yourself you have is something I wouldn't trade. Women who lie about their age - 'why?'

- Demi Moore