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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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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

Need Father Accordingly

I am a friend when I need to be a friend, a father when I need to be a father, a musician when music calls. I switch roles accordingly.

- A. R. Rahman

Father Sometimes Instance

When I travel with my kids abroad, I am not myself, but I'm more a father who wants to protect them. Sometimes, I am even aggressive about certain things and get surprised seeing myself like that: for instance, when people want to take pictures of them. I am fine if they want to take my pictures, but they are not public property.

- A. R. Rahman

Some Father Career

My mother insisted that I pursue music. I rented out my father's musical equipment and earned some money. As a child, I wasn't sure about a career goal, but I was always fascinated by electronic gadgets, specially musical equipment.

- A. R. Rahman

Need Figure Anybody

There were websites erected to figure out how to kill Alanis. I just do not need to see this; it's not good for anybody.

- Alanis Morissette

Anybody Became Director

You know, I became a director out of necessity. I was writing comedies, and I couldn't find anybody to deliver it correctly.

- Albert Brooks

Going May Anybody

I'm not going into personal details of meetings I have with anybody, be it John Howard or President Bush or President Putin or President Yeltsin, in years gone by, whoever it may be, I'm not going into that.

- Alexander Downer

Behind Here Anybody

I don't want to go anywhere; I don't want to leave anybody behind. Happiness is right here, right now, in this world, in this room. I am happiest wherever it is that I am.

- Alexandra Stoddard

Next Anybody Funny

If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.

- Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Always Lucky Anybody

You know, I always say this - As an actor, we're lucky to get a job. Then we're lucky that anybody gives a damn to watch the thing that we're in.

- Alicia Coppola

Always Lucky Anybody

I always say this - As an actor, we're lucky to get a job. Then we're lucky that anybody gives a damn to watch the thing that we're in.

- Alicia Coppola

Father Generation Waitress

When my parents met, my mother was a waitress and my father was a dockyard worker. They were part of that post-war better-yourself generation, so they both went to night school.

- Alison Owen

Life Father Mentor

The more consistent a father can be or a mentor can be in the person's life and teach them principles of real solid manhood, character, integrity and leadership, the more consistent you can be in the person's life and teach them those things at a younger age, and then the better off they'll be.

- Allan Houston

Father Seven Fundamentals

Seven years ago, my father and I realized that our relationship was extremely unique, especially in the African-American community. He raised me to not only understand the fundamentals of basketball and to try to be a player with a high basketball IQ, but he wanted me to understand that my image and my name meant more than stats.

- Allan Houston

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

Father Anybody Civility

When I sat down to write 'Rules of Civility,' I didn't write it for anybody but myself. I wasn't trying to make my mark or make money. I wasn't anxious about feeding my kids or whether my father would be proud of me.

- Amor Towles

Get Mouth Civility

I get a choice every time I have to open my mouth: that it can be with civility and dignity and grace - or not.

- Dana Perino

Choice Civility

Civility is a choice.

- Dana Perino

Pretty Been Civility

I am a pretty level-headed person, but that person, Harry Reid, has been the most destructive entity in Washington when it comes to civility. By far.

- Dana Perino

Will Need Civility

That survival instinct, that will to live, that need to get back to life again, is more powerful than any consideration of taste, decency, politeness, manners, civility. Anything. It's such a powerful force.

- Danny Boyle

More Martha Civility

Martha Stewart contributes more to our civility than the Baptist church.

- Dave Hickey