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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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Year Figure Began

I figure that that has a ten year cycle. At the end of that ten years, I began to get worried that I would run into what is known as the writer's block, the feeling of not being able to do these things.

- A. E. van Vogt

Think More Began

IQ in general has improved since tests first began. Psychologists think that this is because modern life becomes ever more complicated.

- A. N. Wilson

Notes Note No Sense

I don't make notes for myself because I either lose them or they make no sense to me at all. I once found a piece of paper with the note: 'everything.' Apparently I made a note to myself not to forget everything!

- Aleksandar Hemon

Other Prove Note

Many legal experts note that prosecutors regularly seek indictments of people or companies for destroying evidence or impeding investigations, even if they cannot prove other charges.

- Alex Berenson

Note Fellowship Edgar

My first letter of acceptance, to UMass - Amherst, came with an offer of a fellowship and a note from John Edgar Wideman.

- Alexander Chee

Always Suffers Note

In the investigation of a neurotic style of life, we must always suspect an opponent, and note who suffers most because of the patient's condition. Usually this is a member of the family.

- Alfred Adler

Extent Note Wavelength

We should note that this latter type of shift was successfully amplified to a considerable extent by Russian physicists using the intense light of a ruby laser whose wavelength is close to that of a transition of the potassium atom.

- Alfred Kastler

Arrested Note Sassy

After 'Arrested Development,' I didn't know for sure if I wanted to be an actor. I was hitting this wall, where I was the 'ethnic best friend' or the 'sassy teenager.' It felt like the same note, and I didn't feel like I was growing.

- Alia Shawkat

Making Began Could

I didn't decide I was crazy until 1952. That's when I began making a steady salary and could afford to be crazy.

- Allan Sherman

Began Fewer Hungrier

I am as hungry now as I was when I began in the sport. If anything, I am probably a bit hungrier. It is because I know there are fewer tomorrows than yesterdays.

- Allen Johnson

Like Began Egypt

During my youth, the idea of moving from Lebanon was unthinkable. Then I began to realise I might have to go, like my grandfather, uncles and others who left for America, Egypt, Australia, Cuba.

- Amin Maalouf

Began Note Threw

When I was 10 years old, I threw a bottle with a note in it in the ocean in Massachusetts, and Harrison Salisbury found it and contacted me. We began a correspondence that lasted for years, and I eventually met him when I was 18.

- Amor Towles

Began Composers Vicious

When I began, the guitar was en-closed in a vicious circle. There were no composers writing for the guitar, be-cause there were no virtuoso guitarists.

- Andres Segovia

Star Excited Threw

The first time I saw 'Star Wars,' I got so excited that I threw up.

- Annalee Newitz

Think Myself Threw

I don't think I threw myself into music because I had the best intentions; it was because I was really angry.

- Ariel Pink

Makes Away Threw

When I was in fifth grade, a boy put a rose on my desk and I threw it away. The attention makes me nervous.

- Claire Coffee

Like Threw Right Arm

Something went wrong with my right arm. I no longer could throw hard, and it hurt like the dickens every time I threw.

- Dazzy Vance

Very Use Threw

John Wetteland had a very good curveball. He threw it for a strike, too, in any count, any situation. But, he really didn't use it much. He didn't want to throw it. He wanted to throw fastball-slider.

- Jorge Posada

Very Threw Broke

These natives are a very good people; for when they saw that I would not remain, they supposed that I was afraid of their bows; and, taking their arrows, the broke them in pieces and threw them into the fire.

- Henry Hudson

Very Small Note

It is of great importance to note these meteors, even the small ones, as very little is yet known of them; and every observation, if carefully made, will some day help to show what they are.

- William John Wills