J. B. Priestly, fully John Boynton Priestly

J. B.
Priestly, fully John Boynton Priestly
1894
1984

English Novelist, Playwright, Author, Broadcaster, Scriptwriter, Social Commentator and Man of Letters

Author Quotes

Any fool can be fussy and rid himself of energy all over the place, but a man has to have something in him before he can settle down to do nothing.

If there is one thing left that I would like to do, it's to write something really beautiful. And I could do it, you know. I could still do it.

One of the delights beyond the grasp of youth is that of Not Going. Not to have an invitation for the dance, the party, the picnic, the excursion is to be diminished. To have an invitation and then not to be able to go -- oh cursed spite! Now I do not care the rottenest fig whether I receive an invitation or not. After years of illusion, I finally decided I was missing nothing by Not Going. I no longer care whether I am missing anything or not.

The wisdom of one generation will be the folly of the next.

When I was young there was no respect for the young, and now that I am old there is no respect for the old. I missed out coming and going.

As we read the school reports on our children, we realize a sense of relief, that can rise to delight, that, thank Heaven, nobody is reporting in this fashion on us.

If there was a little room somewhere in the British Museum that contained only about twenty exhibits and good lighting, easy chairs, and a notice imploring you to smoke, I believe I should become a museum man.

One of the delights known to age, and beyond the grasp of youth, is that of Not Going.

The world we know at present is in no fit state to take over the dreariest little meteor ... If we have the courage and patience, the energy and skill, to take us voyaging to other planets, then let us use some of these to tidy up and civilize this earth. One world at a time, please.

Be yourself is about the worst advice you can give to some people.

If we openly declare what is wrong with us, what is our deepest need, then perhaps the death and despair will by degrees disappear.

Our dourest parsons, who followed the nonconformist fashion of long extemporary prayers, always seemed to me to be bent on bullying God.

There are plenty of clever young writers. But there is too much genius, not enough talent.

Britain, which in the years immediately before this war was rapidly losing such democratic virtues as it possessed, is now being bombed and burned into democracy.

If you are a genius, you'll make your own rules, but if not - and the odds are against it - go to your desk no matter what your mood, face the icy challenge of the paper - write.

Our great-grandchildren, when they learn how we began this war by snatching glory out of defeat . . . may also learn how the little holiday steamers made an excursion to hell and came back glorious.

There is romance, the genuine glinting stuff, in typewriters, and not merely in their development from clumsy giants into agile dwarfs, but in the history of their manufacture, which is filled with raids, battles, lonely pioneers, great gambles, hope, fear, despair, triumph. If some of our novels could be written by the typewriters instead of on them, how much better they would be.

But some of us are beginning to pull well away, in our irritation, from... the exquisite tasters, the vintage snobs, the three-star Michelin gourmets. There is, we feel, a decent area somewhere between boiled carrots and Beluga caviar, sour plonk and Chateau Lafitte, where we can take care of our gullets and bellies without worshipping them.

I'm in the business of providing people with secondary satisfactions. It wouldn't have done me much good if they had all written their own plays, would it?

Our trouble is that we drink too much tea. I see in this the slow revenge of the Orient, which has diverted the Yellow River down our throats.

There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age, I missed it coming and going.

But the point is, now, at this moment, or any moment, we're only cross-sections of our real selves. What we really are is the whole stretch of ourselves, all our time, and when we come to the end of this life, all those selves, all our time, will be us - the real you, the real me. And then perhaps we'll find ourselves in another time, which is only another kind of dream.

In plain words; now that Britain has told the world she has the H-Bomb, she should announce as early as possible that she has done with it, that she proposes to reject, in all circumstances, nuclear warfare. This is not pacifism. There is no suggestion here of abandoning the immediate defence of this island...No, what should be abandoned is the idea of deterrence-by-threat-of-retaliation. There is no real security in it, no decency in it, no faith, hope, nor charity in it.

Perhaps it would be better not to be a writer, but if you must, then write.

They will review a book by a writer much older than themselves as if it were an over-ambitious essay by a second-year student . . . It is the little dons I complain about, like so many corgis trotting up, hoping to nip your ankles.

Author Picture
First Name
J. B.
Last Name
Priestly, fully John Boynton Priestly
Birth Date
1894
Death Date
1984
Bio

English Novelist, Playwright, Author, Broadcaster, Scriptwriter, Social Commentator and Man of Letters