Scottish Author and Novelist
Muriel Spark, fully Dame Muriel Sarah Camberg Spark
Scottish Author and Novelist
People say my novels are cruel because cruel things happen in them and I keep this even tone. I?m often very deadpan, but there?s a moral statement too, and what it?s saying is that there?s a life beyond this, and these events are not the most important things. They?re not important in the long run.
To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil's soul. To Miss Mackay it is a putting in of something that is not there, and that is not what I call education. I call it intrusion.
People who want to write books do so because they feel it to be the easiest thing they can do. They can read and write, they can afford any of the instruments of book writing such as pens, paper, computers, tape recorders, and generally by the time they have reached this decision, they have had a simple education.
Try as I do, I can't recall her surname. Indeed, her very abstractedness and insubstantial personality seemed to say 'forget me'; she seemed to live in parenthesis.
Remember you must die.
When a noble life has prepared old age, it is not decline that it reveals, but the first days of immortality.
Sandwiches, she said, like diamonds, are forever.
You must understand that everything happens for an artist, all time is redeemed, nothing is ever lost and wonders never cease.
She wasn't a person to whom things happen. She did all the happenings.
You're quite wrong there, Collie. One does miss sex. The body has a life of it's own. We do miss what we haven't had, you and I. Biologically. Ask Sigmund Freud. It is revealed in dreams. The absent touch of warm limbs at night, the absent
She writes well and concisely, and this has tended to obscure the psychological superficiality and sheer petty malice of her content.
It's a whydunnit in q-sharp major and it has a message: never talk to the sort of girls that you wouldn't leave lying about in your drawing-room for the servants to pick up.
The best table talk is made up of amusing but not nasty anecdotes involving other people who are, or whose names are, known to the company.
Lisa Brooke died in her seventy-third year, after her second stroke. She had taken nine months to die, and in fact it was only a year before her death that, feeling rather ill, she had decided to reform her life, and reminding herself how attractive she still was, offered up the new idea, her celibacy, to the Lord to whom no gift whatsoever is unacceptable.
The Brodie set did not for a moment doubt that she would prevail. As soon expect Julius Caesar to apply for a job at a crank school as Miss Brodie. She would never resign. If the authorities wanted to get rid of her she would have to be assassinated.
Men used to complain that I was only half there and wasn?t listening. But I was listening. Sometimes I reflect on what people are saying, and it gives me an absent appearance.
The great lovely steep hills were all around them. The feeling of northern nature, a whole geography minding very much its own business, cautious, alien, cold and haughty, began here. The sky rolled darkly amid patches of white light. On they drove, north, north.
Most people who write about Venice do not tell you what they think of it but how they feel. Venice is a city not to inspire thought but sensations. I think it is something to do with the compound of air, water, architecture and acoustics. Like the effect of these elements on the ear, there are acoustics of the heart. One can think in Venice, but not about Venice. One absorbs the marvellous place, often while thinking about something else.
The one certain way for a woman to hold a man is to leave him for religion.
My novel took up the sweetest part of my mind and the rarest part of my imagination; it was like being in love and better. All day long when I was busy [...], I had my unfinished novel personified almost as a secret companion and accomplice following me like a shadow wherever I went, whatever I did.
The Scots get hilarious and hysterical. They breathe in repression. It goes with the long winter and longer winter days. Dark days.
New York, home of the vivisectors of the mind, and of the mentally vivisected still to be reassembled, of those who live intact, habitually wondering about their states of sanity, and home of those whose minds have been dead, bearing the scars of resurrection.
The true novelist is one who understands the work as a continuous poem, is a myth-maker, and the wonder of the art resides in the endless different ways of telling a story.
No mind should submit their mind to another mind He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still -- that's my motto. I won't be brainwashed.
There was altogether too much candor in married life; it was an indelicate modern idea, and frequently led to upsets in a household, if not divorce.