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

A novelist who writes nothing for 10 years finds his reputation rising. Because I keep on producing books they say there must be something wrong with this fellow.

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.

Much of writing might be described as mental pregnancy with successive difficult deliveries.

The greatest writers of this age... are aware of the mystery of our existence.

We plan, we toil, we suffer ? in the hope of what? A camel-load of idol's eyes? The title deeds of Radio City? The empire of Asia? A trip to the moon? No, no, no, no. Simply to wake up just in time to smell coffee and bacon and eggs. And, again I cry, how rarely it happens! But when it does happen ? then what a moment, what a morning, what a delight!

A synopsis is a cold thing. You do it with the front of your mind. If you're going to stay with it, you never get quite the same magic as when you're going all out.

I know only two words of American slang, 'swell' and 'lousy'. I think 'swell' is lousy, but 'lousy' is swell.

Nearly everything possible has been done to spoil this game: the heavy financial interests... the absurd publicity given to every feature of it by the Press... but the fact remains that it is not yet spoilt, and it has gone out and conquered the world.

The most lasting reputation I have is for an almost ferocious aggressiveness, when in fact I am amiable, indulgent, affectionate, shy and rather timid at heart.

We should like to have some towering geniuses, to reveal us to ourselves in color and fire, but of course they would have to fit into the pattern of our society and be able to take orders from sound administrative types.

Accidents, try to change them -it's impossible. The accidental reveals man.

I never read the life of any important person without discovering that he knew more and could do more than I could ever hope to know or do in half a dozen lifetimes.

No matter how piercing and appalling his insights, the desolation creeping over his outer world, the lurid lights and shadows of his inner world, the writer must live with hope, work in faith.

The racism, the sexism, I never let it be my problem, it's their problem. If I see a door comin' my way, I'm knockin' it down. And if I can't knock down the door, I'm sliding through the window. I'll never let it stop me from what I wanna do.

Western man is schizophrenic.

Already we Viewers, when not viewing, have begun to whisper to one another that the more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.

I sometimes wish they would swagger more now, buy bigger overcoats and wilder hats, and retain those traces of make-up that put them outside respectability and keep them rogues and vagabonds, which is what, at heart - bless 'em - they are.

No people were ever better than their laws, though many have been worse.

The way to write a book is the application of the seat of one's pants to the seat of one's chair.

What I have known with respect to myself, has tended much to lessen both my admiration, and my contempt, of others.

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.

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