Quotations From ELIZABETH BOWEN

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  • 1.
    Everything is very quiet, the streets are never crowded, and the people one dislikes are out of town.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), British novelist, story writer, essayist, and memoirist; born in Ireland. As quoted in Elizabeth Bowen, ch. 8, by Edmund Wilson, who was in turn quoted by Victoria Glendinning (1979). On why she had enjoyed being in London during World War II.

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  • 2.
    The innocent are so few that two of them seldom meet—when they do meet, their victims lie strewn around.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), British novelist, story writer, essayist, and memoirist; born in Ireland. From The Death of the Heart (1938). As quoted in Elizabeth Bowen, ch. 7, by Victoria Glendinning (1979).
  • 3.
    I suspect victims; they win in the long run.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), British novelist, story writer, essayist, and memoirist; born in Ireland. From Eva Trout (1968). As quoted in Elizabeth Bowen, ch. 13, by Victoria Glendinning (1979).
  • 4.
    [My early stories] are the work of a living writer whom I know in a sense, but can never meet.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), British novelist, story writer, essayist, and memoirist; born in Ireland. Seven Winters, part 2, sect. 2, ch. 8 (1962). From preface to the 1951 reprint of Ann Lee's, her second story collection.

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  • 5.
    Raids are slightly constipating.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), British novelist, story writer, essayist, and memoirist; born in Ireland. As quoted in Elizabeth Bowen, ch. 8, by Victoria Glendinning (1979). In a letter to her friend, Noreen Colley Butler, dated September 24, 1940, referring to the air raids on London during the World War II "blitz," which had begun the previous month. Butler was in Ireland.
  • 6.
    Fantasy is toxic: the private cruelty and the world war both have their start in the heated brain.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), Irish author; born in Ireland. Bowen's Court, afterword (1942).

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  • 7.
    ...the power-loving temperament is more dangerous when it either prefers or is forced to operate in what is materially a void. We have everything to dread from the dispossessed.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), Irish author; born in Ireland. Bowen's Court, afterword (1942).

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  • 8.
    Education is not so important as people think.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), Irish author; born in Ireland. Bowen's Court, ch. 5 (1942).

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  • 9.
    We visualized her less as a woman at work than as a light widening as it brightened.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), British novelist, story writer, essayist, and memoirist; born in Ireland. Seven Winters, part 2, sect. 2, ch. 2 (1962). On her generation's admiration of the original, greatly gifted British novelist, Virginia Woolf (1882-1941).

    Read more quotations about / on: light, work, woman
  • 10.
    ... it appears to me that problems, inherent in any writing, loom unduly large when one looks ahead. Though nothing is easy, little is quite impossible.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), British novelist, story writer, essayist, and memoirist; born in Ireland. Seven Winters, part 2, sect. 2, ch. 8 (1962). From the preface to the 1952 reprint of The Last September, which was first published in 1929.
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