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18 Thought-provoking Quotes from P.D. James

P.D. James was born in Oxford, England, on August 3, 1920, best known for her series of 13 detective novels Adam Dalgliesh, as well as her novel, The Children of Men, which was the basis for the movie Children of Men, featuring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore. Today, we share 18 of the best quotes from P. D. James:

 

On romantic encounters:

On romantic encounters:
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"Not so much two ships passing in the night as two ships sailing together for a time but always bound for different ports." -from The Lighthouse

 

On charm:

"Charm is often despised but I can never see why. No one has it who isn't capable of genuinely liking others, at least at the actual moment of meeting and speaking. Charm is always genuine; it may be superficial but it isn't false." -from The Children of Men

 

On our sexuality:

"If our sex life were determined by our first youthful experiments, most of the world would be doomed to celibacy. In no area of human experience are human beings more convinced that something better can be had only if they persevere." -from The Children of Men

 

On human existence:

"Of the four billion life forms which have existed on this planet, three billion, nine hundred and sixty million are now extinct. We don't know why. Some by wanton extinction, some through natural catastrophe, some destroyed by meteorites and asteroids. In the light of these mass extinctions it really does seem unreasonable to suppose that Homo sapiens should be exempt. Our species will have been one of the shortest-lived of all, a mere blink, you may say, in the eye of time."

 

On eternal life:

On eternal life:
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"We can experience nothing but the present moment, live in no other second of time, and to understand this is as close as we can get to eternal life." -from The Children of Men

 

On pain:

"Time didn't heal, but it anesthetized. The human mind could only feel so much." -from Innocent Blood

 

On love and regret:

"I am fifty years old and I have never known what it is to love. I can write those words, know them to be true, but feel only the regret that a tone-deaf man must feel because he can't appreicate music, a regret less keen because it is for something never known, not for something lost." -from The Children of Men

 

On emotional honesty:

On emotional honesty:
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"Perhaps it's only when people are dead that we can safely show how much we cared about them. We know that it's too late then for them to do anything about it."

 

On history:

"History, which interprets the past to understand the present and confront the future is the least rewarding discipline for a dying species." -from The Children of Men

 

On past and future:

"Man is diminished if he lives without knowledge of his past; without hope of a future he becomes a beast."

 

On god:

On god:
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"God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest."

"There comes a time when every scientist, even God, has to write off an experiment."

 

On parenting:

On parenting:
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"What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give."

"If from infancy you treat children as gods, they are liable in adulthood to act as devils."

 

On the English:

"We English are good at forgiving our enemies; it releases us from the obligation of liking our friends."

 

On political correctness:

On political correctness:
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"I believe that political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism."

 

On writing:

"Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell."

"Learn to write by doing it. Read widely and wisely. Increase your word power. Find your own individual voice though practicing constantly. Go through the world with your eyes and ears open and learn to express that experience in words."

 

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Travel because you have no idea who you are until you experience yourself through different people and realize how we're all the same

Travel because you have no idea who you are until you experience yourself through different people and realize how we're all the same

It doesn't matter how I begin my poems because by the end they are all about you

It doesn't matter how I begin my poems because by  the end they are all about you

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