Top English Pen Quotes

Browse top 61 famous quotes and sayings about English Pen by most favorite authors.

Favorite English Pen Quotes

1. "I think we've had rather too much dirt rather than not enough. That's not a prudish English remark, but a statement of saturation. These up-and-coming young men," she splutters. "Penelope Fitzgerald -- they think, 'Ah! Middle-aged lady with frizzy hair and a nice smile; she must be writing tastefully.' I say she's writing against taste, quite savagely. But they don't pick it up because they're brash young men poncing about, waving their blood and thunder and condoms!"
Author: A.S. Byatt
2. "While the Zionists try to make the rest of the World believe that the national consciousness of the Jew finds its satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian state, the Jews again slyly dupe the dumb Goyim. It doesn't even enter their heads to build up a Jewish state in Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central organisation for their international world swindler, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding crooks. It is a sign of their rising confidence and sense of security that at a time when one section is still playing the German, French-man, or Englishman, the other with open effrontery comes out as the Jewish race."
Author: Adolf Hitler
3. "It's so English to hate L.A. I'd like to say I love it, but I don't. It's such a weird place. If it were my choice, I wouldn't spend a day there. Everything shuts at 11. And everyone thinks they're so crazy and wild and liberal, and they're not!"
Author: Amelia Warner
4. "Lately I have been feeling hulihudu. And everything around me seemed to be heimongmong. These were words I had never thought about in English terms. I suppose the closest in meaning would be "confused" and "dark fog." But really, the words mean much more than that. Maybe they can't be easily translated because they refer to a sensation that only Chinese people have, as if you were falling headfirst through Old Mr. Chou's [Mr. Sandman's] door, then trying to find your way back. But you're so scared you can't open your eyes, so you get on your hands and knees and grope in the dark, listening for voices to tell you which way to go. I had been talking to too may people...to each person I told a different story. Yet each version was true, I was certain of it, at least at the moment I told it."
Author: Amy Tan
5. "Yes, it would nice for this fifty year period, this cradle of all vampire short stories in the English language, to include a vampire tale by Edgar Allan Poe. But the sad answer is that Poe never penned a vampire story."
Author: Andrew Barger
6. "The two-man crew of the patrol boat does not speak English. Rachel exploits this as best she can, while still dumping life jackets in the water. "What? I don't understand what you're saying? Do you speak English?"They confirm in their native tongue that they obviously do not. Rachel must be putting on a theatrical display, because the small boat rocks while she talks. "I don't need these life jackets anymore," she says, in her thickest Italian accent. "The colors are all wrong for me. I mean, look at this orange. Ew, right?"Galen rolls his eyes. I try not to giggle."And this green? Hideous!" she continues. The men get more irate when she doesn't stop littering their domain. "Hey, what the…Don't touch me! I have a foot injury, you jerk!"Galen and I slink below the surface. "We knew that might happen," he says."
Author: Anna Banks
7. "The only way to speak is diplomatically, and British is the imperial English tongue. I have expelled all claims to American independence from my pronunciation, and I have never felt more liberated."
Author: Bauvard
8. "The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself. There is no other principle distinctly, certainly, and consistently maintained through all its narrow turnings. Viewed by this light it becomes a coherent scheme, and not the monstrous maze the laity are apt to think it. Let them but once clearly perceive that its grand principle is to make business for itself at their expense, and surely they will cease to grumble."
Author: Charles Dickens
9. "I was near-delirious. Gazing up at the pillared skyline, I knew that I was surveying a tremendous work of man. Buying myself a drink in the smaller warrens below, in all their ethnic variety (and willingness to keep odd and late hours, and provide plentiful ice cubes, and free matchbooks in contrast to English parsimony in these matters), I felt the same thing in a different way. The balance between the macro and the micro, the heroic scale and the human scale, has never since ceased to fascinate and charm me. Evelyn Waugh was in error when he said that in New York there was a neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistook for energy. There was, rather, a tensile excitement in that air which made one think—made me think for many years—that time spent asleep in New York was somehow time wasted. Whether this thought has lengthened or shortened my life I shall never know, but it has certainly colored it."
Author: Christopher Hitchens
10. "Wikipedia took the idea of peer review and applied it to volunteers on a global scale, becoming the most important English reference work in less than 10 years. Yet the cumulative time devoted to creating Wikipedia, something like 100 million hours of human thought, is expended by Americans every weekend, just watching ads."
Author: Clay Shirky
11. "Is there any finer phrase in the English language than Midsummer Day? There are no words to touch it for conjuring. It is the beginning of blooming roses and ripening corn, of days that stretch on, reaching for midnight until the spangled blue velvet of night descends and beginning again before cockcrow, when the dew jewels the grass like diamonds scattered while the earth slumbers. I, of course, expected rain. Not just rain, but torrential, heaving, biblical rain—the sort to set arks afloat. Everything else had gone awry, why not that? But when I awoke on Midsummer Day, the sun greeted me cordially, coaxing the dew from the grass and the early roses as a light breeze wafted the scent of charred chimney over the gardens. I stood at the window and breathed in deeply all the scents of summer, fresh grass and carp ponds and blossoming herb knots until the whole of it mingled in my head and made me dizzy. A bee floated lazily in the window and out again as if beckoning me to follow."
Author: Deanna Raybourn
12. "My brother, being an English gentleman, possesses a library in all his houses, though he never opens a book. This is called fidelity to ancient tradition."
Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
13. "I went to Cambridge University. I took a number of baths - and a degree in English. I worried a lot about girls and what had happened to my bike. Later I became I writer and worked on a lot of things that were almost incredibly successful but in fact just failed to see the light of day. Other writers will know what I mean."
Author: Douglas Adams
14. "But the poetry of that kiss, the wonder of it, the magic that there was in life for hours after it--who can describe that? It is so easy for an Englishman to sneer at these chance collisions of human beings. To the insular cynic and the insular moralist they offer an equal opportunity. It is so easy to talk of "passing emotion," and how to forget how vivid the emotion was ere it passed. Our impulse to sneer, to forget, is at root a good one. We recognize that emotion is not enough, and that men and women are personalities capable of sustained relations, not mere opportunities for an electrical discharge. Yet we rate the impulse too highly. We do not admit that by collisions of this trivial sort the doors of heaven may be shaken open."
Author: E.M. Forster
15. "Shh, kitten," he whispered in English once more, nuzzling her temple, mouth open and hot against her ear. "Trust me." His palms curved beneath her breasts, lifting them as his blunt fingertips tweaked her nipples expertly enough to have slickness gathering between her clenched thighs. "You are the most beautiful thing I have ever touched. Une ange, bébé." Hegroaned quietly as he caught her earlobe between his teeth. "Je t'adore," he muttered, thrusting against her backside."
Author: Edie Harris
16. "And once, a sophomore English teacher, Mr. Watts, found out that one of his students had spent the past eight class periods carving an elaborate design into his desk. The "artwork" read: "Mr. Watts and Dickens sucks dick." Mr. Watts confronted the carver, telling him, "That's wrong!" Then Mr. Watts took the knife and crossed out the last s in sucks. "This sentence has two objects," he explained. "You need to conjugate the verb differently." And he handed the knife back."
Author: Flynn Meaney
17. "Until I am free to write bilingually and to switch codes without having always to translate, while I still have to speak English or Spanish when I would rather speak Spanglish, and as long as I have to accommodate the English speakers rather than having them accommodate me, my tongue will be illegitimate. I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent's tongue - my woman's voice, my sexual voice, my poet's voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence."
Author: Gloria E. Anzaldúa
18. "Soon we're both frowning hard at the paperwork. "Middle name?" Noah says. "Does Gideon even have a middle name?""I don't know"Noah turns to me and says, "Do you have a middle name?" his glare implying that, if I do, this whole thing is somehow my fault."I...have no idea.""Primary language spoken at home." Noah makes a face. "What does this mean? Our primary language? Gideon's? That's sort of why we're here...""Um, it's under family, so I'm guessing ours?""Well..." Noah lowers his pen. The paperwork has defeated him. "What's our primary language?""English? ASL? Physical affection?""Food?" Noah says."Food's a good guess."He picks up the pen. "I'm writing food, comma passive aggressive.""Good call."
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
19. "English literature, from the days of the minstrels to the Lake Poets—Chaucer and Spenser and Milton, and even Shakespeare, included—breathes no quite fresh and, in this sense, wild strain. It is an essentially tame and civilized literature, reflecting Greece and Rome. … Where is the literature which gives expression to Nature?...I do not know of any poetry to quote which adequately expresses this yearning for the Wild....The West is preparing to add its fables to those of the East. The valleys of the Ganges, the Nile, and the Rhine having yielded their crop, it remains to be seen what the valleys of the Amazon, the Plate, the Orinoco, the St. Lawrence, and the Mississippi will produce."
Author: Henry David Thoreau
20. "We shall never be understood or respected by the English until we carry our individuality to extremes, and by asserting our independence, become of sufficient consequence in their eyes to merit a closer study than they have hitherto accorded us."
Author: Henry Lawson
21. "He looks around at his guests. All are prepared. A Latin grace; English would be his choice, but he will suit his company. Who cross themselves ostentatiously, in papist style. Who look at him, expectant. He shouts for the waiters. The doors burst open. Sweating men heave the platters to the table. It seems the meat is fresh, in fact not slaughtered yet. It is just a minor breach of etiquette. The company must sit and salivate. The Boleyns are laid at his hand to be carved."
Author: Hilary Mantel
22. "I have not harmed her. I have not allowed harm to come to her. It's more than her lot has ever offered me, and English has seen what befalls them when they press the boot on our necks. She has survived the wages of justice through luck, mettle, and wit enough to open her eyes.English finally sees.If I'm to be ruled, may it be by those who see."
Author: J Anderson Coats
23. "If I understand you rightly, you had formed a surmise of such horror as I have hardly words to-- Dear Miss Morland, consider the dreadful nature of the suspicions you have entertained. What have you been judging from? Remember the country and the age in which we live. Remember that we are English, that we are Christians. Consult your own understanding, your own sense of the probable, your own observation of what is passing around you. Does our education prepare us for such atrocities? Do our laws connive at them? Could they be perpetrated without being known, in a country like this, where social and literary intercourse is on such a footing, where every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies, and where roads and newspapers lay everything open? Dearest Miss Morland, what ideas have you been admitting?"They had reached the end of the gallery, and with tears of shame she ran off to her own room."
Author: Jane Austen
24. "(And did I mention how in summer the streets of Smyrna were lined with baskets of rose petals? And how everyone in the city could speak French, Italian, Greek, Turkish, English, and Dutch? And did I tell you about the famous figs, brought in by camel caravan and dumped onto the ground, huge piles of pulpy fruit lying in the dirt, with dirty women steeping them in salt water and children squatting to defecate behind the clusters? Did I mention how the reek of the fig women mixed with pleasanter smells of almond trees, mimosa, laurel, and peach, and how everybody wore masks on Mardi Gras and had elaborate dinners on the decks of frigates? I want to mention these things because they all happened in that city that was no place exactly, that was part of no country because it was all countries, and because now if you go there you'll see modern high-rises, amnesiac boulevards, teeming sweatshops, a NATO headquarters, and a sign that says Izmir...)"
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
25. "In the end it comes down to two rival versions of the English middle afternoon. Post-Barrett, Pink Floyd kept on in a middle-afternoonish vein, but they fell in love with the idea of portentous storm clouds in the offing somewhere over Grantchester....Barrett's afternoonishness was far more supple and engaging. It superimposed the hippie cult of eternal solstice on the pre-teatime daydreams of one's childhood, occasioned by a slick of sunlight on a chest of drawers....His afternoonishness is lit by an importunate adult intelligence that can't quite get back to the place it longs to be....Barrett created the same precocious longing in adolescents."I remember 'See Emily Play' drifting across a school corridor in 1967...and I remember the powerful wish to stay suspended indefinitely in that music...I also remember the quasi-adult intimation that this wasn't possible.[from the London Review of Books for January 2, 2003]"
Author: Jeremy Harding
26. "MAINTAINING DOCTRINAL PURITY IS good, but it is not the whole picture for a New Testament church. The apostles wanted to do much more than simply "hold the fort," as the old gospel song says. They asked God to empower them to move out and impact an entire culture. In too many places where the Bible is being thumped and doctrine is being argued until three in the morning, the Spirit of that doctrine is missing. William Law, an English devotional writer of the early 1700s, wrote, "Read whatever chapter of Scripture you will, and be ever so delighted with it—yet it will leave you as poor, as empty and unchanged as it found you unless it has turned you wholly and solely to the Spirit of God, and brought you into full union with and dependence upon him."1"
Author: Jim Cymbala
27. "I'm not going to fit into that English courtroom. I'm going to stand out, with how I dress, and how I think, because I'm not English. I don't know about murder and witness and juries, but I do know how to fix things in my life when they're messed up. If you make a mistake and repent, you're forgiven. You're welcomed back. If you lie, and keep lying, there won't be a place for you." -Katie, Plain Truth"
Author: Jodi Picoult
28. "English autumn mornings are often like mornings nowhere else in the world.The air is cold.The floorboards are cold.It is perhaps this coldness which sharpens the tang of the hot cup of tea. Outside, steps on the gravel crunch a little more loudly than a month ago because of the very slight frost"
Author: John Berger
29. "Our sense of what American English is has upended our relationship to articulateness, our approach to writing, and how (and whether) we impart it to the young, our interest in poetry, and our conception of what it is, and even our response to music and how we judge it."
Author: John H. McWhorter
30. "It would be good if teachers could genuinely understand that black English is not mistakes, it's just different English, and that what you want to do is add an additional dialect to black students' repertoire rather than teaching them out of what's thought of as a bad habit, like sloppy posture or chewing with your mouth open."
Author: John McWhorter
31. "As a rule the Holloywood pattern for English actors is simple. They are delighted to go, they are told there is a lot of work for them if they stick it out, they tell everyone how fabulous it is, they spend all their money - and then they come home. It seems to take from two to six years."
Author: Julian Fellowes
32. "I studied English literature; I took 2 independent religion classes, but I wasn't a religion major really."
Author: Maggie Gyllenhaal
33. "Angela Carter...refused to join in rejecting or denouncing fairy tales, but instead embraced the whole stigmatized genre, its stock characters and well-known plots, and with wonderful verve and invention, perverse grace and wicked fun, soaked them in a new ?ery liquor that brought them leaping back to life. From her childhood, through her English degree at the University of Bristol where she specialised in Medieval Literature, and her experiences as a young woman on the folk-music circuit in the West Country, Angela Carter was steeped in English and Celtic faerie, in romances of chivalry and the grail, Chaucerian storytelling and Spenserian allegory, and she was to become fairy tale's rescuer, the form's own knight errant, who seized hold of it in its moribund state and plunged it into the fontaine de jouvence itself.(from "Chamber of Secrets: The Sorcery of Angela Carter")"
Author: Marina Warner
34. "I was there to get a Ph.D. in English literature. That's not true. I was there to read a lot of books and to discuss them with bright, insightful, book-loving people, an expectation that I pretty quickly learned was about as silly as it could be.Certainly there were other people who loved books, I'm sure there were, but whoever had notified them ahead of time that loving books was not the point, was, in fact, a hopelessly counterproductive and naive approach to the study of literature, neglected to notify me. It turned out that the point was to dissect a book like a fetal pig in biology class or to break its back with a single sentence or to bust it open like a milkweek pod and say, "See? All along it was only fluff," and then scatter it into oblivion with one tiny breath."
Author: Marisa De Los Santos
35. "Teaching English is (as professorial jobs go) unusually labor-intensive and draining. To do it well, you have to spend a lot of time coaching students individually on their writing and thinking. Strangely enough, I still had a lot of energy for this student-oriented part of the job. Rather, it was _books_ that no longer interested me, drama and fiction in particular. It was as though a priest, in midcareer, had come to doubt the reality of transubstantiation. I could still engage with poems and expository prose, but most fiction seemed the product of extremities I no longer wished to visit. So many years of Zen training had reiterated, 'Don't get lost in the drama of life,' and here I had to stand around in a classroom defending Oedipus."
Author: Mary Rose O'Reilley
36. "English rain feels obligatory, like paperwork. It dampens already damn days and slicks the stones."
Author: Maureen Johnson
37. "There is an English expression: 'high-maintenance girlfriend,'" Csongor remarked. "Now, of course, Zula is not my girlfriend. Probably never would be, even if all this shit were not happening. And I think that if she were my girlfriend? She would not be high maintenance at all! She is just not that type of girl. However. Because of circumstances, today she is the most high-maintenance girlfriend since Cleopatra."
Author: Neal Stephenson
38. "An English girl might well believethat time is how you spend your love."
Author: Nick Laird
39. "My mom has an English accent, so we always referred to the trunk as the 'boot.' And then, suddenly, we moved to Georgia and I would say things like 'open the boot' with a bit of an accent, and I quickly realized I had to adapt; that kind of thing will get you beat up!"
Author: Nicole Beharie
40. "...hear the language, this English, double-jointed as Bedivere's limbs. It only sounds awkward. In its ability to join one concept to another as with pegs, its dependent clauses, figures of speech and cadenced alliteration, a man can say one thing five ways and yet imply a sixth; can change meaning with an inflection, a pause or a deliberate misuse of a word, can mock, scorn and flay an opponent without uttering one overt insult."
Author: Parke Godwin
41. "There's nothing about me on the jacket because I have no credentials. I majored in English at school, but I only took one creative writing class. I think I got a B. And I never really thought about getting an MFA. I'm too spiteful to take criticism constructively and I'm only comfortable being honest about people behind their backs, so workshops or group critiques were never what I was looking for. For years I just wrote in journals and didn't really worry about turning any of it into stories or stuff for other people to read, so I guess I developed my writing style by talking to myself, like some homeless people do. Only I used a pen and paper instead of just freaking out on the street. If they switched to a different medium they might be better off. It would probably help if they had someplace to live too."
Author: Paul Neilan
42. "Across the Atlantic, commercial therapy of all kinds provides so many more comfortable outlets for people when they are under pressure. The English tradition is to get a grip, whereas the American version is to get in touch with your feelings, to say: 'I'm a good person. Isn't it terrible when bad things happen to people like me?'"
Author: Peter York
43. "In English and Arabic. Clearly, even personal shoppers had him pegged as a complete geek. The shopper also managed to find some supplies for our magic bags—blocks of wax, twine, even some papyrus and ink—though I doubt Bes explained to her what they were for. After she left, Bes, Carter and I ordered more food from room service. We sat on the deck and watched the afternoon go by. The breeze from the Mediterranean was cool and pleasant. Modern Alexandria stretched out to our left—an odd mix of gleaming high-rises, shabby, crumbling buildings, and ancient ruins. The shoreline highway was dotted with palm trees and crowded with every sort of vehicle from BMWs to donkeys. From our penthouse suite, it all seemed a bit unreal—the raw energy of the city, the bustle and congestion below —while we sat on our veranda in the sky eating fresh fruit and the last melting bits of Lenin's head."
Author: Rick Riordan
44. "Let us work toward greater cooperation with all Caribbean Countries, whether we speak English, Dutch, French or Spanish, whether we are independent or not, and whether we be island or continental territories."
Author: Said Musa
45. "The British were white, English, and Protestant, just as we were. They had to have some other basis on which to justify independence, and happily they were able to formulate the inalienable truths set forth in the Declaration."
Author: Samuel P. Huntington
46. "A destiny that leads the English to the Dutch is strange enough; but one that leads from Epsom into Pennsylvania, and thence into the hills that shut in Altamont over the proud coral cry of the cock, and the soft stone smile of an angel, is touched by that dark miracle of chance which makes new magic in a dusty world.Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas.The seed of our destruction will blossom in the desert, the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, and our lives are haunted by a Georgia slattern, because a London cutpurse went unhung. Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years. The minute-winning days, like flies, buzz home to death, and every moment is a window on all time.This is a moment:"
Author: Thomas Wolfe
47. "The behaviour of the English people I had run into was making it very difficult to nail down a theory that the reason my trip so far had been such a bizarre success, was that Irish people were crazy. One Englishman had spent a morning on the telephone trying to organise a helicopter to take me out to an island, when a boat was leaving only a few yards away, and here was another, making a two-hour round trip for no reason other than to lend a helping hand. Two of the more eccentric pieces of behaviour hadn't been performed by the Irish, but by my fellow countrymen. However, both Andy and Tony had embraced wholeheartedly a love of the Irish way of living life."
Author: Tony Hawks
48. "Annabel was, like the writer, of mixed parentage: half-English, half-Dutch, in her case. I remember her features far less distinctly today than I did a few years ago, before I knew Lolita. There are two kinds of visual memory: one when you skillfully recreate an image in the laboratory of your mind, with your eyes open (and then I see Annabel in such general terms as: "honey-colored skin," "thin arms," "brown bobbed hair," "long lashes," "big bright mouth"); and the other when you instantly evoke, with shut eyes, on the dark innerside of your eyelids, the objective, absolutely optical replica of a beloved face, a little ghost in natural colors (and this is how I see Lolita)."
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
49. "It is not for you to say - you Englishmen, who have conquered your freedom so long ago, that you have conveniently forgotten what blood you shed, and what extremities you proceeded to in the conquering - it is not for you to say how far the worst of all exasperations may, or may not, carry the maddened men of an enslaved nation. The iron that has entered into our souls has gone too deep for you to find it. Leave the refugee alone! Laugh at him, distrust him, open your eyes in wonder at the secret self which smolders in him, sometimes under the every-day respectability and tranquility of a man like me - sometimes under the grinding poverty, the fierce squalor, of men less lucky, less pliable, less patient than I am - but judge us not. In the time of your first Charles you might have done us justice - the long luxury of your freedom has made you incapable of doing us justice now."
Author: Wilkie Collins
50. "In his entirely personal experience of them, English was jazz music, German was classical music, French was ecclesiastical music, and Spanish was from the streets. Which is to stay, stab his heart and it would bleed French, slice his brain open and its convolutions would be lined with English and German, and touch his hands and they would feel Spanish."
Author: Yann Martel

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In nature, improbabilities are the one stock in trade. The whole creation is one lunatic fringe. If creation had been left up to me, I'm sure I wouldn't have had the imagination or courage to do more than shape a single, reasonably sized atom, smooth as a snowball, and let it go at that."
Author: Annie Dillard

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