Muriel Spark was born 1 February 1918, and died 13 April 2006
- If you’re going to do a thing, you should do it thoroughly. If you’re going to be a Christian, you may as well be a Catholic.
- It is difficult for people of advanced years to start remembering they must die. It is best to form the habit while young.
- [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.
- 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.
- If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work, I explained, the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp. The light from a lamp, I explained, gives a cat great satisfaction. The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquillity of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.
- A rebellion against a tyrant is only immoral when it hasn’t got a chance.
- It is well, when in difficulties, to say never a word, neither black nor white. Speech is silver but silence is golden.
Muriel Spark was a prolific, award-winning Scottish novelist. Her darkly comedic voice made her one of the most distinctive writers of the twentieth century. The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie was considered her masterpiece, and was made into a stage play, a TV series, and a film. In 2008 The Times newspaper named Spark in its list of ‘the 50 greatest British writers since 1945’, at #8.
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