Happy Birthday, William Boyd, born 7 March 1952
- We keep a journal to entrap that collection of selves that forms us, the individual human being.
- With film, you have very limited tools to convey subjectivity – voiceover, the camera’s point of view, good acting – but even the very best actor in the world is crude by comparison with what you can do in a written paragraph.
- There’s a sense in all my novels that nothing is certain.
- Writing a film – more precisely, adapting a book into a film – is basically a relentless series of compromises. . . It has been said before but is worth reiterating: writing a novel is like swimming in the sea; writing a film is like swimming in the bath.
- Dignity was the first quality to be abandoned when the heart took over the running of human affairs.
- True learning only occurs when you love the subject you are studying and then the acquiring of knowledge is effortless because it is also a pleasure.
- No human being is entirely innocent.
- I love to use these phrases – ‘with the greatest respect’, ‘in all modest’, ‘I humbly submit’ – which in fact always imply the complete opposite.
- Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary – it is the respective proportion of those two categories that make that life appear interesting or humdrum.
William Boyd is a British novelist and screenwriter. His novels include A Good Man in Africa, An Ice-Cream War, and Any Human Heart.
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