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Feel Free: Essays

Zadie Smith

Top 10 Best Quotes

“I am seized by two contradictory feelings: there is so much beauty in the world it is incredible that we are ever miserable for a moment; there is so much shit in the world that it is incredible we are ever happy for a moment.”

“Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.”

“Writing exists (for me) at the intersection of three precarious, uncertain elements: language, the world, the self. The first is never wholly mine; the second I can only ever know in a partial sense; the third is a malleable and improvised response to the previous two.”

“Between propriety and joy choose joy.”

“progress is never permanent, will always be threatened, must be redoubled, restated and reimagined if it is to survive.”

“If the aim is to be liked by more and more people, whatever is unusual about a person gets flattened out.”

“If novelists know anything it's that individual citizens are internally plural: they have within them the full range of behavioral possibilities. They are like complex musical scores from which certain melodies can be teased out and others ignored or suppressed, depending, at least in part, on who is doing the conducting.”

“My evidence—such as it is—is almost always intimate. I feel this—do you? I’m struck by this thought—are you?”

“Libraries are not failing "because they are libraries." Neglected libraries get neglected, and this cycle, in time, provides the excuse to close them. Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.”

“Happy is the novelist,” claims Nabokov, “who manages to preserve an actual love letter that he received when he was young within a work of fiction, embedded in it like a clean bullet in flabby flesh and quite secure there, among spurious lives.”

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Book Keywords:

writing-quotes, writing, libraries

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