Ali Smith quotes

  • Happy is what you realize you are a fraction of a second before it's too late.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Too Late #Realizing

  • Every great narrative is at least two narratives, if not more - the thing that is on the surface and then the things underneath which are invisible.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Two #Narrative #Invisible

  • Books mean all possibilities. They mean moving out of yourself, losing yourself, dying of thirst and living to your full. They mean everything.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Book #Moving #Mean

  • Oh. To be filled with goodness then shattered by goodness, so beautifully mosaically fragmented by such shocking goodness.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Goodness #Shattered #Filled

  • A game one of my sisters will play with me in my first year of being alive is called Good Baby, Bad Baby. This consists of being told I am a good baby until I smile and laugh, then being told I am a bad baby until I burst into tears. This training will stand me in good stead all through my life.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Baby #Years #Games

  • We'd never expect to understand a piece of music on one listen, but we tend to believe we've read a book after reading it just once.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Believe #Book #Reading

  • I wouldn't call my work Modernist. I would rust if I try to think about labels. I'd feel like the Tin Man in 'The Wizard of Oz.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Men #Thinking #Trying

  • I went to the top of Vesuvius and looked in.
    -- Ali Smith

  • Fashion is fickle, and I was published because I was fashionable. Because I was gay.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Fashion #Gay #Fickle

  • A good argument, like a good dialogue, is always a proof of life, but I'd much rather go and read a book.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Book #Argument #Proof

  • Even things which seem separate and finished are infinitely connected and will infinitely connect. This connection happens as soon as you let it, as soon as you engage - as soon as you even attempt to engage.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Connections #Connected

  • All we need to do, reader or writer, from first line to final page, is be as open as a book, and be alive to the life in language - on all its levels.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Book #Finals #Needs

  • Words are like untying a corset - you can move into this great space with them.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Moving #Space

  • [Property] is a brilliant, chillingly revelatory piece of fiction, a work of craft, economy and such good merciless observation-one of those rare, crucial novels illuminating a history we think we know and understand so that after we've read it we'll never forget its truths.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Thinking #Fiction #Pieces

  • As for Aliki - if you were to stand in the middle of Rome and say the name Sophia Loren, or Paris and say the name Catherine Deneuve or Brigitte Bardot, or L.A. and the name Marilyn Monroe, it's like standing in Athens, or anywhere in wide-flung Greece, and saying Aliki Vougiouklaki. A huge star - and so little known elsewhere in the world.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Stars #Rome #Names

  • Thomas Teal, a luminous translator of Jansson's twin talent for surface and depth, simplicity and reverberation in language, and someone who knows exactly how to convey her gift for sensing the meaning embedded in the most mundane act or turn of phrase.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Simplicity #Depth #Phrases

  • I want to be bored. But I can't. But I really don't want to be this thing that I'm having to be instead of being bored.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Bored #Want

  • You never know if you're a writer. You can't trust it. If you woke up and said, 'I'm a writer,' it would be gone. You wouldn't see anything for miles - even the dust would be running away.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Running #Dust #Would Be

  • We're well past the end of the century when time, for the first time, curved, bent, slipped, flash forwarded, and flashed back yet still kept rolling along. We know it all now, with our thoughts traveling at the speed of a tweet, our 140 characters in search of a paragraph. We're post-history. We're post-mystery.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Character #Past #Rolling

  • Nothing is harmful to literature except censorship, and that almost never stops literature going where it wants to go either, because literature has a way of surpassing everything that blocks it and growing stronger for the exercise.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Block #Exercise #Stronger

  • My father is from Newark in Nottinghamshire and my mother is from the very north of Ireland. They've ended up in Scotland, where my father - well, both of them - will always be seen as having come from somewhere else.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Mother #Father #Scotland

  • I'm blessed in my good friends, and some of them happen to be writers, though that's almost never what our friendships are about. And every writer I've ever read, living or dead, has in one way or another helped and inspired. I have a feeling it's important not to mix the two up.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Blessed #Good Friend #Two

  • I was at the tail end of the family. The next brother along was already seven years older than me. I remember growing up by myself, playing games by myself.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Brother #Growing Up #Playing Games

  • I had a job, I got ill, I left the job to get better, and while I was getting better, I wrote some stories. I sent them to some publishers and the fifth one who replied said they'd take them. Then they went bankrupt. Then that bankrupt publisher got bought by a bigger firm. Story: in the end is the beginning, and in the beginning is the end.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Jobs #Get Better #Stories

  • But everything written has style. The list of ingredients on the side of a cornflakes box has style. And everything literary has literary style. And style is integral to a work. How something is told correlates with - more - makes what's being told. A story is its style.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Style #Stories #Ingredients

  • It is important to know the stories and histories of things, even if all we know is that we don't know.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Important #Stories

  • All we are is eyes looking for the unbroken or the edges where the broken bits might fit each other.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Eye #Broken #Might

  • Tonight I can smell the season the way it's usually only possible to at the very first moments of its return, before you're used to it, when you've forgotten its smell, then there it is back in the air and the flow of things shifting and resettling again.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Smell #Air #Tonight

  • Outside the leaves on the trees constricted slightly; they were the deep done green of the beginning of autumn. It was a Sunday in September. There would only be four. The clouds were high and the swallows would be here for another month or so before they left for the south before they returned again next summer.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Summer #Autumn #Sunday

  • remember you must live. remember you most love. remainder you mist leaf.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Remember #Mist #Leafs

  • What shop did this book come from? she asked. Her father was looking worried at the cooker. He always got rice wrong. I don't know, Brooksie, he said, I don't remember. That was unimaginable, not remembering where a book has come from! and where it was bought from! That was part of the whole history, the whole point, of any book that you owned! And when you picked it up later in the house at home, you knew, you just knew by looking and having it in your hand, where it came from and where you got it and when and why you'd decided to buy it.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Father #Book #Home

  • Then I saw her smile so close to my eye that there was nothing to see but the smile and the thought came into my head that I’d never been inside a smile before. Who’d have thought being inside a smile would be so ancient and so modern both at once
    -- Ali Smith

    #Eye #Would Be #Saws

  • There are things that can't be said, because it's hard to have to know them.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Said

  • The proper word for me," Robin Goodman says, "is me.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Robins

  • We all know our dates of birth but . . . every year there is another date that we pass over without knowing what it is but it is just as important it is the other date the death date.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Years #Knowing #Important

  • There is a kind of poetry, bad and good, in evrything, everywhere we look.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Looks #Kind

  • To be known so well by someone is an unimaginable gift. But to be imagined so well by someone is even better.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Wells

  • The whole point is, we can forget. It’s important that we forget some things. Otherwise we’d go round the world carrying a hodload of stuff we just don’t need.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Important #Needs #World

  • Art makes nothing happen in a way that makes something happen.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Art #Way #Things Happen

  • The head has its confines. The head’s got those all right, and the heart. The heart has its reasons.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Heart #Reason

  • I don't want a tombstone. You could carve on it 'She never actually wanted a tombstone.'
    -- Ali Smith

    #Tombstone #Want #Wanted

  • Do you come to art to be comforted, or do you come to art to be re-skinned?
    -- Ali Smith

    #Art

  • Stella Duffy is a writer who never lets you down.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Stella

  • Short stories consume you faster. They're connected to brevity. With the short story, you are up against mortality. I know how tough they are as a form, but they're also a total joy.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Joy #Stories #Tough

  • It's about the connecting force from form to form. It's the toe bone connecting to the shoulder bone. It's the bacterial kick of life force, something growing out of nothing, forming itself out of something else. Form never stops. And form is always environmental.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Environmental #Growing #Toes

  • I have thought for a long time that the way my clothes hang on me is more important than me inside them.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Clothes #Long #Important

  • Google is so strange. It promises everything, but everything isn’t there. You type in the words for what you need, and what you need becomes superfluous in an instant, shadowed instantaneously by the things you really need, and none of them answerable by Google.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Google #Promise #Needs

  • And it was always the stories that needed the telling that gave us the rope we could cross any river with. They balanced us high above any crevasse. They made us be natural acrobats. They made us brave. They met us well. They changed us. It was in their nature to.
    -- Ali Smith

    #Rivers #Brave #Rope