Diane Setterfield quotes

  • There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Moving #Writing #Blood

  • I have always been a reader; I have read at every stage of my life, and there has never been a time when reading was not my greatest joy
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Reading #Joy #Stage

  • I don't pretend reality is the same for everyone.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Reality

  • For me to see is to read. It has always been that way.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Way

  • Of course I loved books more than people.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #People

  • A good story is always more dazzling than a broken piece of truth.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Broken #Stories #Pieces

  • But silence is not a natural environment for stories. They need words. Without them they grown pale, sicken and die. And then they haunt you.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Silence #Needs #Stories

  • When I was a child, books were everything. And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic, yearning for the lost pleasure of books. It is not a yearning that one ever expects to be fulfilled.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Children #Book #Nostalgic

  • There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #Lines #World

  • Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic. As one tends the graves of the dead, so I tend the books. And every day I open a volume or two, read a few lines or pages, allow the voices of the forgotten dead to resonate inside my head.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #Ice #Law

  • When one is nothing, one invents. It fills a void.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Void

  • What better place to kill time than a library?
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Library

  • I read *old* novels. The reason is simple. I prefer proper endings.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Simple #Reason #Novel

  • There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Hands #Experts #Prisoner

  • My genius is not so frail a thing that it cowers from the dirty fingers of newspapernen.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Dirty #Genius #Frail

  • In this cruel world kindness should always be repaid.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Kindness #World #Should

  • You are suffering from an ailment that affects ladies of romantic imaginations. Symptoms include fainting, weariness, loss of appetite, low spirits. While on one level the crisis can be ascribed to wandering about in freezing rain without the benefit of adequate waterproofing, the deeper cause is more likely to be found in some emotional trauma. However, unlike the heroines of your favorite novels, your constitution has not been weakened by the privations of life in earlier, harsher centuries. No tuberculosis, no childhood polio, no unhygienic living conditions. You'll survive.' " pg. 303
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Rain #Loss #Emotional

  • The tears I gratified him with were fake ones. Ones that set off my green eyes the way diamonds set off emeralds. And it worked. If you dazzled a man with green eyes, he will be so hypnotized that he won’t notice there is someone inside the eyes spying on him. – Vida Winters Page 268
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Eye #Winter #Men

  • Boys do not leave their boyhood behind when they leave off their school uniform.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #School #Boys #Uniforms

  • People whose lives are not balanced by a healthy love of money suffer from an appalling obsession with personal integrity.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Integrity #People #Healthy

  • To anyone who took the trouble to look, I was plainly visible, but when people are expecting to see nothing, that is usually what they see.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #People #Looks #Trouble

  • Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother, but the rest of the time there was none. This story is about one of those other times.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Once Upon A Time #Godmother #Stories

  • Art, its completeness, its formedness, its finishedness, had no power to console. Words on the other hand, were a lifeline. They left their hushed rhythm behind, a counter to the slow in and out of Emmeline's breathing.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Art #Hands #Breathing

  • A story so cherished it has to be dressed in casualness to disguise its significance in case the listener turned out to be unsympathetic.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Stories #Cases #Significance

  • Prescription: 'Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes. Take ten pages, twice a day, til end of course.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #Pages #Conan

  • There are cultures in which it is believed that a name contains all a persons mystical power. That a name should be known only to God and to the person who holds it and to very few privileged others. To pronounce such a name either ones own or someone else's is to invite jeopardy. This it seemed was such a name.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Names #Culture #Should

  • Tragedy alters everything.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Tragedy

  • Readers are fools. They believe all writing is autobiographical. And so it is, but not in the way they think. The writer's life needs time to rot away before it can be used to nourish a work of fiction. it must be allowed to decay.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Believe #Writing #Thinking

  • Politeness. Now there's a poor man's virtue if ever there was one. What's so admirable about inoffensiveness, I should like to know. After all, it's easily achieved. One needs no particular talent to be polite. On the contrary, being nice is what's left when you've failed at everything else. People with ambition don't give a damn what other people think about them.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Nice #Ambition #Men

  • People with ambition don't give a damn what other people think of them.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Ambition #Thinking #People

  • There was no single moment when I thought, Aha! What a great idea! Rather there was a slow and gradual accumulation of numerous small ideas.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Single Mom #Writing #Ideas

  • Without the past to cast its long shadow, might you see the future more clearly?
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Past #Long #Shadow

  • I have always been a reader; I have read at every stage of my life and there has never been a time when reading was not my greatest joy. And yet I cannot pretend that the reading I have done in my adult years matches in its impact on my soul the reading I did as a child. I still believe in stories. I still forget myself when I am in the middle of a good book. Yet it is not the same.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Children #Book #Reading

  • She could not read a book for fear of the feelings she might find in it.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #Feelings #Might

  • I shall start at the beginning. Though of coarse, the beginning is never where you think it is.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Thinking #Coarse

  • But there can be no secrets in a house where there are children.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Children #House #Secret

  • Though my appetite for food grew frail, my hunger for books was constant.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #Hunger #Appetite

  • The funeral was over, at last I could cry. Except that I couldn't. My tears, kept in too long, had fossilized. They would have to stay in forever now.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Long #Funeral #Forever

  • Of course I loved books more than people. Of course I valued "Jane Eyre" over the anonymous stranger...Of course all of Shakespeare was worth more than a human life.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #People #Stranger

  • There are times when the human face and body can express the yearning of the heart so accurately that you can, as they say, read them like a book. Do not abandon me.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #Heart #Faces

  • I still believe in stories. I still forget myself when I am in the middle of a good book. Books are for me, it must be said, the most important thing.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Believe #Book #Important

  • Fate, at first so amenable, so reasonable, so open to negotiation, ends up by exacting a cruel revenge for happiness.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Revenge #Fate #Firsts

  • Every so often I take out a volume and read a page or two. After all, reading is looking after in a manner of speaking. Though they're not old enough to be valuable for their age alone, nor important enough to be sought after by collectors, my charges are dear to me, even if, as often as not, they are as dull on the inside as on the outside. No matter how banal the contents, there is always something that touches me. For someone now dead once thought these words significant enough to write them down.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Reading #Writing #Two

  • opening the book, i inhaled. the smell of old books, so sharp, so dry you can taste it.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #Smell #Dry

  • Still in my coat and hat, I sank onto the stair to read the letter. (I never read without making sure I am in a secure position. I have been like this ever since the age of seven when, sitting on a high wall and reading The Water Babies, I was so seduced by the descriptions of underwater life that I unconsciously relaxed my muscles. Instead of being held buoyant by the water that so vividly surrounded me in my mind, I plummeted to the ground and knocked myself out. I can still feel the scar under my fringe now. Reading can be dangerous.)
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Baby #Wall #Reading

  • I know there are people who don't read fiction at all, and I find it hard to understand how they can bear to be inside the same head all the time.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #People #Fiction #Bears

  • I've nothing against people who love truth. Apart from the fact that they make dull companions.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #People #Dull #Facts

  • What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney?
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Dark #Wind #Midnight

  • My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? When the lightning strikes shadows on the bedroom wall and the rain taps at the window with its long fingernails? No. When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed, don't expect hard-boned and fleshless truth to come running to your aid. What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Running #Wall #Lying

  • I am human. Like all humans, I do not remember my birth. By the time we wake up to ourselves, we are little children, and our advent is something that happened an eternity ago, at the beginning of time. We live like latecomers to the theater; we must catch up as best we can, divining the begging from the shape of later events. - Vida Winter
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Children #Winter #Events

  • All morning I struggled with the sensation of stray wisps of one world seeping through the cracks of another. Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes -- characters even -- caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Morning #Book #Reading

  • Our lives are so important to us that we tend to think the story of them begins with our birth. First there was nothing, then I was born...Yet that is not so. Human lives are not pieces of string that can be separated out from a knot of others and laid out straight. Families are webs. Impossible to touch one part of it without setting the rest vibrating. Impossible to understand one part without having a sense of the whole. - Vida Winter
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Winter #Thinking #Important

  • One needs no particular talent to be polite. On the contrary, being nice is what's left when you've failed at everything else.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Nice #Needs #Talent

  • The doctor's wife wasn't a bad woman. She was sufficiently convinced of her own importance to believe that God actually did watch everything she did and listen to everything she said, and she was too taken up with rooting out the pride she was prone to feeling in her own holiness to notice any other failings she might have had. She was a do-gooder, which means that all the ill she did, she did without realizing it.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Believe #Taken #Mean

  • All children mythologise their birth. It is a universal trait. You want to know someone? Heart, mind and soul? Ask him to tell you about when he was born. What you get won’t be the truth: it will be a story. And nothing is more telling than a story.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Children #Heart #Soul

  • A birth is not really a beginning. Our lives at the start are not really our own but only the continuation of someone else's story.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Stories #Birth #Continuation

  • Our clients' faces, with the customary outward paleness and inner glow of the book lover.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #Faces #Clients

  • And sometimes then he sat with us for an hour or so, sharing our limbo, listening while I read. Books from any shelf, opened at any page, in which I would start and finish anywhere, mid-sentence sometimes. Wuthering Heights ran into Emma, which gave way to The Eustace Diamonds, which faded into Hard Times, which ceded to The Woman in White. Fragments. It didn't matter. Art, its completeness, its formedness, its finishedness, had no power to console. Words, on the other hand, were a lifeline.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Art #Book #Hard Times

  • My mother and I were like two continents moving slowly but inexorably apart; my father, the bridge builder, constantly extending the fragile edifice he had constructed to connect us.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Mother #Father #Moving

  • But she had that laugh, and the sound of it was so beautiful that when you heard it, it was as if your eyes saw her through your ears and she was transformed.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Beautiful #Eye #Laughing

  • The hours between eight in the evening and one or two in the morning have always been my magic hours. Against the blue candlewick bedspread the white pages of my open book, illuminated by a circle of lamplight, were the gateway to another world.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Morning #Book #Eight

  • Do they sense it, these dead writers, when their books are read? Does a pinprick of light appear in their darkness? Is their soul stirred by the feather touch of another mind reading theirs? I do hope so.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #Reading #Light

  • What better way to get to know someone than through her choice and treatment of books?
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Book #Choices #Way

  • He didn't know of course. Not really. And yet that was what he said, and I was soothed to hear it. For I knew what he meant. We all have our sorrows, and although the exact delineaments, weight, and dimensions of grief are different for everyone, the color of grief is common to us all. "I know," he said, because he was human, and therefore, in a way, he did.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Grief #Color #Sorrow

  • Everybody has a story. It's like families. You might not know who they are, might have lost them, but they exist all the same. You might drift apart or you might turn your back on them, but you can't say you haven't got them. Same goes for stories.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Stories #Might #Lost

  • Sometimes when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Past #Destiny #Doors

  • Emmeline didn't call me anything. She didn't need, for I was always there. You only need names for the absent.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Names #Needs #Call Me

  • Sometimes you can know things. Things about yourself. Things from before you can remember.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Remember #Sometimes #About Yourself

  • As for you, you are alive. But it's not the same as living.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Alive

  • One gets so used to one's own horrors, one forgets how they must seem to other people.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #People #Horror #Forget

  • For it must be very lonely being dead.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Lonely

  • Reading can be dangerous.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Reading #Dangerous

  • She was a do-gooder, which means that all the ill she did, she did without realizing it.
    -- Diane Setterfield

    #Mean #Realizing #Ill