• Books say: She did this because. Life says: She did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren't. I'm not surprised some people prefer books

    Julian Barnes
  • How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but—mainly—to ourselves

    Julian Barnes
  • Books say: She did this because. Life says: She did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren't. I'm not surprised some people prefer books. Books make sense of life. The only problem is that the lives they make sense of are other people's lives, never your own

    Julian Barnes
  • The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously

    Julian Barnes
  • When we fall in love, we hope - both egotistically and altruistically - that we shall be finally, truly seen: judged and approved. Of course, love does not always bring approval: being seen may just as well lead to a thumbs-down and a season in hell

    Julian Barnes
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