“If you want to get back at somebody you consider your enemy, give them a column in the New York Times. Because over time all of their weaknesses and faults are going to become glaringly obvious.”

Is this the most successful sound in television history?

“By 1961, fully one-sixth of the population of Ireland was living in Britain. […] Wills describes an Irish missionary priest who was asked by a family to check on their emigrant daughter, who gossips claimed had been led astray. He describes what happened when he rang her doorbell: Beside her stood a little mite of perhaps three years, with a ribbon in her hair. The girl admitted that she was married in the registry. ‘Is that little girl yours?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘What’s her name?’ ‘Fatima.’ ‘That’s a nice Catholic name.’ ‘Not at all; it’s the name of the Prophet’s daughter.’”

Amit Chaudhuri: “‘To escape the Eiffel Tower,’ Maupassant suggested, ‘you have to go inside it.’ Similarly, the main reason for a novelist wanting to win the Booker prize is to no longer be under any obligation to win it, and to be able to get on with their job: writing, and thinking about writing.”

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