Perhaps, all these years, the historiographers had been unwilling to recognize history as a spiral, perhaps because a spiral was so difficult to describe. Easier to photograph the spiral from the top, easier to flatten the spring into a coil.

Well, then she had to be tolchoked proper with one of the weights for the scales, and then a fair tap with a crowbar they had for opening cases, and that brought out red like an old friend. So we had her down on the floor and a rip of her platties for fun and a gentle bit of the boot to stop her moaning.

There's the mackerel of the cornflake for you, you dirty reader of filth and nastiness.

Even trashy bestsellers show people changing. When a fictional work fails to show change, when it merely indicates that human character is set, stony, unregenerable, then you are out of the field of the novel and into that of the fable or the allegory.

Delimitation is always difficult. The world is one, life is one. The sweetest and most heavenly of activities partake in some measure of violence - the act of love, for instance; music, for instance.

In a dead white field an untethered goat gave them sardonic greeting.

Laugh and the world laughs with you snore and you sleep alone.

It is for the reader to see in the book the nature of the motives of human actions and perhaps learn something too of the motives behind the social forces which judge those actions and which, I take it, we call a system of morality.

The thrill of theft, of violence, the urge to live easy - is it worth it when we have undeniable proof, yes, yes, incontrovertible evidence that hell exists?

Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.

Why are we fighting? We're fighting because we're soldiers. That's simple enough, isn't it? For what cause are we fighting? Simple again. We're fighting to protect our country, and, in a wider sense, the whole of the English-Speaking Union. From whom? No concern of ours. Where? Wherever we're sent. Now, Foxe, I trust all this is perfectly clear.

Come and get one in the yarbles, if you have any yarbles, you enuch jelly, thou.

I enjoy journalism; anybody does. You see the results immediately; you've got an immediate audience instead of having to wait for your audience as you do if you're writing a book, and you get a bit of money coming in, and you can see more clearly how you're paying the bills. But it's not a good position for the serious novelist to be in.

Have you by chance brought some real British tea? Twining's? Or from Jackson's in Piccadilly?

What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?

Eat this sweetish segment or spit it out. You are free.

Destruction, best expressed in this age in which I write as terrorism, is truly there for its own sake, but the pretense of religion or secular patriotism converts the destructive into the speciously creative.

Violence makes violence.

The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it.

Me, me, me. How about me? Where do I come into all this? Am I like just some animal or dog? Am I just to be like a clockwork orange?

When I first began to write fiction, I didn't think I was a comic writer; I thought I was a serious writer. I was surprised when the first novel I wrote was regarded as a funny novel.

What's on them, I wonder. What would be up there on things like that?' I nudged him hard, saying: ‘Come, gloopy bastard as thou art. Think thou not on them. There'll be life like down here most likely, with some getting knifed and others doing the knifing.

Badness is of the self, the one, the you or me on our oddy knockies, and that self is made by old Bog or God and is his great pride and radosty. But the not-self cannot have the bad, meaning they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad because they cannot allow the self.

That's the law, son. But you were never much of a one for following the law.

The heresy of an age of reason. I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.

Literature is the aesthetic exploitation of language.

The unconscious mind has a habit of asserting itself in the afternoon.

I like nothing better in this world than a good clean book, brother.

To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.

Oh? And what's so stinking about it?

Blessed tree and blessed birds, that were to be neither saved nor damned.

A novelist should not be too intelligent either, although... he may be permitted to be an intellectual.

I can't accept that a work of fiction should be either immoral or moral. It should merely show the world as it is and have no moral bias.

And those hard slovos, brothers, were like the beginning of my freedom.

Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses to be bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?

Dreams go by opposites I was once told.

And I sort of frowned about that, thinking. 'You felt ill this afternoon,' he said, 'because you're getting better. When we're healthy we respond to the presence of the hateful with fear and nausea. You're becoming healthy, that's all.

A work of fiction should be, for its author, a journey into the unknown, and the prose should convey the difficulties of the journey.

Language exists less to record the actual than to liberate the imagination.

The more sin he sees, the more his belief in Original Sin is confirmed. Everyone likes to have his deepest convictions confirmed: that is one of the most abiding of human satisfaction.

I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.

It'll be your own torture," he said, serious. "I hope to God it'll torture you to madness.

To turn a decent young man into a piece of clockwork should not, surely, be seen as any triumph for any government, save one that boasts of its repressiveness.

When we pray we admit defeat.

I must give up seeing people, I told myself.

We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation.

I viddied that thinking is for the gloopy ones and that the oomny ones use like inspiration and what Bog sends. For now it was lovely music that came to my aid.

Self-interest, fear of physical pain, drove him to that grotesque act of self-abasement. Its insincerity was clearly to be seen. He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature capable of moral choice.

Look, I don't see why bad artists - I mean artists who are obviously incompetent... - why they should be presented hypocritically as good artists just because they're supposed to be advancing the frontiers of freedom of expression or... ...demonstrating that there should be no limit on subject matter.