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Top quotes by Angela Carter on life, feminism, marriage, ambition and other things.

100 Top Quotes By Angela Carter, The Author Of The Bloody Chamber

Quick Facts

Born On: May 7, 1940

Died On: February 16, 1992

Born In: Eastbourne, England

Died At Age: 51

Angela Carter was a British author who excelled in writing novels, short stories, poems and was also a journalist of great repute. After finishing high school, she started working as a journalist for the London based publication Croydon Advertiser but later on went on to complete her university education at University of Bristol. She studied English Literature and it seems that she put her education to good use, as she became a writer of prominence in post Second World War Britain. She wrote plenty of plays, novels, poetry collections and short stories that are read even to this day. The 1984 novel ‘Nights at the Circus’ is probably her best work and in fact has been named as the finest book to have ever won the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Carter was one of the very few writers of her time who dealt with the theme of magic realism in her works and in addition to that, her writing had strong feminist messages that was also quite ahead of the time. Here are some of the selected quotes from Angela Carter that would certainly be applicable even in this day and age.

Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.

Angela Carter

I will tell you what Jeanne was like. She was like a piano in a country where everyone has had their hands cut off.

Angela Carter

Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.

Angela Carter

She herself is a haunted house. She does not possess herself; her ancestors sometimes come and peer out of the windows of her eyes and that is very frightening.

Angela Carter

The child's laughter is pure until he first laughs at a clown.

Angela Carter

The tiger will never lie down with the lamb; he acknowledges no pact that is not reciprocal. The lamb must learn to run with the tigers.

Angela Carter

Those are the voices of my brothers, darling; I love the company of wolves.

Angela Carter

I think I want to be in love with you but I don't know how.

Angela Carter

I desire therefore I exist.

Angela Carter

The wolf is carnivore incarnate and he's as cunning as he is ferocious; once he's had a taste of flesh then nothing else will do.

Angela Carter

Out of the frying pan into the fire! What is marriage but prostitution to one man instead of many? No different!

Angela Carter

I am entirely alone. I and my shadow fill the universe.

Angela Carter

Stars on our door, stars in our eyes, stars exploding in the bits of our brains where the common sense should have been

Angela Carter

Anticipation is the greater part of pleasure.

Angela Carter

We must all make do with the rags of love we find flapping on the scarecrow of humanity.

Angela Carter

Is not this world an illusion? And yet it fools everybody.

Angela Carter

Hope for the best, expect the worst.

Angela Carter

There was a house we all had in common and it was called the past, even though we'd lived in different rooms.

Angela Carter

There is a striking resemblance between the act of love and the ministrations of a torturer.

Angela Carter

It is far easier for a woman to lead a blameless life than it is for a man; all she has to do is to avoid sexual intercourse like the plague.

Angela Carter

His wedding gift, clasped round my throat. A choker of rubies, two inches wide, like an extraordinarily precious slit throat.

Angela Carter

Love is desire sustained by unfulfilment.

Angela Carter

The invisible is only another unexplored country, a brave new world.

Angela Carter

They were connoisseurs of boredom. They savoured the various bouquets of the subtly differentiated boredoms which rose from the long, wasted hours at the dead end of night.

Angela Carter

Our fingernails match our toenails, match our lipstick match our rouge...The habit of applying warpaint outlasts the battle.

Angela Carter

Before he can become a wolf, the lycanthrope strips naked. If you spy a naked man among the pines, you must run as if the Devil were after you.

Angela Carter

I see her as a series of marvellous shapes formed at random in the kaleidoscope of desire.

Angela Carter

One beast and only one howls in the woods by night.

Angela Carter

Comedy is tragedy that happens to other people.

Angela Carter

She stood lost in eternity... watching the immense sky...

Angela Carter

The clown may be the source of mirth, but - who shall make the clown laugh?

Angela Carter

He was a lovely man in many ways. But he kept on insisting on forgiving me when there was nothing to forgive.

Angela Carter

This lack of imagination gives his heroism to the hero.

Angela Carter

For hours, for days, for years, she had wandered endlessly within herself but never met anybody, nobody.

Angela Carter

What would the daughters of the rich do with themselves if the poor ceased to exist?

Angela Carter

His main principles were indeed as follows: everything it is possible to imagine can also exist.

Angela Carter

I don't begrudge you my company, my darling. We must all make do with what rags of love we find flapping on the scarecrow of humanity.

Angela Carter

Losing their names, these things underwent a process of uncreation.

Angela Carter

I had the brief notion that his heart, pressed flat as a flower, crimson and thin as tissue paper, lay in this file. It was a very thin one.

Angela Carter

Your thin white face, chérie; he said, as if he saw it for the first time. Your thin white face, with its promise of debauchery only a connoisseur could detect.

Angela Carter

Ordered me a sky from a florist

Angela Carter

And from the coffin of your madness there is no escape.

Angela Carter

Wars are facts we cannot fuck away, Perry; nor laugh away, either.

Angela Carter

Like the wild beasts, she lives without a future. She inhabits only the present tense, a fugue of the continuous, a world of sensual immediacy as without hope as it is without despair.

Angela Carter

Proposition one: time is a man, space is a woman.

Angela Carter

We must not blame our poor symbols if they take forms that seem trivial to us, or absurd, ... however paltry they may be; the nature of our life alone has determined their forms.

Angela Carter

The lovely Hazard girls', they used to call them. Huh. Lovely is as lovely does; if they looked like what they behave like, they'd frighten little children.

Angela Carter

A mother is always a mother, since a mother is a biological fact, whilst a father is a movable feast.

Angela Carter

The lamb must learn to run with the tigers.

Angela Carter

How far does a pretence of feeling, maintained with absolute conviction, become authentic?

Angela Carter

Some cities are women and must be loved; others are men and can only be admired or bargained with

Angela Carter

When I’d first loved him, I wanted to take him apart, as a child dismembers a clockwork toy, to comprehend the inscrutable mechanics of its interior.” -flesh and the mirror

Angela Carter

She has the mysterious solitude of ambiguous states; she hovers in a no-man’s land between life and death, sleeping and waking.

Angela Carter

I drew the curtains to conceal the sight of my father's farewell; my spite was sharp as broken glass.

Angela Carter

Reason cannot produce the poetry disorder does.

Angela Carter

Her beauty is a symptom of her disorder, of her soullessness.

Angela Carter

Then she broke down and cried onto the flowery wrapping paper. Melanie put her arms around the poor, thin body. What is Aunt Margaret made of? Birdbones and tissue paper. spun glass and straw.

Angela Carter

A free woman in an unfree society will be a monster.

Angela Carter

Like the culture that created me, I am receding into the past at a rate of knots. Soon I'll need a whole row of footnotes if anybody under thirty-five is going to comprehend the least thing I say.

Angela Carter

In a world where women are commodities, a woman who refuses to sell herself will have the thing she refuses to sell taken away from her by force

Angela Carter

(And could love free me from the shadows? Can a caged bird sing only the song it knows or can it learn a new song?)

Angela Carter

Curiosity is the most fleeting of pleasures; the moment is satisfied, it ceases to exist and it always proves very, very expensive.

Angela Carter

Language is power, life and the instrument of culture, the instrument of domination and liberation.

Angela Carter

And it was sad music fit to make you cut your throat.

Angela Carter

...for nothing is more boring than being forced to play.

Angela Carter

Not many people can boast a photo of their grandmother posing for kiddiporn.

Angela Carter

Moonlight, white satin, roses. A bride.

Angela Carter

At the best of times, spring hurts depressives.

Angela Carter

Midnight, and the clock strikes. It is Christmas Day, the werewolves birthday, the door of the solstice still wide enough open to let them all slink through.

Angela Carter

How pleased I was to see I strick the Beast to the heart.

Angela Carter

See! sweet and sound she sleeps in granny's bed, between the paws of the tender wolf.

Angela Carter

I should have liked to have had him beside me in a glass coffin, so that I could watch him all the time and he would not have been able to get away from me.

Angela Carter

What is Aunt Margaret made of? Bird bones and tissue paper, spun glass and straw.

Angela Carter

Time was his servant, too; it would trap me, here, in a night that would last until he came back to me, like a black sun on a hopeless morning.

Angela Carter

We must all make do with what rags of love we find flapping on the scarecrow of humanity.

Angela Carter

He has the special quality of virginity, most and least ambiguous of states: ignorance, yet at the same time, power in potentia, and, furthermore, unknowingness, which is not the same as ignorance.

Angela Carter

Despair is the constant companion of the clown.

Angela Carter

She had given herself to the world in her entirety and then found nothing was left

Angela Carter

Degredation is the subtlest drug, the most insinuating. But they could do nothing to me I had not already imagined.

Angela Carter

They say there's an ointment the Devil gives you that turns you into a wolf the minute you rub it on.

Angela Carter

Marianne had sharp, cold eyes and she was spiteful but her father loved her.

Angela Carter

I was the only man alive who knew time had begun again.

Angela Carter

Below me, in spreading, concentric circles, like those a fish makes when it rises in still water, spun round the lower tiers; above me arched the black sky pierced by the gas jets of the stars.

Angela Carter

Ruin had been the original blueprint and men and women had lived here only in a necessary but intermediate stage of the execution of the grand design

Angela Carter

Have you ever stared stark failure in the face, young man? The trick is, to outstare it!

Angela Carter

The end of exile is the end of being.

Angela Carter

All white with snow as if under dustsheets, as if laid away eternally as soon as brought back from the shop, never to be seen or touched

Angela Carter

We keep the wolves outside by living well.

Angela Carter

The earth turned on the pivot of her mouth.

Angela Carter

Love is the synthesis of dream and actuality; love is the only matrix of the unprecedented; love is the tree which buds lovers like roses.

Angela Carter

I will vanish in the morning light; I was only an invention of darkness.

Angela Carter

But needs must when the devil drives.

Angela Carter

This is some kind of heretical, possibly Manichean version of neo-Platonic Roscicrucianism, thinks I to myself; tread carefully, girlie!

Angela Carter

She was no malleable, since frigid, substance upon which desires might be executed; she was not a true prostitute for she was the object on which men prostituted themselves.

Angela Carter

She was feeling supernatural tonight. She wanted to EAT diamonds.

Angela Carter

Perhaps...I could not be content with mere contentment!

Angela Carter

The harder the bargain men must strike with nature to survive, the more rules they're likely to have amongst themselves too keep them all in order

Angela Carter

It would mean that the castle is not yet generating enough eroto-energy.

Angela Carter

Ironing's nice and simple,' he said. 'I get all tangled up in words when I'm putting together those interminable papers....

Angela Carter

She herself is a haunted house. She does not possess herself; her ancestors sometimes come and peer out of the window of her eyes and this is very frightening.

Angela Carter