“She seemed to be taking the library’s lack of useful information on the subject as a personal insult; it had never failed her before.”


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling, page 378


“She had no more idea how to deal with being in love than a duck had about shearing sheep.”


Crossroads of Twilight, Robert Jordan, page 473


On Poetry

“Yes, but the point is you can’t start a poem by wanting to write about some capital-letters idea like Purity of Love or Beauty. A poem is made up of real words and real things. You start with the base physical world and your own base physical self. If some meaning or beauty comes out of it, then that is, I suppose, the wonder and relief or art. You want gold, you have to sweat your guts out in a filthy forge to smelt it: it doesn’t fall in gleaming sheets form the bar of heaven. You want poetry. First you have to muck in with humanity, you have to fight with paper and pencil for weeks and weeks until your head bleeds: verses aren’t channelled into your head by angels or muses or sprites of nature.”

Edward Wallace, actually Fry, S. (1994) The Hippopotamus. London:


On Business and Management

“Ponder how it is that the Quakers and similar deeply religious gentry made so much worldly lucre. It was because they treated their people honestly and decently, worked hard and honestly themselves spent honestly and saved pennies, honestly put more back into the company than they took out, made honestly good products, gave honest value for money and, being honest, told no lies. The naked manager can never find better clothes.”

‘ Robert Heller, The Naked Manager for the Nineties.