Quotes by V. S. Pritchett

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Life -- how curious is that habit that makes us think it is not here, but elsewhere.

The Canadian spirit is cautious, observant and critical where the American is assertive.
In our family, as far as we are concerned, we were born and what happened before that is myth.
The State, that craving rookery of committees and subcommittees.
The principle of procrastinated rape is said to be the ruling one in all the great bestsellers.
This is the year of my seventieth birthday, a fact that bewilders me. I find it hard to believe. I understand now the look of affront I often saw in my father's face after this age and that I see in the faces of my contemporaries. We are affronted because, whatever we may feel, time has turned us into curiosities in some secondhand shop. We are haunted by the suspicion that the prayers we did not know we were making have been only too blatantly answered.
One's life has a natural defining frame. One knows who one is; in childish egotism, one supposes people have a relationship only with oneself. But after the age of twenty, the frame is uncertain, change is hard to pin down, one is less and less sure of who one is, and other egos with their court of adherents invade one's privacy with theirs. One's freedom is inhibited by their natural insistence on themselves.
Well, youth is the period of assumed personalities and disguises. It is the time of the sincerely insincere.

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