Quotes by John Lanchester

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Farewells and separations never, I find, quite live up to the drama they promise to afford. Human beings (I find again) have a tendency to feel the wrong quantity of emotion, or indeed the wrong emotion, so that life is an endless procession of liquid being poured into and exchanged between badly designed containers, the wrong color, the wrong shape, the wrong size.

A talent for receiving gifts is far, far more rare than a talent for giving them--one concedes so much more, in the act of reception, whereas to be in the position of the giver is to retain all the psychic appurtenances of power, patronage, and control.