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Jonathan Coe QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
Ah, well, I have no talent for nonfiction, that's my problem.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
Also I had financial worries because it took four years to write and we were living off my wife's income all that time, which wasn't very great.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
As I said, I had no publisher for What a Carve Up! while I was writing it, so all we had to live off was my wife's money and little bits I was picking up for journalism.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
As soon as you start writing about how human beings interact with each other socially, you're into politics, aren't you?
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
As the books grew bigger and more ambitious, the situations in question sometimes became political ones, and so it became necessary to start painting in the social background on a scale which eventually became panoramic.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
But at the same time, I have trouble keeping things out of books, which is why I don't write short stories because they turn into novels.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
But I have always - ever since The Accidental Woman - written novels about individuals attempting to make choices in the context of situations over which they have no control.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
But we are entitled to look for continuity in politics.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
But you can try to read books at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
Contemporary Britain seems an endlessly fascinating place to me - but if I knew a little bit more about other places, and other times, maybe it wouldn't.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
Dickens, obviously, is a great hero.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
I became quite taken over by Johnson's personality at some points while writing the biography, and since I went straight on to The Closed Circle afterwards, I did sometimes feel I could hear him whispering in my ear while I was working on it.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
I don't know, I don't really have a view about what my contemporaries are doing, except that I enjoy individual writers and so on.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
I have to constantly rein in my nostalgia for the 1970s, in case it takes me over and I become one of those grumpy old men who just talks about how much better life was when he was a kid.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
I have two ideas for novels at the moment, neither of them all that conventional, but I'm not ready to choose between them yet, let alone settle down to the process of writing.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
I like the idea of a big caesura between the narratives, a space which readers can fill in with their own speculative history.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
I live a perfectly happy and comfortable life in Blair's Britain, but I can't work up much affection for the culture we've created for ourselves: it's too cynical, too knowing, too ironic, too empty of real value and meaning.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
I think it's also the case that I'm not as widely travelled, or as well-educated in history, as most of the other novelists I meet: so I have to write about my own country, at the present time, because it's more or less all I know about!
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
I was mainly in a state of nervousness while I wrote it - nervousness that it was far bigger and more complicated than anything I'd attempted before, and that maybe my talent just wasn't up to it and the book would have to be abandoned, or would turn out not to work at all when it was finished.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
I'm one of those unlucky people who had a happy childhood.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
I'm shy of comparisons to Dickens because he's one of the absolute greats and it's silly to compare a contemporary novelist with someone.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
It seems to me that you would have to write a novel on a very small, intimate scale for it not to become political.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
It's only a drawback in the States, where most people seem to have no real interest in other countries and the notion of a novel which might offer insight into life in the UK doesn't seem to appeal very widely.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
Luckily, in my case, I have managed, by writing, to do the one thing that I always wanted to do.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
My only regret is that I signed away the world rights and in America they've been far and away my most successful books, but I never saw a cent from any of it.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
Revisionist historians are about to get their hands on the Thatcher years, she's probably going to be looked at again because she feels far enough away now, and we don't see her much on the political landscape in this country, she's kind of disappeared and she doesn't speak out much anymore.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
So it was primarily a desire to write about that period in one's life rather than that period in history or in British culture or whatever.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
So no, I'm pleased if it's been influential for many readers, but at the time I didn't even know that it was going to have any readers.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
Someone emailed me and said The Closed Circle reminded them of reading Trollope.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
Thatcherism has become bigger than she ever was.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
The biggest markets for my books outside the UK are France and Italy, and those are the two countries where I also have the closest personal relationships with my translators - I don't know whether that's a coincidence, or if there's something to be learned from it.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
The fact that it was a TV sitcom rather than a literary novel is neither here nor there, as far as I'm concerned.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
The more melancholy side of my literary personality is much in tune with BS Johnson's.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
The writer I feel the most affinity with - you said you felt my books are 19th century novels, I think they're 18th century novels - is Fielding, Henry Fielding, he's the guy who does it for me.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
They were written in the early '90s when I was strapped for cash.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
Well, mainly it's because I'm not a writer who's comfortable with writing about periods that I can't remember firsthand.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
Writers never feel comfortable having labels attached to them, however accurate they are.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe
You would go mad if you began to speculate about the impact your novel might have while you were still writing it.
Quotation of Jonathan Coe