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Thomas Keneally QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
Ah, my mother and father were kids from Kempsey. They were definitely - in coastal New South Wales - and they were definitely very influenced by the Depression.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
Although the Booker then wasn't the sure-fire road to glory, or being shortlisted, but I don't think any Australian newspaper mentioned it. I'm not sure. But the Booker became famous around about 1980.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
And I definitely wanted to be a writer, but I felt a duty now, having used up those educational resources, I felt a duty to the church and my parents to become a priest.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
And I found both literature and the church very dramatic presences in the world of the 1950s.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
And I liked pluralist Australia. I got a taste for pluralist Australia. I like, I like Australians and I can't believe that they're going to go to hell because they tell a good dirty joke, you know.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
And I think my sexuality was heavily repressed by the church, by the, you know, the design of the mortal sins.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
And I was very interested in the priesthood.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
And it is a folly to try to craft a novel for the screen, to write a novel with a screen contract in mind.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
And so I was not entirely a sick child and I remember fighting many a fight over comic books, chewing gum and money that sentimental American GIs threw from the train at Homebush.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
And so um, I knew that I really didn't want to be a priest and didn't want to be a celibate, though I could probably manage it. Um, and um, ultimately I left.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
And, you know, I realise now that anti, the anti-English passion of Australians can be a sign of um, emotional immaturity. But we didn't see it then that way.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
Australia integrated the - brought on the ships and unleashed in the society the dogs of sectarianism, which had existed in other places - in Glasgow, in Liverpool and of course in Ireland, north and south.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
Australian society was a very sceptical and anti-authoritarian one. In a very conservative way it was anti-authoritarian.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
But I was also a brat. I used to belong to a gang that went looking for fights with other gangs.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
But in practice Australia - the pluralism of Australia - sorry the sectarianism to an extent stopped at the time you took your uniform off after coming home from school.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
But my mother felt very acutely having been deprived of further education. She felt it very acutely. So there were always books.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
I must apologise because I know all writers have memories of being on the outer because it's the children on the side of the playground who become the dangerous writers.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
I thought I'd definitely be a writer, whatever I did.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
I was never any good at cricket thought I love it as a, as a sort of mystery.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
If you look back to the golden age of the church and look at the code of chivalry, the code of chivalry looked pretty good to me, you know.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
In a way Australia is like Catholicism. The company is sometimes questionable and the landscape is grotesque. But you always come back.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
In the seminary I have to say, as in Australian Catholicism, there wasn't the strong classic um, European style anti-Semitism.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
My brother arrived some months after my father left. Um, and he ah, was thus eight years younger than me and it was um, you know, it was such a time that my mother probably had people wondering was it his.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
My little brother was extremely precocious intellectually and he was um, always dux of his class from a very young age.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
Now early in Australian history the first priest of course was an Irish political prisoner, a United Irishman, Father Dixon.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
Once I started reading about the age of - once I started reading novels around about the age of eight I was gone.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
So I remember both medicine, because I frequently sick, particularly with asthma for which there was no proper treatment then, and in religion I had a strong sense of there being a patriarchy.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
So I was very close to ordination. I was delighted to be ordained a deacon, which is the last step between, before becoming a priest. But then it all fell apart.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
So nonetheless given the importance that was placed on sport in Australia, I wanted to be part of that scene, particularly since I had felt very strongly in my early schooling being marginalised even in the Catholic school.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
Thomas was my true name but everyone knew me as Mick, except my mother, who knew me as definitely Michael.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
Um, but um, I - girls are very hard-headed and they thought I was rather eccentric, you know. All these intelligent - they were very affectionate towards me but they thought I was a bit of a weird bloke and how right they were.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
Um, what I found though about the Christian Brothers is this: that they were certainly muscular.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
Well I was looking forward to a little brother because I was so much older. And I can remember being very excited.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally
You know, so I was a weird eccentric kid but I did believe in the power of the word and of the word being made flesh I suppose, which again I suppose came from my temperament as well as my upbringing.
Quotation of Thomas Keneally