Literary Birthday – 2 June – Barbara Pym

Barbara Pym was born 2 June 1913, and died 11 January 1980.

Seven Quotes

  1. I get moments of gloom and pessimism when it seems as if nobody could ever like my kind of writing again.
  2. The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things . . . the trivial pleasure like cooking, one’s home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.
  3. There are some things too dreadful to be revealed, and it is even more dreadful how, in spite of our better instincts, we long to know about them.
  4. Perhaps all love had something of the ridiculous in it.
  5. Once outside the magic circle the writers became their lonely selves, pondering on poems, observing their fellow men ruthlessly, putting people they knew into novels; no wonder they were without friends.
  6. Inanimate objects were often so much nicer than people.
  7. I pulled myself up and told myself to stop these ridiculous thoughts, wondering why it is that we can never stop trying to analyse the motives of people who have no personal interest in us, in the vain hope of finding that perhaps they may have just a little after all.

Barbara Pym was an English novelist. She wrote a series of social comedies, of which the best known are Excellent Women and A Glass of Blessings. Her novel,  Quartet in Autumn was nominated for the Booker Prize in 1977.

  by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 2nd June 2015