My Top 15 Angela Carter Quotes

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To say I am obsessed with Angela Carter (her writing, of course) would be just a slight understatement. She had an ability to access a depth of the imagination I believe few can ever fathom reaching. The way in which she bravely and confidently entered political debate through a magic realist perspective, for me, secured her a place in the list of the most important English writers of the post-war period.

“The bed is now as public as the dinner table and governed by the same rules of formal confrontation.” – Angela Carter

“The notion of a universality of human experience is a confidence trick and the notion of a universality of female experience is a clever confidence trick.” – Angela Carter

“If Miss means respectably unmarried, and Mrs. respectably married, then Ms. means nudge, nudge, wink, wink.” – Angela Carter

“Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.” – Angela Carter

“We do not go to bed in single pairs; even if we choose not to refer to them, we still drag there with us the cultural impedimenta of our social class, our parents lives, our bank balances, our sexual and emotional expectations, our whole biographies / all the bits and pieces of our unique existences.” – Angela Carter

“Pornography is a satire on human pretensions.” – Angela Carter, the Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography

“There is a striking resemblance between the act of love and the ministrations of a torturer.” – Angela Carter

“Your green eye is a reducing chamber. If I look into it long enough, I wil become as small as my own reflection, I will diminish to a point and vanish. I will be drawn down into that black whirlpool and be consumed by you. I shall become so small you can keep me in one of your osier cages and mock my loss of liberty.” ― Angela Carter, The Erl-King

“I speak as if he had no secrets from me. Well, then, you must know I was suffering from love and I knew him as intimately as I knew my own image in a mirror. In other words, I knew him only in relation to myself.” ― Angela Carter, Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories

“When I’d first loved him, I wanted to take him apart, as a child dismembers a clockwork toy, to comprehend the inscrutable mechanics of its interior.” – Angela Carter

“I saw him watching me in the gilded mirrors with the assessing eye of a connoisseur inspecting horseflesh, or even of a housewife in the market, inspecting cuts on the slab. I’d never seen, or else had never acknowledged, that regard of his before, the sheer carnal avarice of it; and it was strangely magnified by the monocle lodged in his left eye. When I saw him look at me with lust, I dropped my eyes but, in glancing away from him, I caught sight of myself in the mirror. And I saw myself, suddenly, as he saw me, my pale face, the way the muscles in my neck stuck out like thin wire. I saw how much that cruel necklace became me. And, for the first time in my innocent and confined life, I sensed in myself a potentiality for corruption that took my breath away.” ― Angela Carter, Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories

“Language is power, life and the instrument of culture, the instrument of domination and liberation” – Angela Carter

She was like a piano in a country where everyone has had their hands cut off.” – Angela Carter

“All artists, they say, are a little mad. This madness is, to a certain extent, a self-created myth designed to keep the generality away from the phenomenally close-knit creative community. Yet, in the world of the artists, the consciously eccentric are always respectful and admiring if those who have the courage to be genuinely a little mad.”
― Angela Carter, Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories

…and best of all

“I would really like to have had the guts and the energy and so on to be able to write about, you know, people having battles with the DHSS. But I haven’t. They’re dull things. I mean, I’m an arty person. OK, I write overblown, purple, self-indulgent prose. So f**king what?” – Angela Carter

Image Cited From http://www.theguardian.co.uk

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