Muriel Spark quotes

Muriel Spark

Scottish novelist. In 2008 The Times newspaper named Spark in its list of "the 50 greatest British writers since 1945", at No. 8.
If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat.
Alone with the cat in the room where you work... the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp...
The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding.
And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost.
You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.
It is well, when in difficulties, to say never a word, neither black nor white. Speech is silver but silence is golden. If I had my life to live over again, I would form the habit of nightly composing myself to thoughts of death. I would practice, as it were, the remembrance of death. There is not another practice which so intensifies life. Death, when it approaches, ought not to take one by surprise. It should be part of the full expectancy of life. It is a good thing to go to Paris for a few days if you have had a lot of trouble, and that is my advice to everyone except Parisians. She did not know then that the price of allowing false opinions was the gradual loss of one's capacity for forming true ones. The word "education" comes from the root e from ex, out, and duco, I lead.
It means a leading out.
To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil's soul.
One's prime is elusive. You little girls, when you grow up, must be on the alert to recognise your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. You must then live it to the full. It is difficult for people of advanced years to start remembering they must die. It is best to form the habit while young.