Three qualities distinguish phony erudition: it’s all recent, it’s all humanities, and it’s all in one language.
The dead alive and busy.
Many classics are now read only because so many others have already read them.
A book that ossifies at exactly the same rate as its readers becomes a beloved contemporary classic.
Books can also change lives for the worse.
Reading, unless it’s for writing, is high-class idling.
There is nothing that everyone should read but a lot that no one should.
The reader properly resents coincidence. Life does not arrange itself to suit him; why should it arrange itself to suit the author?
No one wants realism in fiction — only a bit of reality tinsel to decorate the old myths.
Readers fall in love with villains because authors do.