The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Quotations

Front Cover
Peter Kemp
Oxford University Press, 1997 - 479 pages
Here is a delightful and instructive compendium of the most memorable utterances of the world's most quotable writers. The Oxford Book of Literary Quotations covers all aspects of the literary life, from careful assessments of the relative value of literature ("The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight," Gabriel Garcia Marquez) to the modest wish for an attentive audience ("The demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole LIFE to reading my works," James Joyce) to appreciative remarks about their fellow writers ("Gertrude Stein and me are just like brothers," Ernest Hemingway), to reflections on the thrill of publishing ("Being published by the Oxford University Press is rather like being married to a duchess: the honour is almost greater than the pleasure," G.M. Young), and much, much more.
Celebrating over 3,000 years of writing, the dictionary's 4,000 quotations are arranged thematically, allowing the reader to dip easily into a chosen topic. Within each topic, the entries are arranged chronologically by author. So, for the section of Earning a Living, we begin with Horace, writing in the first century B.C. and end with A. S. Byatt, writing in 1995. Full keyword and author indexes ensure that a favorite quotation or author can be located quickly. From Drink and Drugs to Writer's Block, from Love to Literary Theory, from Admiration and Praise to Rivalry and Rejection, The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Quotations brings us the wittiest, most profound, most surprising, and most memorable words of the world's greatest writers on all aspects of their lives and work.

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The Oxford dictionary of literary quotations

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Celebrating over 3000 years of writing, this expanded edition is chock-full of literary gems. Open it anywhere, and vignettes of literary life in different eras spring into view. The book contains ... Read full review

The Oxford dictionary of literary quotations

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This latest quotation dictionary lives up to Oxford's high standard. Kemp is the literary editor of the Sunday Times and a Times Literary Supplement critic. His compilation of over 4000 literary ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)


Peter Kemp is Literary Editor for the Sunday Times and is also a book reviewer for the TLS. He was senior lecturer in English at Middlesex Polytechnic (1968-88) and has written books on Muriel Spark (1974) and H. G. Wells (1982). He is a regular broadcaster on Kaleidoscope, Critics' Forum, Third Opinion, and Meridian, and was one of the Booker Prize judges in 1995.

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