Monday, June 26, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

David Mitchell


Award-winning British writer of postmodernist novels.
David Mitchell
Right now I’m working on a book set in the thirty years on either side of 2010, but I shouldn’t give too many details or the next thing you know it’s on Wikipedia and if I change my mind and decide to recast King Lear in a pond of frogs and toads I’ll just give a hardworking Wikipedian an extra headache.
Mitchell quotes
Ghostwritten’s secret agenda is to offer up eight different answers to the question, "Why do things happen?" so it has the right to monkey about with time and history. number9dreams’s secret agenda is to offer eight different answers to the question, "In what space does the mind operate?"
Mitchell
What wouldn't I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.




Mitchell David quotes
Human hunger birthed the Civlize, but human hunger killed it too.
Mitchell David
What do I miss? Second-hand bookshops where I can find things I had no idea I wanted. AbeBooks helps, but it doesn't have that smell.
David Mitchell quotes
What is this thing, "imagination?" A muscle that can be "forced" or "stretched"? Or something immune to the ethos of ganbaru [grit it out, or strive for one's best]? Like the relativist's view of light, it is both wave and particle, depending on what you want it to be. The verb "to imagine" is both active and passive, as in "Steve imagined his future," and "Such a future was never imagined." So, I work on my novel by imagining the world of 18th-century Nagasaki and its people and their fears and desires, as an act of will, and a lot of will is involved, believe me. However, I could ganbaru until I'm blue in the face. If my imagination doesn't work "passively" or even "intransitively," at its own behest rather than mine, and come up with cliche-demolishing twists of phrase and turns of plot and happy accidents and unexpected reactions from characters, then the book will be sterile. Well-written with luck, and even intelligent, but sterile. (...) Imagination is what makes art fertile.
David Mitchell
Faith, the least exclusive club on Earth, has the craftiest doorman. Every time I've stepped through its wide-open doorway,I find myself stepping out on the street again.
Mitchell David quotes
Under the Enrichment Laws, consumers have to spend a fixed quota of dollars each month, depending on their strata. Hoarding is an anti-corpocratic crime.
Mitchell
One fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself… In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.
Mitchell David
Science devises ever bloodier means of war until humanity’s powers of destruction overcome our powers of creation and our civilisation drives itself to extinction.
David Mitchell
Scholars discern motions in history & formulate these motions into rules that govern the rises & falls of civilizations. My belief runs contrary, however. To wit: history admits no rules; only outcomes.
What precipitates outcomes? Vicious acts & virtuous acts.
What precipitates acts? Belief.
Belief is both prize & battlefield, within the mind & in the mind’s mirror, the world. If we believe humanity is a ladder of tribes, a colosseum of confrontation, exploitation & bestiality, such a humanity is surely brought into being, & history’s Horroxes, Boer-haaves & Gooses shall prevail. You & I, the moneyed, the privileged, the fortunate, shall not fare so badly in this world, provided our luck holds. What of it if our consciences itch? Why undermine the dominance of our race, our gunships, our heritage & our legacy? Why fight the “natural” (oh, weaselly word!) order of things?
Why? Because of this: — one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. Yes, the Devil shall take the hindmost until the foremost is the hindmost. In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.
Is this the doom written within our nature?
If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real. Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president’s pen or a vainglorious general’s sword.




David Mitchell quotes
I have always preferred maps to books. They don't answer you back.
David Mitchell
Courage is the highest quality for a soldier, but technology is a fine substitute.
Mitchell quotes
Diplomacy… mops up war’s spillages; legitimizes its outcomes; gives the strong state the means to impose its will on a weaker one, while saving its fleets and battalions for weightier opponents.
Mitchell David
Lunatics are writers whose works write them.
Mitchell David quotes
Another war is always coming, Robert. They are never properly extinguished. What sparks war? The will to power, the backbone of human nature. The threat of violence, the fear of violence, or actual violence, is the instrument of this dreadful will… The nation state is merely human nature inflated to monstrous proportions. QED, nations are entities whose laws are written by violence. Thus it ever was, so ever shall it be.
David Mitchell
Yay, Old’uns’ Smart mastered sicks, miles, seeds an' made miracles ord’nary, but it din’t master one thing, nay, a hunger in the hearts o' humans, yay, a hunger for more.
David Mitchell quotes
The body is the outermost layer of the mind.
David Mitchell
History admits no rules, only outcomes. What precipitates outcomes? Vicious acts & virtuous acts. What precipitates acts? Belief.
Mitchell David
The most malicious god is the god of the counted chicken.


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