Malcolm Bradbury

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Will power is to the mind like a strong blind man who carries on his shoulders a lame man who can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer
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Sir Malcolm Stanley Bradbury CBE (1932-09-072000-11-27) was an English comic novelist, screenwriter, literary critic and academic. He pioneered the teaching of creative writing and American studies in British universities.


  • To you liberals, of course, goats are just sheep from broken homes.
    • The After Dinner Game (1975); published in The After Dinner Game: Three Plays for Television (1982) p. 25.
    • Co-written with Christopher Bigsby.
  • In Slaka, sex is just politics with the clothes off.
    • Rates of Exchange, part 4, ch. 3. (1983)
  • The better class of Briton likes to send his children away to school until they're old and intelligent enough to come home again. Then they're too old and intelligent to want to.
    • Rates of Exchange, part 5, ch. 3.
  • Genitals are a great distraction to scholarship.
    • Cuts (1987) p. 42.
  • A conventional good read is usually a bad read, a relaxing bath in what we know already. A true good read is surely an act of innovative creation in which we, the readers, become conspirators.

Eating People is Wrong (1959)

  • It had always seemed to Louis that a fundamental desire to take postal courses was being sublimated by other people into sexual activity.
    • Ch. 5
  • I like the English. They have the most rigid code of immorality in the world.
    • Ch. 5
  • With sociology one can do anything and call it work.
    • Ch. 7
  • I've often thought that my scruples about stealing books were the only thing that stood in the way of my being a really great scholar.
    • Ch. 8

Stepping Westward (1965)

  • Reading someone else's newspaper is like sleeping with someone else's wife. Nothing seems to be precisely in the right place, and when you find what you are looking for, it is not clear then how to respond to it.
    • Bk. 1, ch. 1.
  • My experience of ships is that on them one makes an interesting discovery about the world. One finds one can do without it completely.
    • Bk. 1, ch. 2.
  • The English are polite by telling lies. The Americans are polite by telling the truth.
    • Bk. 2, ch. 5.

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