Jonathan Raban Quotes
16 Sourced Quotes
The only real river I knew was hardly more than a brook. It spilled through a tumbledown mill at the bottom of our road, opened into a little trouty pool, then ran on through water meadows over graveled shallows into Fakenham [England], where it slowed and deepened, gathering strength for the long drifts across muddy flatlands to Norwich and the North Sea.
By the end of the 1980s, Seattle had taken on the dangerous lustre of a promised city. The rumour had gone out that if you had failed in Detroit you might yet succeed in Seattle - and that if you'd succeeded in Seoul, you could succeed even better in Seattle... Seattle was the coming place. So I joined the line of hopefuls.
One classic American landscape haunts all of American literature. It is a picture of Eden, perceived at the instant of history when corruption has just begun to set it. The serpent has shown his scaly head in the undergrowth. The apple gleams on the tree. The old drama of the Fall is ready to start all over again.
One of the oddest features of western Christianized culture is its ready acceptance of the myth of the stable family and the happy marriage. We have been taught to accept the myth not as an heroic ideal, something good, brave, and nearly impossible to fulfil, but as the very fiber of normal life. Given most families and most marriages, the belief seems admirable but foolhardily.