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Deborah Harkness Quotes
My niece was very much caught up in the vampire craze for young adults, and she thought having a vampire boyfriend would be a cool thing. What do you do on a first date? The more I thought about it, the more fun I had imagining what you'd serve a vampire for dinner.
A lot of our assumptions of the world are fairly cynical, fairly negative, and assume the worst. What our reading tastes show - in this rush to fantasy, romance, whatever - is that we actually still want to believe in a world of possibility, in a world of mystery.
Witches are the kind of more traditional, home and family, craft people - so they're the ones who are making things; crocheting shawls and things like that. But then they also have that slightly confident, dangerous, edge. I always see them as having very extreme hair, either amazingly beautiful straight hair or kind of wild.
Films are wonderful but they do fix an identity. I can't read 'Pride and Prejudice' anymore, for instance, without imaging Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.
I really love helping students and helping them empathize with people who lived a really long time ago. That's one of the highlights of working in fiction.
Once upon a time, about 10 years ago, I thought maybe I could write a mystery series about a midwife in Elizabethan England. I had an elaborately convoluted title and an elaborately convoluted plotline, and at that point I got stupendously bored.
There were no vampires of note in Western literature until about the 18th century. But they tell us where we park our anxieties, whether its over-powerful women, death or damnation. We make our own monsters.
As a historian, I love every little detail, but whole long passages about wood paneling and journeys on horseback and every stop at every inn had to go out the window. I decided the history in the books should be like spice in a soup - a little went a long way. Like cilantro.
Cheap wine is defined by its price, and it depends on personal spending limits. So for me, any wine under $10 is cheap.
The world of scholarship is much more measured in its appreciation and also its criticism than the world of popular literature.
The plain truth is that the period I study is the 16th century, and they were absolutely obsessed with witches and spiritual beings.
For me, a $20 wine that drinks like a $40 wine in terms of complexity and interest is a value, while a $5 wine that is not very good is not a value at all in my opinion.
I realised that today we are very much interested in reading about subjects that would have also interested people in the 1500s: ghosts, demons and things that go bump in the night.
I teach 18- to 21-year-olds - the 'Harry Potter' generation. They grew up as voracious readers, reading books in this exploding genre. But at some point, I would love for them to give Umberto Eco or A.S. Byatt a try. I hope 'A Discovery of Witches' will serve as a kind of stepping-stone.
I couldn't resist hiding some historical details and a few clues relevant to the plot and characters of 'A Discovery of Witches' throughout the pages of the novel.
I'm a professional non-fiction reader, that's what I do. But in my 20s we had our own vampire and witch moment, courtesy of Anne Rice, whose books I read and loved.
Magic provides a way of still having room for possibilities, an unlimited sense of what the world offers. Magic is always there when science is found wanting.
I'm a storyteller, and I have really good material to work with: I've been studying magic and the occult since about 1983.
I'd studied 16th century science and magic. I thought it was strange that people were interested in the same kinds of things my research was about. The more I thought about it, the more intriguing it became and pretty soon I was writing a novel about a reluctant witch and a 1500-year-old vampire.
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H. P. Lovecraft
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