Malcolm Bradbury

English author and academic

Sir Malcolm Stanley Bradbury CBE (7 September 1932 – 27 November 2000) 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)Edit

  • 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)Edit

  • 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.
    • Page 60.
  • My experience of ships is that on them one makes an interesting discovery about the world. One finds one can do without it completely.
    • Page 74.
  • "Well," said Dr Jochum, "you are like all reformers. You like to reform the world because it is easier than trying to reform yourself."
    • Page 111.
  • [...], and the traffic noise that boomed in through the window was another reminder of what his spirit knew, that he was but a grain of sand in someone else's desert.
    • Page 150.
  • "Well, yes, surely I think everybody ought to enjoy life as much as it's humanly possible because that's why we exist. I believe."
    • Page 210.
  • "We got a course in picknicking at the university," said Dr. Bourbon. "It's called Geology, but it's really picknicking."
    • Page 227.
  • The English are polite by telling lies. The Americans are polite by telling the truth.
    • Page 269.
  • "[...] You see, you are an optimist and live on hope. I am a pessimist and live on experience."
    • Page 352-353.
  • Jochum had said, "You keep asking the universe 'How ought I to live?' But it can't answer."
    • Page 406.

The History Man (1975)Edit

  • 'Oh, everybody exploits somebody,' says Howard, 'in this social order it's part of the human lot.'
    • Page 10.
  • 'Everyone exploits somebody.'
    • Page 70.
  • 'Look, Felicity,' says Howard, 'there's only one rule. Follow the line of your own desires.'
    • Page 84.
  • 'All action leads to suffering, someone else's, or one's own.'
    • Page 117.
  • 'The trouble is, it's hard to know you're little,' says Felicity. 'People like to make themselves matter.'
    • Page 126.
  • 'I think, George,' says Merion, ' the trouble is that you don't have a conflict model of society.'
    • Page 134.
  • 'It must be nice to think there is a true reality,' says Miss Callendar. 'I've always found reality a matter of great debate.'
    • Page 143.

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