Quotable Quotes

Feed your mind...

And come back often... I add quotes regularly Idea

There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor. -George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952)

Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well-ordered mind than a man's ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company. -Lucius Annaeus Seneca, philosopher (BCE 3-65 CE)

Nothing is more humbling than to look with a strong magnifying glass at an insect so tiny that the naked eye sees only the barest speck and to discover that nevertheless it is sculpted and articulated and striped with the same care and imagination as a zebra. Apparently it does not occur to nature whether or not a creature is within our range of vision, and the suspicion arises that even the zebra was not designed for our benefit. -Rudolf Arnheim, psychologist and author (1904-2007)

Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in writing. It's one of the most enjoyable moments in life, period. -Nicholas Sparks, author (1965- )

Our heads are round so that thoughts can change direction. -Francis Picabia, painter and poet (1879-1953)

Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up you get a lot of scum on the top. -Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it -- and stop there -- lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more. -Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

Genius is eternal patience. -Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, painter, architect, and poet (1475-1564)

That is a good book which is opened with expectation, and closed with delight and profit. -Amos Bronson Alcott, teacher and author (1799-1888)

Every man's memory is his private literature. -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays. -Cathy Ladman, comedian, writer, actress (1955- )

Since we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our minds, our one duty is to furnish it well. -Peter Ustinov, actor, writer and director (1921-2004)

Tolerably early in life I discovered that one of the unpardonable sins, in the eyes of most people, is for a man to presume to go about unlabelled. The world regards such a person as the police do an unmuzzled dog, not under proper control. -Thomas Henry Huxley, biologist and writer (1825-1895)

Strange game. The only winning move is not to play. -A computer after simulating hundreds of war games in the movie WarGames (1983), written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes

The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them. -George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel laureate (1856-1950)

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination. But the combination is locked up in the safe. -Peter De Vries, editor, novelist (1910-1993)

The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. -Yasutani Roshi, Zen master (1885-1973)

What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy? -Ursula K. Le Guin, author (1929- )

The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion. -Arthur C Clarke, science fiction writer (1917- )

It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf. -H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young? -Paul Sweeney

This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs: to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, argue, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek. To seek: to embrace the questions, be wary of answers. -Terry Tempest Williams, naturalist and author (1955- )

Lots of times you have to pretend to join a parade in which you're not really interested in order to get where you're going. -Christopher Morley, writer (1890-1957)

Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in writing. It's one of the most enjoyable moments in life, period. -Nicholas Sparks, author (1965- )

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. [...] When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. -George Orwell, writer (1903-1950)

Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, "Lighthouses" as the poet said "erected in the sea of time." They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind, Books are humanity in print. -Arthur Schopenhauer , philosopher (1788-1860)

As far as I'm concerned, 'whom' is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler. -Calvin Trillin, writer (1935- )

Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking. -John Maynard Keynes, economist (1883-1946)

There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration. -Andrew Carnegie, industrialist (1835-1919)

My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library. -Peter Golkin, museum spokesman (1966- )

Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle. -Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser - in case you thought optimism was dead. -Robert Brault, software developer, writer (1972- )

From my close observation of writers... they fall into two groups: those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review. -Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992)

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. -Peter De Vries, editor, novelist (1910-1993)

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him... a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create -- so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating. -Pearl S. Buck, novelist, Nobel laureate (1892-1973)

Good prose is like a windowpane. -George Orwell, writer (1903-1950)

Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. -Colette, writer (1873-1954)

The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book. -Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)

Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. -Edward R. Murrow, journalist (1908-1965)

Animal factories are one more sign of the extent to which our technological capacities have advanced faster than our ethics. -Peter Singer, philosopher, professor of bioethics (1946- )

Fame is a bee.
It has a song
It has a sting
Ah, too, it has a wing.
    Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

When work is a pleasure, life is a joy! When work is a duty, life is slavery. -Maxim Gorky, author (1868-1936)

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center. -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., writer (1922- )

Once upon a time a man whose ax was missing suspected his neighbor's son. The boy walked like a thief, looked like a thief, and spoke like a thief. But the man found his ax while digging in the valley, and the next time he saw his neighbor's son, the boy walked, looked and spoke like any other child. -Lao-tzu, philosopher (6th century BCE)

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. -Anne Lamott, writer (1954- )

Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone? -Thomas Wolfe, novelist (1900-1938)

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. -Gilbert Highet, writer (1906-1978)

If writers were good businessmen, they'd have too much sense to be writers. -Irwin S. Cobb, author and journalist (1876-1944)

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude. -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another, and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it. -J.M. Barrie, novelist and playwright (1860-1937)

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. -Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and statesman (1561-1626)

You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth. -H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

A library is thought in cold storage. -Herbert Samuel, politician and diplomat (1870-1963)

It is as easy to dream a book as it is hard to write one. -Honore de Balzac, novelist (1799-1850)

Literature encourages tolerance - bigots and fanatics seldom have any use for the arts, because they're so preoccupied with their beliefs and actions that they can't see them also as possibilities. -Northrop Frye, writer (1912-1991)

Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind. -James Russell Lowell, poet, editor, and diplomat (1819-1891)

Our admiration of fine writing will always be in proportion to its real difficulty and its apparent ease. -Charles Caleb Colton, author and clergyman (1780-1832)

Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. -H. Jackson Brown, Jr., writer

I don't mind that you think slowly but I do mind that you are publishing faster than you think. -Wolfgang Pauli, physicist, Nobel laureate (1900-1958)

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. -Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate (1875-1965)

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule. -H. L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them. -Samuel Butler, writer (1835-1902)

The first forty years of life give us the text; the next thirty supply the commentary on it. -Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher (1788-1860)

Everything is for the eye these days - TV, Life, Look, the movies.  Nothing is just for the mind. The next generation will have eyeballs as big as cantaloupes and no brain at all. -Fred Allen

Self-improvement books are narcotics in ink. They obtund with false promise. - Tom Tiede; Self-Help Nation; Atlantic Monthly Press; 2001.

Television's perfect. You turn a few knobs, a few of those mechanical adjustments at which the higher apes are so proficient, and lean back and drain your mind of all thought. And there you are watching the bubbles in the primeval ooze. You don't have to concentrate. You don't have to react. You don't have to remember. You don't miss your brain because you don't need it. Your heart and liver and lungs continue to function normally. Apart from that, all is peace and quiet. You are in the man's nirvana.  And if some poor nasty minded person comes along and says you look like a fly on a can of garbage, pay him no mind. He probably hasn't got the price of a television set. -Raymond Thornton Chandler, writer (1888-1959)

You have to hold your audience in writing to the very end -- much more than in talking, when people have to be polite and listen to you. -Brenda Ueland, writer (1891-1985)

A bit beyond perception's reach
I sometimes believe I see
that life
is two locked boxes
each containing the other's key.
-Piet Hein, poet
and scientist (1905-1996)

There is no one, no matter how wise he is, who has not in his youth said things or done things that are so unpleasant to recall in later life that he would expunge them entirely from his memory if that were possible. -Marcel Proust, novelist (1871-1922)

Ships that pass in the night and speak each other in passing;
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of
life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice; then darkness
again and a silence.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet (1807-1882)

Every increased possession loads us with new weariness. -John Ruskin, author, art critic, and social reformer (1819-1900)

The radio is nothing but a conduit through which pre-fabricated din can flow into our homes. And this din goes far deeper, of course, than the eardrums. It penetrates the mind, filling it with a babble of distractions, blasts of corybantic or sentimental music, continually repeated doses of drama that bring no catharsis, but usually create a craving for daily or even hourly emotional enemas. - Aldous Huxley, On Silence

It is often forgotten that (dictionaries) are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define. The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature. -Jorge Luis Borges, writer (1899-1986)

Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be! -Miguel de Cervantes, writer (1547-1616)

I am not one of those who believe that a great army is the means of maintaining peace, because if you build up a great profession those who form parts of it want to exercise their profession. -Woodrow Wilson, 28th US president, Nobel laureate (1856-1924)

The principal contributor to loneliness in this country is television. What happens is that the family 'gets together' alone. -Ashley Montagu, anthropologist and writer (1905-1999)

The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange. -G.K. Chesterton, essayist and novelist (1874-1936)

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?" Gandhi

Every reader finds himself. The writer's work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself. -Marcel Proust, novelist (1871-1922)

Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living. -Anais Nin, writer (1903-1977)

You become writer by writing. It is a yoga. -R.K. Narayan, novelist (1906-2001)

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. -- E.L. Doctorow

Never confuse movement with action. -- Ernest Hemingway

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say: I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER. - William S. Burroughs

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in introducing a new order of things, because the innovator will have for enemies all who have done well under the old conditions, and only lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new." -- Nicholas Machiavelli (16th Century)

This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don't consider it rejected. Consider that you've addressed it 'to the editor who can appreciate my work' and it has simply come back stamped 'Not at this address'. Just keep looking for the right address. -- Barbara Kingsolver

A placer image

Latest Reviews

Faves



addme

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict