Quotes, Others

The angel is only a devil to whom a certain reflection has not, as yet, occurred."—Paul Valéry

"At that moment the rooster crowed—and did not crow—and it was not a rooster, nor was it, perhaps, a moment. The wind freshened—and did not freshen—and the sky powdered with stars had not existed; withdrawn just in the nick of time, like everything else.
"And at each moment, what was had never been."—Paul Valéry

"I would give all I possess to get out of myself; but somehow, at the end, I find myself so vastly more interesting than nine tenths of the people I meet."―Henry James, Roderick Hudson

"A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist."—Vladimir Nabokov

"For man is excess, abuse—this is his very essence. Wise men give him the choice between 'depraved animal' and 'fallen angel'."—Paul Valéry

"The duke was of a politeness that was unendurable."—Saint-Simon

"He had set himself to the serious study of the great aristocratic art of doing absolutely nothing."Oscar Wilde

"A woman can forgive a man for the harm he does her, but she can never forgive him for the sacrifices he makes on her behalf."—W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence

"I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world."—Oscar Wilde

"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city."—George Burns

"Good taste is the first refuge of the witless."—Victor Hugo

"Whatever one writes comes to pass."—Oscar Wilde

"The reasonable man achieves nothing."—Joyce on Dostoyevsky

"Don't worry about perfection. You will never achieve it."—Salvador Dalí

"Dying is easy. Comedy is hard."Edmund Kean's last words

"The poet, he nothing affirmeth, and therefore never lieth."—Philip Sidney

"You owe it to all of us to get on with what you're good at."W.H. Auden

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there."—Rumi

"Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor."Rumi

"Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad."―Rumi

"In the very corner of my soul there is an altar to a different god."Fernando Pessoa

"Mistakes help pass the time."—Agustina Bessa-Luís

"I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life."—Voltaire

"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."—John Steinbeck (Or if he didn't say it, he should have.)

"This is what I like, sitting at a table and watching people go by. It does something to your outlook on life. The Anglo-Saxons make a great mistake not staring at people from a sidewalk table."—Patricia Highsmith 

"All the passions make us commit faults; love makes us commit the most ridiculous ones."—Francois de La Rochefoucauld

"The great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable. No virtuous man—that is, virtuous in the Y.M.C.A. sense—has ever painted a picture worth looking at, or written a symphony worth hearing, or a book worth reading."—H.L. Mencken

"And still, as he refused it, the rabblement hooted and clapped their chapped hands and threw up their sweaty night-caps and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked Caesar—for he swooned and fell down at it. And for mine own part, I durst not laugh for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air."

"With luck on your side, you can do without brains."—Giordano Bruno

"A man is sometimes as different from himself as he is from others."—Francois de La Rochefoucauld

"Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense."—Mignon McLaughlin

"They became what they beheld."—William Blake

"Let us leave theories there and return to here's hear."―Finnegans Wake

"Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever."―Aristophanes

"I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy."―F. Scott

"One situation—maybe one alone—could drive me to murder: family life, togetherness."—Patricia Highsmith 

"First we feel. Then we fall."―Finnegans Wake

"Why are there beings at all, instead of nothing?"—Martin Heidegger

"Eloquence is really all any of us can hope for."―Donald Barthelme

"Fortune is not on the side of the faint-hearted."― Sophocles

"The soul is so far from being a monad that we have not only to interpret other souls to ourself but to interpret ourself to ourself."—T. S. Eliot

"It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail."—Gore Vidal

"All bad poetry is sincere."—Oscar Wilde

"Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated."―the Marquis de Sade

"The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea."―James Joyce

"As death, when we come to consider it closely, is the true goal of our existence, I have formed during the last few years such close relationships with this best and truest friend of mankind that death's image is not only no longer terrifying to me, but is indeed very soothing and consoling."―Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"Who knows most, knows least."―Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"Eternity is in love with the productions of time."—William Blake

(Praise be to God I’m not good,
And have the natural egotism of flowers
And rivers following their bed
Preoccupied without knowing it
Only with blooming and flowing.
This is the only mission in the World,
This—to exist clearly,
And to know how to do it without thinking about it.)
The man stopped talking and was looking at the sunset.
But what does someone who hates and loves want with a sunset?
—Fernando Pessoa

"Of all the sexual aberrations, perhaps the most peculiar is chastity."—Remy de Gourmont

"The limits of pleasure are as yet neither known nor fixed."—Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

"Lies are essential to humanity. They are perhaps as important as the pursuit of pleasure and moreover are dictated by that pursuit."—Marcel Proust

"I have never known anyone worth a damn who wasn't irascible."—Ezra Pound

"The trouble with honest people is that they're cowards."—Voltaire

"Honestly, I don't understand why people get so worked up about a little murder!"―Patricia Highsmith

"Frugality is for the vulgar."—Francois Rabelais

"Ah, my dear, the abysses are all so shallow."—Henry James to Edith Wharton

"Most disquieting reflection of all, was it not bad form to think about good form? It was proof to the unhappy Hook that Peter did not know in the least who or what he was, which is the very pinnacle of good form."—James M. Barrie

"Some of my worst mistakes in life were haircuts."—Jim Morrison

"Life is a series of sensations connected to different states of consciousness."—Remy de Gourmont

"A fop is someone who approves of everything he does."Simon Callow

"Truth titillates the imagination far less than fiction."—the Marquis de Sade

"The only success worth one's powder was success in the line of one's idiosyncrasy....what was talent but the art of being completely whatever one happened to be?"—Henry James

"People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day."―A.A. Milne

"Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness."—Ludwig Wittgenstein

"Each man must grant himself the emotions that he needs and the morality that suits him."—Remy de Gourmont

"A narcissist is someone better looking than you are."—Gore Vidal

"I had rather have a fair body than a king’s crown"—Walter Pater on ancient Greek ideals

"The Lord forbid that I should be out of debt, as if indeed I could not be trusted."—Francois Rabelais

"Death...this best and truest friend of mankind."—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"An Englishman thinks he's being moral when he's only uncomfortable."—George Bernard Shaw

"Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies."—Gore Vidal

"The human body is essentially something other than an animal organism."—Martin Heidegger

"Where do the noses go?"—Maria, learning how to kiss in For Whom the Bell Tolls 

"All the seven deadly sins are peccadilloes but without three of them, Pride, Lust, and Sloth, poetry might never have been born."—Vladimir Nabokov

"Young men of this class never do anything for themselves that they can get other people to do for them, and it is the infatuation, the devotion, the superstition of others that keeps them going. These others in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred are women."—Henry James

"It is godlike to lend, but to owe is a heroic virtue."—Francois Rabelais

"Simple ideas lie within the reach only of complex minds."—Remy de Gourmont

"I have decided to be happy.  It is excellent for one's health!"—Voltaire

"I have known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots."—William Butler Yeats

"Beauty should be edible, or not at all."—Salvador Dalí

"I am still of opinion that only two topics can be of the least interest to a serious and studious mood—sex and the dead."—William Butler Yeats

"Pleasure is worth taking trouble about."—Kenneth Clark

"The master is he who can make you laugh the hardest and the longest."—Henry Miller

"I confess I do not believe in time."—Vladimir Nabokov


"Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess."—Oscar Wilde

"The older one grows, the more one likes indecency."—Virginia Woolf

"Aesthetic emotion puts man in a state favorable to the reception of erotic emotion. Art is the accomplice of love. Take love away and there is no longer art."—Remy de Gourmont

"Women are like food. When you're young you eat anything. When you get older you choose."—the Panamanian dictator to Graham Greene

"Boredom is a species of frustration."—Susan Sontag

"Dip him in the river who loves water."—William Blake

"It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes."—Oscar Wilde

"Bella cosa far niente."—Madame de Sévigné

"How can we know the dancer from the dance?"—William Butler Yeats

"There are no classes in life for beginners; right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult."—Rainer Maria Rilke

But blind to former as to future fate,
What mortal knows his pre-existent state?
—Alexander Pope

"Sin Bravely."—Martin Luther

"You can live without love, but not without lovers."—Despina in Così fan tutte

"Man associates ideas not according to logic or verifiable exactitude, but according to his pleasure and interests. It is for this reason that most truths are nothing but prejudices."—Remy de Gourmont

"Succeed! It has been done, and with a stupidity that can astound the most experienced."—Donald Barthelme

"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind."—Henry James

"I am a man who pisses largely and frequently, which they say is a sign of great mental activity….To relieve a full bladder is one of the great human joys."—Henry Miller

"Culture is where you spend your time."—General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson

"There is no happiness that is not idleness, and only what is useless is pleasurable."—Anton Chekhov

"One should never give a woman anything that she can't wear in the evening."—Oscar Wilde

"I am his Highness' dog at Kew; Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?"—Alexander Pope

"I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half."—Lord Leverhulme

"You can never be overdressed or overeducated."—Oscar Wilde

"Thought expands, but paralyzes; action animates, but narrows."—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"What I like doing best is Nothing." 
"How do you do Nothing," asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.
"Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, 'What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?' and you say, 'Oh, Nothing,' and then you go and do it. It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."―A.A. Milne

"Perhaps the most admirable among the admirable laws of Nature is the survival of the weakest."—Vladimir Nabokov

Anathematization of the world is not an adequate response to the world."—Donald Barthelme

"I have never heard of a crime that I might not have committed myself."—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"I pray you, let me never hear that man’s name again."—Voltaire on Jesus

"Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity."―Coco Chanel

"We become moral when we are unhappy."—Marcel Proust

"The inexhaustible brothel of my desires"—the Count of Monte Cristo

"A man is infinitely more complicated than his thoughts."—Paul Valéry

"It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple: one must be a woman manly, or a man womanly."—Virginia Woolf

"The beautiful is that which fills us with despair."—Paul Valéry

"Do not limp before the lame."—Francois Rabelais 

"The one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous."—Salvador Dalí 

"The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself."—Oscar Wilde

"The worldly will to life, not the Christian sufferance of life"—Erich Auerbach on Boccaccio

"A kissed mouth loses no savour, but is renewed, like the moon."—Giovanni Boccaccio

"A man who doesn't understand fashion lacks the wit not to fear ridicule."—Agustina Bessa-Luís

The censure of even one of the judicious, says Hamlet, in what is after all a popular play, "must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others."


"Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes."—Oscar Wilde 

"But we little know until tried how much of the uncontrollable there is in us, urging across glaciers and torrents, and up dangerous heights, let the judgment forbid as it may."—Donald Barthelme

"Nothing is more exhilarating than philistine vulgarity."—Vladimir Nabokov

"The man of action is always ruthless; no one has a conscience but an observer."—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously."—Friedrich Nietzsche

"A clever man commits no minor blunders."—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"Our ignorance of our nature is total."—Jean-Luc Godard

"Nothing written for pay is worth printing. Only what has been written against the market."—Ezra Pound

"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling. To be natural is to be obvious, and to be obvious is to be inartistic."—Oscar Wilde

"No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft."—H. G. Wells

"Massenet feels the story as a Frenchman, with the powder and the minuets. I shall feel it as an Italian, with desperate passion."—Giacomo Puccini, on Manon Lescaut

"If you are afraid of loneliness, do not marry."—Anton Chekhov

"Steal me awhile from mine own company."—Helena invoking sleep in A Midsummer Night's Dream 

"A woman being never at a loss...the devil always sticks by them."—Edgar Allan Poe

"It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream."—Edgar Allan Poe

"One got up late to make the wings of ambition lazy and one dared not go to bed till even later for fear of awakening those of remorse."—Salvador Dalí

"It's your job to betray the whole human race."—Henry Miller

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."Oscar Wilde 

"I do not conquer. I submit."—Giacomo Casanova

"Oh senseless man, who cannot possibly make a worm or a flea and yet will create Gods by the dozen!"―Michel de Montaigne

"None of us love by deliberate choice but from appetite and pleasure."—Giovanni Boccaccio

"I have nothing. I owe much. I leave the rest to the poor."—Francois Rabelais

"One must not make oneself cheap here—that is a cardinal point—or else one is done. Whoever is the most impertinent has the best chance."—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 

"The three finest things God ever made are HamletDon Giovanni and the sea."—Gustave Flaubert


"Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, then for a few friends, then for money."—Molière

"What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us."—Hamlet 

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
                       —Ariel 

"I am all that has been, is and shall be, and no mortal has ever raised my veil."—Isis

"Superstition is a part of the very being of humanity; and when we fancy that we are banishing it altogether, it takes refuge in the strangest nooks and corners, and then suddenly comes forth again, as soon as it believes itself at all safe."—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"It was supported by unassailable arguments that did not persuade."—Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon

"Money's a horrid thing to follow, but a charming thing to meet."—Henry James

"All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind."—Aristotle   

"Only mystery allows us to live, only mystery."―Federico García Lorca

"But hurry, let's entwine ourselves as one, our mouth broken, our soul bitten by love, so time discovers us safely destroyed."―Federico García Lorca

"Idle youth, enslaved to everything; by being too sensitive I have wasted my life."―Arthur Rimbaud

"Genius is the recovery of childhood at will."―Arthur Rimbaud

"There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, 'Do trousers matter?'" "The mood will pass, sir.”  

"Little better than one of the wicked"—Falstaff

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In another's being mingle—
Why not I with thine?

See, the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower could be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;—
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me? 
                   —Percy Bysshe Shelley

If music be the food of love, play on.
Give me excess of it that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again, it had a dying fall.
Oh, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odor. Enough, no more.
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price
Even in a minute. So full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.
                  
Also by Robert MacLean, the "Toby" books,
Will You Please Fuck Off? at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon FRAmazon DEAmazonITAmazonES and Smashwords;
Foreign Matter at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon FRAmazon DEAmazonITAmazonES and Smashwords; 
Total Moisture at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon FRAmazon DEAmazonITAmazonES and Smashwords; 
and these, too,
Mortal Coil: A Comedy of Corpses at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon FRAmazon DE, AmazonIT and AmazonES;
The President's Palm Reader: A Washington Comedy at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon FRAmazon DEAmazonIT and AmazonES; and
Greek Island Murder at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon FRAmazon DEAmazon IT and Amazon ES.

2 comments:

  1. I'm enjoying your blog, Robert, and love the quotes!

    ReplyDelete