Quotations, Others

"The worst vice of the fanatic is his sincerity."—Oscar Wilde 

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

"In all unimportant matters, style, not sincerity, is the essential. In all important matters, style, not sincerity, is the essential."—Oscar Wilde

"The pleasantest things in the world are pleasant thoughts, and the great art of life is to have as many of them as possible."—Michel de Montaigne

"The martyr: 'I'd rather die than...think it over'."—Paul Valéry

"To think that time is money is the vilest of ideas. Time serves for ripening, classifying, setting in order, perfecting. Time creates a wine, and its excellence—I am thinking of wines that mature slowly and should be drunk at a certain age; just as for a certain type of woman there's an age which must be waited for and not allowed to pass, for loving her."—Paul Valéry

"'I'm dreaming of a perfect bit of prose.' That primitive device—token of childish boredom—of conjuring up a brief ideal on the horizon of every moment; that strange incapacity for letting a whole day laze itself away; for letting time and arrogance and the image of oneself that one offers the world, just sniff each other, tolerate each other—such as they are."—Paul Valéry

"The great object of life is sensation- to feel that we exist, even though in pain."―Lord Byron

"All who joy would win
Must share itHappiness was born a twin."―Lord Byron, Don Juan

"I have a great mind to believe in Christianity for the mere pleasure of fancying I may be damned."―Lord Byron

"God sees men as they are, despairs of their intelligence—and in so doing tempts some of them to despair of His."—Paul Valéry

"Hope sustains life, but it's like a tightrope."—Paul Valéry

"I can stand a great deal of gold."—Henry James

"It is so far from how one lives to how one should live, that he who lets go of what is done for the sake of what should be done learns his ruin rather than his preservation. For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good."Niccolò Machiavelli

"The importance of what we cannot manage to think (that is, express) infinitely exceeds the importance of all we can manage to think…"—Paul Valéry

"How can we not think that what is is stupid?"—Paul Valéry

"On human actions reason though you can, It may be reason, but it is not man: His principle of action once explore, That instant 'tis his principle no more."—Pope

"If the world is a riddle, so be it. I believe only in what I can guess."—Paul Valéry

"That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false."—Paul Valéry  

"Anyone who writes verse easily is not writing verse."—Stéphane Mallarmé

"But, Degas, poetry is not written with ideas but with words."—Stéphane Mallarmé

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do."—Edgar Degas

"A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people."—Edgar Degas

"Art is vice. You don't wed it, you rape it."—Edgar Degas

"Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things."—Edgar Degas

"I want to be famous but unknown!"—Edgar Degas

"We were created to look at one another, weren't we?"—Edgar Degas

"Rien en art ne doit ressembler à un accident, même le mouvement."—Edgar Degas

"Worshiping the Devil is no more insane than worshiping God...It is precisely at the moment when positivism is at its high-water mark that mysticism stirs into life and the follies of occultism begin."—Joris-Karl Huysmans

"You know the worst thing is freedom. Freedom of any kind is the worst for creativity."—Salvador Dalí

"Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery."—Salvador Dalí

"Happy is he who causes a scandal."—Salvador Dalí

"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings."—Salvador Dalí

"Liking money like I like it, is nothing less than mysticism. Money is a glory."—Salvador Dalí 

"Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them."—Salvador Dalí 

"The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant."—Salvador Dalí 

"There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction."—Salvador Dalí

"Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing."—Salvador Dalí 

"An elegant woman is a woman who despises you and has no hair under her arms."—Salvador Dalí

"Though defeats may lay us low, victories annihilate us."—Paul Valéry

"One should never offer the public a delicate perfume. It exasperates them. Give them only carefully selected garbage."Charles Baudelaire

"To say nothing that is not verse."Stéphane Mallarmé

"Red wine for conversation."Henry Miller

"I know nothing more stupid and indeed vulgar than wanting to be right."—Paul Valéry

"If it is true that we are descended from monkeys, at least it must be from two separate species."August Strindberg on women

"Intelligence is a kind of immorality, and the masterstroke of genius has something criminal about it."—Paul Valéry

"Only extremes give value to this world of ours, and only the ordinary enables it to last."—Paul Valéry

"Nothing is more unequal than equality."Giacomo Casanova

"Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow."Oscar Wilde

"James’s critical genius comes out most tellingly in his mastery over, his baffling escape from, Ideas; a mastery and an escape which are perhaps the last test of a superior intelligence. He had a mind so fine that no idea could violate it."—T.S. Eliot

"Cleopatra’s nose: if it had been shorter the whole face of the earth would have been different."Blaise Pascal

"Father, don't offer me a God stupider than I am."—Paul Valéry

"I can’t will willing; that is, it makes no sense to speak of willing willing. 'Willing' is not the name of an action; and so not the name of any voluntary action either."—Ludwig Wittgenstein

"The Himalayas bore me to death. Tempests tire me. The Infinite sends me to sleep and God is too much of a good thing."—Paul Valéry

"Optimists write badly."—Paul Valéry

"Something 'understood' is something falsified."—Paul Valéry

"I am Sebastian, or Sebastian is I, or perhaps we both are someone whom neither of us know"—Vladimir Nabokov 

"Death removes all 'seriousness' from life."—Paul Valéry

"The Maker of the world was less interested in the permanence and durability of his works than in the pleasure of making them."—Paul Valéry

"One should never listen. To listen is a sign of indifference to one's hearers."—Oscar Wilde

"We are condemned by our nature to live in the imaginary; in what cannot be completed. And such is life...."—Paul Valéry

Dolce far niente

"To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it."G. K. Chesterton

"Whatever it is, I'm against it!"—Groucho Marx

"One gets bored by everything, my Angel, it’s a law of nature; it’s not my fault."Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

"Good-bye, I still love you as much as if you were reasonable."Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

"Believe me, Vicomte, people rarely acquire the qualities they can dispense with."Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

"Farewell my angel. I've enjoyed having you and I've no regrets leaving you. I may come back to you. That's the way of the world. It's not my fault."Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

"A man enjoys the pleasure he feels, a woman the pleasure she gives."Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

"Our most important thoughts are those which contradict our feelings."—Paul Valéry

"Morality ordains that Good shall cost us more than Evil. Good is of a statistical origin, Evil of a personal origin. Good is dictated to us; Evil whispered in our ear."—Paul Valéry

"Intelligence is evil."—Paul Valéry

"A man is a poet if difficulties inherent in his art provide him with ideas; he is not a poet if they deprive him of ideas."—Paul Valéry

"There is a harshness, a freedom, a delight in harshness and freedom, that sometimes, startlingly, emerges in love's tenderest moments, and delights the devil lurking in the lover."—Paul Valéry

"True happiness is impossible without solitude. The fallen angel probably betrayed God because he longed for solitude, which angels do not know."—Anton Chekhov

"Simply to live…for the moment…what could be harder?"—Paul Valéry

"If life had a goal, it would cease being 'life'."—Paul Valéry

"Nothing is rarer than not to attach any importance to things that have no importance."—Paul Valéry

"All we should ask of Heaven is euphoria, and an ability to make the most of it."—Paul Valéry

"Even the most complicated lie is simpler than the truth, and it's hopeless trying to find words expressing to the full the complex of a personality."—Paul Valéry

"You never get the same haircut twice."Heraclitus

"Like the fly, the Mind settles on everything."—Paul Valéry

"You can never be too subtle, and you can never be too simple."—Paul Valéry

"To be is not to have."—Paul Valéry

"Everything that counts is veiled."—Paul Valéry

"Desire and disgust are the two pillars of the Temple of Living."—Paul Valéry

"Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life."—William Hazlitt

"A poem is never finished, only abandoned."—Paul Valéry

"I greatly fear, old friend, that we are made of many things
that know nothing about us. And this is how we fail to know ourselves. If there is an infinite number of such things, all meditation is useless."—Paul Valéry

"Disgusted with being right, with doing what succeeds, with the effectiveness of methods, try something else."—Paul Valéry

"The town is full of impotent Caesars and malignant Christs, and all write books."—Paul Valéry

"All decent people live beyond their incomes nowadays, and those who aren’t respectable live beyond other people's. A few gifted individuals manage to do both."Saki

"The grill-room clock struck eleven with the respectful unobtrusiveness of one whose mission in life is to be ignored."Saki

"To be truly elegant one should not be noticed."Beau Brummel

"It should take at least five minutes from a man entering the room to noticing he’s well-dressed."Beau Brummel

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror."—Oscar Wilde

"Excellence does not require perfection."Henry James

"The martyr: I'd rather die than...think it over."—Paul Valéry

"Every ironist has in mind a pretentious reader, mirror of himself."―Paul Valéry

"Ce qui n'est pas ineffable n'a aucune importance."―Paul Valéry, Mon Faust

"An artist wants to inspire jealousy till the end of time."Paul Valéry

"To think? To think means...losing the thread."Paul Valéry

"Tell me a story—one just true enough to be interesting, and not true enough to be tiresome."—Saki

"I think oysters are more beautiful than any religion,” he resumed presently. “They not only forgive our unkindness to them; they justify it, they incite us to go on being perfectly horrid to them. Once they arrive at the supper-table they seem to enter thoroughly into the spirit of the thing. There’s nothing in Christianity or Buddhism that quite matches the sympathetic unselfishness of an oyster."—Saki

"If we lost our illusions about women, the world would end."Agustina Bessa-Luís, Portuguese poet and novelist who scripted some of De Oliveira's films

"Two dangers constantly threaten the world: order and disorder."—Paul Valéry

"What breast could be so hard as to resist a dream?"—Paul Valéry

"What is most beautiful is of necessity tyrannical."—Paul Valéry

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible."—Paul Valéry

Fut-il jamais de sein si dur 
Qu’on n’y puisse loger un songe! 
Qui que tu sois, ne suis-je point 
Cette complaisance qui poind 
Dans ton âme lorsqu’elle s’aime? 
Je suis au fond de sa faveur 
Cette inimitable saveur 
Que tu ne trouves qu’à toi-même! 
—Paul Valéry

"When I am wicked I am in high spirits."—Henry James

"Taste is made of a thousand distastes"―Paul Valéry

"I am not always good and noble. I am the hero of this story, but I have my off moments."―P.G. Wodehouse

"I have never seen a greater monster or miracle in the world than myself."—Michel de Montaigne 

"Never mistake motion for action."Ernest Hemingway 

"He had a mind so fine that no idea could violate it."―T.S. Eliot on Henry James

"The vast and vague extravagance that lies at the bottom of the Celtic heart."WB Yeats

"The universe exists for one reason, to make poetry out of it."—Paul Valéry

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."―Oscar Wilde

"Pleasure is the only thing one should live for, nothing ages like happiness."—Oscar Wilde

"Desire, even in its wildest tantrums, can neither persuade me it is love nor stop me from wishing it were."―W.H. Auden

"What a fine weather today! Can’t choose whether to drink tea or hang myself." ―Anton Chekhov

"The world is, of course, nothing but our conception of it."―Anton Chekhov

When asked, "Why do you always wear black?", he said, "I am mourning for my life."―Anton Chekhov

Wisdom.... comes not from age, but from education and learning."―Anton Chekhov

"Perhaps the feelings that we experience when we are in love represent a normal state. Being in love shows a person who he should be."―Anton Chekhov

"There is nothing more awful, insulting, and depressing than banality."―Anton Chekhov

"Man is what he believes."―Anton Chekhov

"We should show life neither as it is, nor as it should be, but as we see it in our dreams."―Anton Chekhov

"Wicked is not much worse than indiscreet."―John Donne

"And who understands? Not me, because if I did I would forgive it all."―John Donne

"For he is none other than the very demon of possibility."—Paul Valéry

"I adore three things: weakness, because in modern physics everything is weak, is nothing; all physicists now talk about anti-matter: ten years ago I painted anti-matter angels. Old age, because the young are completely stupid. And luxury, because luxury is one product of monarchy, and I, more every day, am monarchic—not in the political sense—Dalí never touches politics; if there were a monarchy party I would have nothing to do with it."—Salvador Dalí

"A serious man has few ideas. A man of many ideas cannot be serious."—Paul Valéry

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

"Art and love are potentially criminal—or else they don't exist."—Paul Valéry

"Everything begins with an interruption."—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

"Things get themselves done, on their own initiative. People make believe to do them, go through the motions. But crimes, works of art, and love affairs shape themselves without our intervention and weave a web in which we get entangled, while pretending to be working on it. The real actors, real authors have no human face. Everything takes place between beings that pass our comprehension."—Paul Valéry

"Man can act only because he can ignore."—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

"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

"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."-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."—Lord Byron

"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.

"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.

All in revolt, beside themselves, brushed up the wrong way
They, the leaves, complain, and jostling branches
Overladen, foundering,
Cry frantically "No!"
"No!" They are swept to the farthest south of their
The whole body of the tree is bristling up,
All its leaves scurrying, each to its nearest neighbor.
A torrent of diminutives, a mighty density, a plenitude
urges them on and on. Sound of an hourglass—or a migration?
A longing to be gone and a fear of going. A thousand small green handkerchiefs waving good-bye.
But once they have left the tree, foot-loose, they cease to feel the wind.
—Paul Valéry

"Consciousness is like a mirror of water where sometimes the sky, sometimes the depths, invite our gaze; sometimes, too, when its smooth nakedness is ruffled, it breaks into a medley of mirrors and translucencies, a tangled image of images."—Paul Valéry