Quotations, Self

Humor, like pornography, incites a single emotion, in various positions. 

Salesman of certain eases. Limericist manqué. Living on the quality of my errors.

What is life but fooling around?


Salesman of certain eases.

Another stanza in the struggle to amuse.

A poet is a politician, unless he's very good.

I wish that I wished that I were otherwise. If only I could wish to be otherwise, I might accomplish it.

Whenever someone tells me "the truth" I cross my legs and look out the window.

The trouble with not having a job is that it denies me the pleasure of retiring.

I have often wished that I were a nicer guy.

You see me as I really am, but you wouldn’t dare tell me. I see you as you really are, but I wouldn’t dare tell you. Society is a system of secrets.

Whether or not to be a gentleman, always a hard choice. It depends.

Nothing is more admirable than luck.

Like all that's best in life I am quite useless.

Evading responsibility with style

The forces of seriousness are all around us.

"The funniest writer EVER! I mean we’re talking about EVER! And a wonderful guy, too!"—A Secret Admirer

Mr. Wonderful

More than just a pretty face

Eyes: hazel. What is that, green centers with brown edges, or brown centers with green edges? I don’t know, I pay no attention to these things.

Life refuses to be characterized, and so do I.

The tyranny of moods.

Reality is something I aspire to.

Limericist manqué, timid swashbuckler, between fortunes but committed to refined living.

An aging Peter Pan.

The unforgiven. (Some of us like it that way.)

What is luckier than beauty? What is more beautiful than luck?

Pleasure and amusement—one has to stand for something!

I make mini-budget Woody Allen movies here in Greece—comedy for intellectuals—and larger things in Europe and North Am.

A successful movie depends on three things: a good script, a good script, and a good script.

Intellectual dandyism. Sort of a happy Hamlet.

PhD. The wizard couldn't give the scarecrow a brain, so he gave him a degree.

A few moments of charm, and some money

Charm without depth

Living on the quality of my errors

I have a musical-comedy kind of mind. A samba kind of mind.

I don't know who my influences are. There's a new one every day, and they're immediately retroactive.

Life is to be savored. It’s a taste—in many cases an acquired one.

As I prefer pleasure to pain, so I prefer Mozart to Beethoven.

A prick with a good haircut.

I can never make up my mind about anything. Like Hamlet, I just give up.

Café-sitter, flâneur without portfolio, boulevardier, je-m'en-foutiste

A mere lad, and already effete

Leisure and pleasure beyond measure

Splendid insouciance, spiced by panic and depravity

Reluctant rake, underfinanced fop, voracious voluptuary.

Entertainments for the witty, the pretty, the flirty and the over-thirty.

In America, happiness is something you "pursue." In Greece it's something you have, if the Germans will leave you alone.

High spirits take back heaven.

"'Style is a species of smart-assery.' God, what a great line! I wish I had thought of it. Awesome review."—Connie J Jasperson

Life is contradictions. It's nothing else.

Humor, highbrow and low, stirred, not shaken

A demonically clever writer

I want to be Robert MacLean! 

My opinions sneer at one another.

Reading gives us the chance to be other people for a while, an enormous relief from the straightjacket of one's own personality.

At what point in the American language was "several" replaced by "multiple"? Such an ugly word.

Macho? Me? I can barely get the plug out of my hot-water bottle.

I can identify with anyone but myself.

Champion of the Unnecessary, Friend of the Frivolous 

I wasn't staring at her! I was trying to read her T-shirt! 

The principle of style: it's no fun unless it's forbidden. 

The Three Stooges translated their cries of orgasm into kid talk: they gave us a language for later.

Money lightens the spirit.

In selfless and purehearted quest for the perfect Martini

"Adult" usually means pornographic. Here it suggests the uninfantile.

I made a discipline of doing whatever I want. Now I’m doing whatever whatever I want wants me to do.

Suffer as an artist? My ego suffers when I don’t succeed, but my ego loves to suffer—it’s a pose, like Garbo’s.

Bunuel is the driest of Martinis.

Life is an aesthetic problem.

Fit audience, though you.

Funnier than thou.

Narcissist with undeniable charm

We mustn’t underestimate stupidity. Some extremely stupid people have found themselves lords of the earth.

Pleasure and amusement—a sense of mission.

One's reflection in the world prevents the formation of a valid personality, sort of thing. 

Lounging on the daybed, eating grapes, putting in a call in to Dial-A-Girl.

Art machine-guns us with charismas.

The missing link will never be found. We’ll never know the nature of nature, or what the Great Scenario is. Ours is a world of mystery, and it was designed that way.

Solipsism, Nabokov said, is an adolescent fantasy, but we're stuck with a collective version.

One must forbear to ejaculate in the faces of one's readership.

A successful piece of entertainment must either engage our depths or insult them. The best do both.

Frankly, I forgive myself.

To paraphrase Montaigne, we’re all assholes, at bottom.

A sentence must not gain its importance from what comes next. It must fascinate now.

To negative reviewers: My darlings, you’re reading it in the dark.

Hotspur and Hal—the discomfort of mere difference.

I reject carpe diem as a bore, but I've never heard it expressed so compellingly as in Let's Face the Music and Dance.

The dominant feeling I have about Hemingway is cleanliness—'A Clean, Well-lighted Place' and so forth—and all those showers!

I despise narrative, but not plot. Plot is a poetic form.

Art that makes you aware of the medium is puritanical. We want generosity!

Opera was born to fill the space Shakespeare left.

The depth of my philosophy: Cervisia non potest praefrigidi, neque nimia salis in Gallica frixam potatoes. (The beer can't be too cold, and there can't be too much salt on the fries.)

To make money you need brains; to spend money you need culture.  I have no brains whatever, but I'm crawling with culture. 

All philosophy since Hume is mood music.

The limits of my homosexuality: a woman's bare feet are always glance-worthy; a man's bare feet are always inconvenient.

Humor, like pornography, incites a single emotion, in various positions.

All art aspires to the condition of opera.

Nothing happens in a Hollywood movie that can't be understood by a twelve-year-old child.

Doing penance for the sin of seriousness.

One's courtiers pay no attention to how they dress one. One is fed up.

Sophisticated humor with perhaps a smidge of vulgarity

No brains, but an intellectual snob.

Smart assery for people of taste

The film world is full of people who are through with each other.

As a general rule, the faster the editing, the crasser the production.

Shaw is the Voltaire of the twentieth century—thin but warm; and rational.

I suppose we have to renew ourselves once in a while, and this cosmos is the current mode.

Rich isn't smart. Rich hires smart. Smart is an employee.

Purveyor of delicious vulgarities, and the very finest in smartassery. 

Unless the devils get to heaven the angels won't like it.

Les plaisirs les plus simples.

Lazy love child of Hamlet and Nell Gwynn, uncled by PG Wodehouse, awaiting my title.

Deep down I'm everybody else.

Money spoils the line in my pants.

Toby Moments on YouTube:


  1. Bob, you might appreciate seeing a Hedonist chasing a Puritan through an expansive dark forest following a fire in the indie film "Prince Avalanche." The Puritan (Paul Rudd) is running for his life, sure that the younger sybarite (Emile Hirsch) is out to kill him. Slow, subtle, and believe it or not, an American film made in... Texas.