Quotes of Note

“Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.” – H. L. Mencken

“If you can’t say anything good about someone, sit right here by me.” – Alice Roosevelt Longworth (She was the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, and was, for many years, the leading hostess in Washington D.C.  “Alice blue,” is a shade of blue named after the color of her eyes.  “Alice Blue Gown” was a popular song written in 1919 for the Broadway musical Irene.)


“The best time I had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” – Bette Davis

“A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution.” – Dustin Hoffman

“All that is good in our history is gathered in libraries. At this moment, Plato is down there at the library waiting for us.  So is Aristotle.  Spinoza is there and so is Keats.  Shelly and Byron and Sam Johnson are there waiting to tell us their magnificent stories.  All you have to do is walk in the library door and the great company open their arms to you.  They are so happy to see you that they come out with you into the street and to your home.  And they do what hardly any friend will – they are silent when you wish to think.” – Will Durant

“By and large the literature of a democracy will never exhibit the order, regularity, skill, and art characteristic of aristocratic literature; formal qualities will be neglected or actually despised. The style will often be strange, incorrect, overburdened, and loose, and almost always strong and bold. Writers will be more anxious to work quickly than to perfect details. Short works will be commoner than long books, wit than erudition, imagination than depth. There will be a rude and untutored vigor of thought with great variety and singular fecundity. Authors will strive to astonish more than to please, and to stir passions rather than to charm taste.” – Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Vol. 2, 1840)

“One of the wonderful things about writing is that the idea you start out with is not necessarily the one that gets written.  The characters have a way of taking over, and that’s what happened in my novel.  I certainly didn’t set out to write a comic book.  I had thought I would write something profound and sad about the ‘human condition,’ and I ended up winning a prize for comic fiction.  Maybe the human condition is funnier than we think at the time.” – Marina Lewycka, author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

“I don’t write for children.  I write and somebody says, ‘That’s for children.’ ” – Maurice Sendak

“My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.” – Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian, musician and actor

“Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.” – Susan Ertz

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