Quotes of Note

“As I have retired, and live at my ease, I possess the means that I used to want, of considering what I have seen, at leisure. My experiences have a more remarkable aspect, so reviewed, than they had when they were in progress. I have come home from the Play now, and can recall the scenes of the Drama upon which the curtain has fallen, free from the glare, bewilderment, and bustle of the Theatre.” – Charles Dickens, “Hunted Down”

“Oscar Hammerstein II, the lyricist, librettist, and producer went to  the theatre for the first time when he was four years old.  He considered the preceding years of his life a total loss.” – Philip Hamburger, “The Perfect Glow” from The 50s: The Story of a Decade [All articles are from The New Yorker magazine.]

“For centuries, ‘consumption,’ as it was called, was believed to physically stimulate intellectual and artistic genius. (Some of the greats who were so afflicted include Molière, Voltaire, Spinoza, Schiller, Goethe, Kafka, Gorki, Chekhov, Paganini, Chopin, Dr. Johnson, Scott, Keats, the Brontë sisters, D. H. Lawrence, Thoreau, Emerson, Poe, and O’Neill.)” – Morton A. Meyers, M.D., Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Major Medical Breakthroughs in the Twentieth Century

“In spite of her prim manner and love of order, Mr. Sleuth’s landlady was a true woman—she had, that is, an  infinite patience with masculine vagaries and oddities.” – Marie Belloc Lowndes, The Lodger

“When I am dead, I hope it may be said: His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.” – Hilaire Belloc [the younger brother of Marie Belloc Lowndes]

“[My novel] took up the sweetest part of my mind and the rarest part of my imagination; it was like being in love and better. All day long when I was busy, I had my unfinished novel personified almost as a secret companion and accomplice following me like a shadow wherever I went, whatever I did.” – Muriel Spark, Loitering with Intent

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy then an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then it becomes a tyrant and, in the last stage, just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.” – Winston S. Churchill

“Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings. Following complex story lines stretches our brains beyond the 140 characters of sound-bite thinking, and staying within the world of a novel gives us the ability to be quiet and alone, two skills that are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps.” – Ann Patchett

“I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.” – E. M. Forster

“If we wish to know the force of human genius we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning we may study his commentators.” – William Hazlitt

“The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone’s neurosis, and we’d have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads.” – William Styron

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