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Literature quotes

The decline in literature indicates a decline in the nation. The two keep pace in their downward tendency.

- Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von

The present era grabs everything that was ever written in order to transform it into films, TV programs; or cartoons. What is essential in a novel is precisely what can only be expressed in a novel, and so every adaptation contains nothing but the non-essential. If a person is still crazy enough to write novels nowadays and wants to protect them, he has to write them in such a way that they cannot be adapted, in other words, in such a way that they cannot be retold.

- Kundera, Milan

With no other privilege than that of sympathy and sincere good wishes, I would address an affectionate exhortation to the youthful literati, grounded on my own experience. It will be but short; for the beginning,middle, and end converge to one charge: NEVER PURSUE LITERATURE AS A TRADE.

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

If you are to reach masses of people in this world, you must do it by a sign language. Whether your vehicle be commerce, literature, or politics, you can do nothing but raise signals, and make motions to the people.

- Chapman, John Jay

Literature is the human activity that make the fullest and most precise account of variousness, possibility, complexity, and difficulty.

- Trilling, Lionel

The difference between journalism and literature is that journalism is unreadable and literature is unread.

- Oscar Wilde

Sigmund Freud was a half baked Viennese quack. Our literature, culture, and the the films of Woody Allen would be better today if Freud had never written a word.

- Ian Shoales

The struggle of literature is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary.

- Calvino, Italo

If you look at history you'll find that no state has been so plagued by its rulers as when power has fallen into the hands of some dabbler in philosophy or literary addict.

- Erasmus, Desiderius

Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.

- Bachelard, Gaston

You know who the critics are? The men who have failed in literature and art.

- Benjamin Disraeli

Literature is the expression of a feeling of deprivation, a recourse against a sense of something missing. But the contrary is also true: language is what makes us human. It is a recourse against the meaningless noise and silence of nature and history.

- Paz, Octavio

Only the more rugged mortals should attempt to keep up with current literature.

- Age, George

In science, read by preference the newest works. In literature, read the oldest. The classics are always modern.

- Lytton, Lord Edward

What we call education and culture is for the most part nothing but the substitution of reading for experience, of literature for life, of the obsolete fictitious for the contemporary real.

- George Bernard Shaw

Maxims and aphorisms, let us remember that wisdom is the true salt of literature, and the books that are most nourishing are richly stored with it, and that is the main object to seek in reading books.

- Morely, John

Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead.

- Lewis, Sinclair

Just as the office worker dreams of murdering his hated boss and so is saved from really murdering him, so it is with the author; with his great dreams he helps his readers to survive, to avoid their worst intentions. And society, without realizing it respects and even exalts him, albeit with a kind of jealousy, fear and even repulsion, since few people want to discover the horrors that lurk in the depths of their souls. This is the highest mission of great literature, and there is no other.

- Sabato, Ernesto

Literature transforms and intensifies ordinary language, deviates systematically from everyday speech. If you approach me at a bus stop and murmur Thou still unravished bride of quietness, then I am instantly aware that I am in the presence of the literary.

- Eagleton, Terry

Already the writers are complaining that there is too much freedom. They need some pressure. The worse your daily life, the better your art. If you have to be careful because of oppression and censorship, this pressure produces diamonds.

- Tolstaya, Tatyana

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