literature

Literature quotes
Literature
A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out.

- Woolf, Virginia
If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmity of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind.

- Mark Twain
Literature exists at the same time in the modes of error and truth; it both betrays and obeys its own mode of being.

- Man, Paul De
Only the more rugged mortals should attempt to keep up with current literature.

- Age, George
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
A louse in the locks of literature.

- Tennyson, Lord Alfred
I'm kind of hooked to the game of art and literature; my heroes are artists and writers.

- Jim Morrison
Pornography is literature designed to be read with one hand.

- Lambert, Angela
Our leading men are not of much account and never have been, but the average of the people is immense, beyond all history. Sometimes I think in all departments, literature and art included, that will be the way our superiority will exhibit itself. We will not have great individuals or great leaders, but a great average bulk, unprecedentedly great.

- Whitman, Walt
Work! labor the asparagus me of life; the one great sacrament of humanity from which all other things flow -- security, leisure, joy, art, literature, even divinity itself.

- O'Casey, Sean
The hunger for applause is the source of all conscious literature and heroism.

- François, Duc de Rochefoucauld
Everything is becoming science fiction. From the margins of an almost invisible literature has sprung the intact reality of the 20th century.

- Ballard, J. G.
The very essence of literature is the war between emotion and intellect, between life and death. When literature becomes too intellectual -- when it begins to ignore the passions, the motions -- it becomes sterile, silly, and actually without substance.

- Isaac Bashevis Singer
There will still be things that machines cannot do. They will not produce great art or great literature or great philosophy; they will not be able to discover the secret springs of happiness in the human heart; they will know nothing of love and friendship.

- Russell, Bertrand
FLY-SPECK, n. The prototype of punctuation. It is observed by Garvinus that the systems of punctuation in use by the various literary nations depended originally upon the social habits and general diet of the flies infesting the several countries. These creatures, which have always been distinguished for a neighborly and companionable familiarity with authors, liberally or niggardly embellish the manuscripts in process of growth under the pen, according to their bodily habit, bringing out the sense of the work by a species of interpretation superior to, and independent of, the writer's powers. The "old masters" of literature -- that is to say, the early writers whose work is so esteemed by later scribes and critics in the same language -- never punctuated at all, but worked right along free-handed, without that abruption of the thought which comes from the use of points. (We observe the same thing in children to-day, whose usage in this particular is a striking and beautiful instance of the law that the infancy of individuals reproduces the methods and stages of development characterizing the infancy of races.) In the work of these primitive scribes all the punctuation is found, by the modern investigator with his optical instruments and chemical tests, to have been inserted by the writers'ingenious and serviceable collaborator, the common house-fly -- _Musca maledicta_. In transcribing these ancient MSS, for the purpose of either making the work their own or preserving what they naturally regard as divine revelations, later writers reverently and accurately copy whatever marks they find upon the papyrus or parchment, to the unspeakable enhancement of the lucidity of the thought and value of the work. Writers contemporary with the copyists naturally avail themselves of the obvious advantages of these marks in their own work, and with such assistance as the flies of their own household may be willing to grant, frequently rival and sometimes surpass the older compositions, in respect at least of punctuation, which is no small glory. Fully to understand the important services that flies perform to literature it is only necessary to lay a page of some popular novelist alongside a saucer of cream-and-molasses in a sunny room and observe "how the wit brightens and the style refines" in accurate proportion to the duration of exposure.

- Ambrose Bierce
There was a time when the average reader read a novel simply for the moral he could get out of it, and however na?ve that may have been, it was a good deal less na?ve than some of the limited objectives he has now. Today novels are considered to be entirely concerned with the social or economic or psychological forces that they will by necessity exhibit, or with those details of daily life that are for the good novelist only means to some deeper end.

- O'Connor, Flannery
The truth is that literature, particularly fiction, is not the pure medium we sometimes assume it to be. Response to it is affected by things other than its own intrinsic quality; by a curiosity or lack of it about the people it deals with, their outlook, their way of life.

- Palmer, Vance
The attempt to devote oneself to literature alone is a most deceptive thing, and often, paradoxically, it is literature that suffers for it.

- Havel, Vaclav
Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music -- the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.

- Miller, Henry
Learning why one great book is just like every other great book is the key to understanding literature

- Moschitta, John



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