Literature quotes
Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory.

- Solzhenitsyn, Alexander
The function of literature, through all its mutations, has been to make us aware of the particularity of selves, and the high authority of the self in its quarrel with its society and its culture. Literature is in that sense subversive.

- Trilling, Lionel
I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved. I am not sure that you are of the same kind. But the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave. This is the world of literature and speech and I shall take leave to tell you that you are very dear.

- Eliot, George
DULLARD, n. A member of the reigning dynasty in letters and life. The Dullards came in with Adam, and being both numerous and sturdy have overrun the habitable world. The secret of their power is their insensibility to blows; tickle them with a bludgeon and they laugh with a platitude. The Dullards came originally from Boeotia, whence they were driven by stress of starvation, their dullness having blighted the crops. For some centuries they infested Philistia, and many of them are called Philistines to this day. In the turbulent times of the Crusades they withdrew thence and gradually overspread all Europe, occupying most of the high places in politics, art, literature, science and theology. Since a detachment of Dullards came over with the Pilgrims in the _Mayflower_ and made a favorable report of the country, their increase by birth, immigration, and conversion has been rapid and steady. According to the most trustworthy statistics the number of adult Dullards in the United States is but little short of thirty millions, including the statisticians. The intellectual centre of the race is somewhere about Peoria, Illinois, but the New England Dullard is the most shockingly moral.

- Ambrose Bierce
I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military divisions.

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

- Lytton, Lord Edward
Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.

- Bachelard, Gaston
The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order.

- Cocteau, Jean
Now, and at no other time: in this same nineteenth century lies our work. Let us thank God that we are here now, and joyfully try to understand where we are, and what our work is here. As for all superstitions about "the good old times," and fancies that they belonged to God, while this age belongs only to man, blind chance, and the evil one, let us cast them from us as the suggestions of an evil lying spirit, as the natural parents of laziness, pedantry, fanaticism, and unbelief. And therefore let us not fear to ask the meaning of this present day, and of all its different voices--the pressing, noisy, complex present, where our workfield lies, the most intricate of all states of society, and of all schools of literature yet known.

- Introductory Lecture, Queen's College. 1848.
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
Remarks are not literature.

- Stein, Gertrude
A person of mature years and ripe development, who is expecting nothing from literature but the corroboration and renewal of past ideas, may find satisfaction in a lucidity so complete as to occasion no imaginative excitement, but young and ambitious students are not content with it. They seek the excitement because they are capable of the growth that it accompanies.

- Cooley, Charles Horton
The Greeks were, as far as we know, the most beautiful race which the world ever saw. Every educated man knows that they were the cleverest of all nations, and, next to his Bible, thanks God for Greek literature. Now the Greeks had made physical, as well as intellectual education a science as well as a study. Their women practised graceful, and in some cases even athletic exercises. They developed, by a free and healthy life, those figures which remain everlasting and unapproachable models of human beauty.

- Lecture on Thrift. 1869.
A louse in the locks of literature.

- Tennyson, Lord Alfred
The thing that teases the mind over and over for years, and at last gets itself put down rightly on paper -- whether little or great, it belongs to Literature.

- Jewett, Sarah Orne
Literature that is not the breath of contemporary society, that dares not transmit the pains and fears of that society, that does not warn in time against threatening moral and social dangers -- such literature does not deserve the name of literature; it is only a fa?ade. Such literature loses the confidence of its own people, and its published works are used as wastepaper instead of being read.

- Solzhenitsyn, Alexander
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
Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once.

- Connolly, Cyril
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
We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts, have their root in Greece.

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

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