William Dean Howells quotes

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William Dean Howells

Birthdate: 1. March 1837
Date of death: 11. May 1920

William Dean Howells was an American realist novelist, literary critic, and playwright, nicknamed "The Dean of American Letters". He was particularly known for his tenure as editor of The Atlantic Monthly, as well as for his own prolific writings, including the Christmas story "Christmas Every Day" and the novels The Rise of Silas Lapham and A Traveler from Altruria.

Works

A Traveler from Altruria
A Traveler from Altruria
William Dean Howells

Quotes William Dean Howells

„If we love mankind, pity them, we even wish to suffer for them.“

—  William Dean Howells

A Hazard Of New Fortunes, Ch. XI
Context: The life of Christ, it wasn't only in healing the sick and going about to do good; it was suffering for the sins of others. That's as great a mystery as the mystery of death. Why should there be such a principle in the world? But it's been felt, and more or less dumbly, blindly recognized ever since Calvary. If we love mankind, pity them, we even wish to suffer for them. That's what has created the religious orders in all times--the brotherhoods and sisterhoods that belong to our day as much as to the mediaeval past. That's what is driving a girl like Margaret Vance, who has everything that the world can offer her young beauty, on to the work of a Sister of Charity among the poor and the dying.

„The life of Christ, it wasn't only in healing the sick and going about to do good; it was suffering for the sins of others.“

—  William Dean Howells

A Hazard Of New Fortunes, Ch. XI
Context: The life of Christ, it wasn't only in healing the sick and going about to do good; it was suffering for the sins of others. That's as great a mystery as the mystery of death. Why should there be such a principle in the world? But it's been felt, and more or less dumbly, blindly recognized ever since Calvary. If we love mankind, pity them, we even wish to suffer for them. That's what has created the religious orders in all times--the brotherhoods and sisterhoods that belong to our day as much as to the mediaeval past. That's what is driving a girl like Margaret Vance, who has everything that the world can offer her young beauty, on to the work of a Sister of Charity among the poor and the dying.

„The secret of the man who is universally interesting is that he is universally interested“

—  William Dean Howells

Literary Friends and Acquaintance : A Personal Retrospect of American Authorship (1900) http://archive.org/stream/oliverwendellhol03395gut/old/whowh10.txt
Context: The secret of the man who is universally interesting is that he is universally interested, and this was, above all, the secret of the charm that Doctor Holmes had for every one. No doubt he knew it, for what that most alert intelligence did not know of itself was scarcely worth knowing. This knowledge was one of his chief pleasures, I fancy; he rejoiced in the consciousness which is one of the highest attributes of the highly organized man, and he did not care for the consequences in your mind, if you were so stupid as not to take him aright.

„That's what is driving a girl like Margaret Vance, who has everything that the world can offer her young beauty, on to the work of a Sister of Charity among the poor and the dying.“

—  William Dean Howells

A Hazard Of New Fortunes, Ch. XI
Context: The life of Christ, it wasn't only in healing the sick and going about to do good; it was suffering for the sins of others. That's as great a mystery as the mystery of death. Why should there be such a principle in the world? But it's been felt, and more or less dumbly, blindly recognized ever since Calvary. If we love mankind, pity them, we even wish to suffer for them. That's what has created the religious orders in all times--the brotherhoods and sisterhoods that belong to our day as much as to the mediaeval past. That's what is driving a girl like Margaret Vance, who has everything that the world can offer her young beauty, on to the work of a Sister of Charity among the poor and the dying.

„Clemens was sole, incomparable, the Lincoln of our literature.“

—  William Dean Howells

My Mark Twain http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3390/3390.txt (1910)

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„He who sleeps in continual noise is wakened by silence […]“

—  William Dean Howells

Pordenone http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29993/29993-h/29993-h.htm, IV (1886)

„What the American public wants is a tragedy with a happy ending.“

—  William Dean Howells

As quoted in French Ways and Their Meaning http://www.archive.org/details/frenchwaysandthe00wharuoft (1919) by Edith Wharton, p. 65
Variant:
What the American public always wants is a tragedy with a happy ending.
As quoted in A Backward Glance http://archive.org/details/backwardglance030620mbp (1934) by Edith Wharton, p. 147

„The wrecks of slavery are fast growing a fungus crop of sentiment.“

—  William Dean Howells

Their Wedding Journey http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3365/3365.txt (1872)

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