Quotes about literature
A collection of quotes on the topic of literature.Related topics
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„The books to be read should not be limited to those written in English…. Instead it should be devoted to the great works of history, biography, philosophy, theology, natural science, social science, and mathematics, as well as the… tradition of Western literature -- in English translation… Its aim should not be a survey of Western civilization, but an effort to understand the basic ideas and issues in Western thought.“
— Mortimer J. Adler American philosopher and educator 1902 - 2001
Source: Reforming Education: The Opening of the American Mind (1990), p. 316
„This work is not for the many; but in the unconscious, perfectly natural, irony of self-delusion, in all parts intelligible to the intelligent reader, without the slightest suspicion on the part of the autobiographer, I know of no equal in our literature…This and The Entail would alone suffice to place Galt in the first rank of contemporary novelists.“
— John Galt (novelist) British writer 1779 - 1839
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, manuscript note written in his copy of The Provost; cited from Thomas Middleton Raysor (ed.) Coleridge's Miscellaneous Criticism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1936), p. 344.
„Dr. Watson's summary list of Sherlock Holmes's strengths and weaknesses:
"1. Knowledge of Literature: Nil.
2. Knowledge of Philosophy: Nil.
3. Knowledge of Astronomy: Nil.
4. Knowledge of Politics: Feeble.
5. Knowledge of Botany: Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening.
6. Knowledge of Geology: Practical but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.
7. Knowledge of Chemistry: Profound.
8. Knowledge of Anatomy: Accurate but unsystematic.
9. Knowledge of Sensational Literature: Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century.
10. Plays the violin well.
11. Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman.
12. Has a good practical knowledge of British law.“
Source: A Study in Scarlet
„I am a sincere Catholic as it were Corneille, Racine, La Bruyère, Bossnet, Bourdaloue, Fènelon, as were and still are so many of the most of the honor of out science, philosophy and literature, and have conferred such brilliant ustre on our Academies. I share the deep conviction openly manifested in words, deeds and writings by so many savants of the first rank, by a Ruffini, a Haüy, a Laënnec, an Ampere, a Pelletier, a Freycinet, a Coriolis and I avoid naming any of those living, for fear of paining their podesty. I may at least be allowed to say that I loved to recognize all the noble generosity of the Christian Faith in my illustrious friends the creator of Crystallography (Haüy), the introducers of quinine and stethoscope (Pelletier and Laënnec), the famous voyager on board of the 'Urania', and the immortal founders of the theory of Dynamic Electricity“
— Augustin Louis Cauchy French mathematician (1789–1857) 1789 - 1857
Frencinet and Ampère
„Of course the illusion of art is to make one believe that great literature is very close to life, but exactly the opposite is true. Life is amorphous, literature is formal.“
— Françoise Sagan French writer 1935 - 2004
Paris Review interview (1956)
— André Breton French writer 1896 - 1966
Le Manifeste du Surréalisme, Andre Breton (Manifesto of Surrealism; 1924)
Context: After you have settled yourself in a place as favorable as possible to the concentration of your mind upon itself, have writing materials brought to you. Put yourself in as passive, or receptive, a state of mind as you can. Forget about your genius, your talents, and the talents of everyone else. Keep reminding yourself that literature is one of the saddest roads that lead to everything. Write quickly, without any preconceived subject, fast enough so that you will not remember what you're writing and be tempted to reread what you have written. The first sentence will come spontaneously, so compelling is the truth that with every passing second there is a sentence unknown to our consciousness which is only crying out to be heard.
„Literature is open to everybody. I refuse to allow you, Beadle though you are, to turn me off the grass. Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt, that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.“
Source: A Room of One's Own
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„Another characteristic of the A. R. F.'s "Western"-dependent strategy is its complete disregard for the need to transfer the Armenian armed struggle to the historic Armenian homeland, the need to build a mass-based guerrilla force closely aligned with Turkish and Kurdish revolutionaries. Many appeals in A. R. F. literature and propaganda are directed to "international public opinion" and other non-Armenian audiences. Meanwhile, few appeals are directed to the Armenian people themselves…“
— Monte Melkonian National Hero of Armenia 1957 - 1993
Source: The Right to Struggle (1993), P. 57.
„As civilization develops, we become more preoccupied with human life, and less conscious of our relation to non-human nature. Literature reflects this, and the more advanced the civilization, the more literature seems to concern itself with purely human problems and conflicts. The gods and heroes of the old myths fade away and give place to people like ourselves.“
— Northrop Frye Canadian literary critic and literary theorist 1912 - 1991
"Quotes", The Educated Imagination (1963), Talk 2: The Singing School
„Literature and the arts are also criticism in a more particular and practical sense. They embody an expository reflection on, a value judgement of, the inheritance and context to which they pertain.“
— George Steiner American writer 1929 - 2020
Source: Real Presences (1989), I: A Secondary City, Ch. 4 (p. 11).
„Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on "income distribution," the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.“
— Thomas Sowell American economist, social theorist, political philosopher and author 1930
„I come from a family where the only emotion respectable to show is irritation. In some this tendency produces hives, in others literature, in me both.“
— Flannery O’Connor American novelist, short story writer 1925 - 1964
Source: The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor
Source: Clockwork Angel
A literatura é a maneira mais agradável de ignorar a vida.
Variant: To write is to forget. Literature is the pleasantest way of ignoring life.
Source: The Book of Disquietude, trans. Richard Zenith, text 116
„A man can be a hero if he is a scientist, or a soldier, or a drug addict, or a disc jockey, or a crummy mediocre politician. A man can be a hero because he suffers and despairs; or because he thinks logically and analytically; or because he is "sensitive"; or because he is cruel. Wealth establishes a man as a hero, and so does poverty. Virtually any circumstance in a man's life will make him a hero to some group of people and has a mythic rendering in the culture — in literature, art, theater, or the daily newspapers.“
— Andrea Dworkin Feminist writer 1946 - 2005
Speech at Queen's College, City University of New York (March 12, 1975). "The Sexual Politics of Fear and Courage", ch. 5, published in Our Blood (1976).
„The world itself is a great fusing pot, out of which the One Humanity is emerging. This necessitates a drastic change in our methods of presenting history and geography. Science has always been universal. Great art and literature have always belonged to the world. It is upon these facts that the education to be given to the children of the world must be built - upon our similarities, our creative achievements, our spiritual idealisms, and our points of contact. Unless this is done, the wounds of the nations will never be healed, and the barriers which have existed for centuries will never be removed.“
— Alice A. Bailey esoteric, theosophist, writer 1880 - 1949
Source: Education in the New Age (1954), p.46