Monday, May 02, 2005

Quotations about Quotations

Have you ever observed that we pay much more attention to a wise passage when it is quoted, than when we read it in the original author?  ~Philip G. Hamerton An aphorism is never exactly true. It is either a half-truth or a truth and a half. ~Karl Kraus, Sprüche und Widersprüche, 1909Aphorism, n.: A concise, clever statement you don't think of until too late.  ~James Alexander Thom What are the proper proportions of a maxim?  A minimum of sound to a maximum of sense.  ~Mark Twain The aphorism is cultivated only by those who have known fear in the midst of words, that fear of collapsing with all the words.  ~E.M. Cioran The excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare or abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension of some useful truth in few words.  ~Samuel Johnson Epigrams succeed where epics fail.  ~Author Unknown I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damned things.  ~Dorothy Parker I have laboriously collected this cento out of diverse writers.  I have wronged no authors but given every man his own.... Bees do little harm and damage no one in extracting honey; I can say of myself, whom have I injured?  The matter is theirs most part, and yet mine.... it becomes something different in its new setting.  ~Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy Unraveling proverbs is a suitable puzzle for an old man.  I put pieces in order and build up a kind of Utopian castle.  ~Matti Kuusi Some for renown, on scraps of learning dote, And think they grow immortal as they quote. ~Edward Young, Love of Fame The power of quotation is as dreadful a weapon as any which the human intellect can forge.  ~John Jay Chapman Few of the many wise apothegms which have been uttered have prevented a single foolish action.  ~Thomas Babington Macaulay In the mountains the shortest route is from peak to peak but for that you must have long legs.  Aphorisms should be peaks, and those to whom they are addressed should be big and tall of stature.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche It's a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water.  ~Franklin P. Jones Let's have some new cliches.  ~Samuel Goldwyn A proverb is the wisdom of many and the wit of one.  ~Lord John Russell What is an Epigram? a dwarfish whole, Its body brevity, and wit its soul. ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge Precepts or maxims are of great weight; and a few useful ones at hand do more toward a happy life than whole volumes that we know not where to find.  ~Seneca It is the little writer rather than the great writer who seems never to quote, and the reason is that he is never really doing anything else.  ~Havelock Ellis When a thing has been said and said well, have no scruple.  Take it and copy it.  ~Anatole France Classical quotation is a parole of literary men all over the world.  ~Samuel Johnson Epigram and truth are rarely commensurate.  Truth has to get somewhat chiseled, as it were, before it will fit into an epigram.  ~Joseph Farrell In the dying world I come from quotation is a national vice.  It used to be the classics, now it's lyric verse.  ~Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One, 1948 The maxims of men disclose their hearts.  ~French Proverb Proverbs often contradict one another, as any reader soon discovers.  The sagacity that advises us to look before we leap promptly warns us that if we hesitate we are lost; that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but out of sight, out of mind.  ~Leo Rosten I have heard that nothing gives an Author so great Pleasure, as to find his Works respectfully quoted by other learned Authors.  ~Benjamin Franklin, "Preface," Poor Richard Improved, wording verified by Respectfully Quoted Patch grief with proverbs.  ~William Shakespeare Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.  ~Santayana, Essays The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement.  But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.  ~Niels Bohr But I have long thought that if you knew a column of advertisements by heart, you could achieve unexpected felicities with them.  You can get a happy quotation anywhere if you have the eye.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. All of us encounter, at least once in our life, some individual who utters words that make us think forever.  There are men whose phrases are oracles; who can condense in one sentence the secrets of life; who blurt out an aphorism that forms a character, or illustrates an existence.  ~Benjamin Disraeli Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.  ~Aldous Huxley Platitude:  an idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and (b) that is not true.  ~H.L. Mencken One has to secrete a jelly in which to slip quotations down people's throats and one always secretes too much jelly.  ~Virginia Woolf There are aphorisms that, like air planes, stay up only while they are in motion.  ~Vladimir Nabokov Misquotations are the only quotations that are never misquoted.  ~Hesketh Pearson By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson Someone might say of me that I have only made a bouquet of other people's flowers here, having supplied nothing of my own but the thread to bind them.  ~Michel de Montaigne There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental


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