Quotes About Literature

Quotes tagged as "literature" (showing 301-330 of 2,441)
Anthony Burgess
“Language exists less to record the actual than to liberate the imagination.”
Anthony Burgess

D.H. Lawrence
“When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder that such trivial people should muse and thunder in such lovely language.”
D.H. Lawrence

Italo Calvino
“Nobody these days holds the written word in such high esteem as police states do.”
Italo Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

Alberto Manguel
“Life happened because I turned the pages.”
Alberto Manguel, A History of Reading

Jane Austen
“But I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.”
Jane Austen, Persuasion

Dejan Stojanovic
“You not only are hunted by others, you unknowingly hunt yourself.”
Dejan Stojanovic, The Sun Watches the Sun

In your hands winter is a book with cloud pages that snow pearls of love.
“In your hands winter
is a book with cloud pages
that snow pearls of love.”
Aberjhani, Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry

Milan Kundera
“In Tereza’s eyes, books were the emblems of a secret brotherhood. For she had but a single weapon against the world of crudity surrounding her: the novels. She had read any number of them, from Fielding to Thomas Mann. They not only offered the possibility of an imaginary escape from a life she found unsatisfying; they also had a meaning for her as physical objects: she loved to walk down the street with a book under her arm. It had the same significance for her as an elegant cane from the dandy a century ago. It differentiated her from others.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Jennifer Elisabeth
“Starting over can be the scariest thing in the entire world, whether it’s leaving a lover, a school, a team, a friend or anything else that feels like a core part of our identity but when your gut is telling you that something here isn’t right or feels unsafe, I really want you to listen and trust in that voice.”
Jennifer Elisabeth, Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl

Knut Hamsun
“The poet must always, in every instance, have the vibrant word... that by it's trenchancy can so wound my soul that it whimpers.... One must know and recognize not merely the direct but the secret power of the word; one must be able to give one's writing unexpected effects. It must have a hectic, anguished vehemence, so that it rushes past like a gust of air, and it must have a latent, roistering tenderness so that it creeps and steals one's mind; it must be able to ring out like a sea-shanty in a tremendous hour, in the time of the tempest, and it must be able to sigh like one who, in tearful mood, sobs in his inmost heart.”
Knut Hamsun

Patrick O'Brian
“Sir,’ said Stephen, ‘I read novels with the utmost pertinacity. I look upon them--I look upon good novels--as a very valuable part of literature, conveying more exact and finely-distinguished knowledge of the human heart and mind than almost any other, with greater breadth and depth and fewer constraints.”
Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation

Virginia Woolf
“Beneath my eyes opens -- a book; I see to the bottom; the heart -- I see to the depths. I know what loves are trembling into fire; how jealousy shoots its green flashes hither and thither; how intricately love crosses love; love makes knots; love brutally tears them apart. I have been knotted; I have been torn apart.”
Virginia Woolf, The Waves

Helen Keller
“I do not mean to object to a thorough knowledge of the famous works we read. I object only to the interminable comments and bewildering criticisms that teach but one thing: there are as many opinions as there are men.”
Helen Keller, The Story of My Life

Samuel Butler
“The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.”
Samuel Butler

Dejan Stojanovic
“There is no competition of sounds between a nightingale and a violin.”
Dejan Stojanovic

Roman Payne
“Who’s to say what a ‘literary life’ is? As long as you are writing often, and writing well, you don’t need to be hanging-out in libraries all the time.
Nightclubs are great literary research centers. So is Ibiza!”
Roman Payne, Cities & Countries

Oscar Wilde
“To give an accurate description of what has never occurred is not merely the proper occupation of the historian, but the inalienable privilege of any man of parts and culture.”
Oscar Wilde

Virginia Woolf
“No sooner have you feasted on beauty with your eyes than your mind tells you that beauty is vain and beauty passes”
Virginia Woolf

Daniel Pennac
“We keep quiet about what we read. Our enjoyment of a book remains a jealously guarded secret. Perhaps because there`s no need to talk, or because it takes time to distill what we've read before we can say anything. Silence is our guarantee of intimacy. We might have finished reading but we`re still living
the book.”
Daniel Pennac

Henry James
“The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting.”
Henry James

“The first time I read an excellent work, it is to me just as if I gained a new friend; and when I read over a book I have perused before, it resembles the meeting of an old one.”
James Goldsmith

Martin Amis
“Fiction is the only way to redeem the formlessness of life”
Martin Amis, Essays

Robert Bringhurst
“Literature in the written sense represents the triumph of language over writing: the subversion of writing for purposes that have little or nothing to do with social and economic control.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Solid Form of Language: An Essay on Writing and Meaning

Joseph Conrad
“A writing may be lost; a lie may be written; but what the eye has seen is truth and remains in the mind!”
Joseph Conrad, The Lagoon

Marilynne Robinson
“I love the writers of my thousand books. It pleases me to think how astonished old Homer, whoever he was, would be to find his epics on the shelf of such an unimaginable being as myself, in the middle of an unrumored continent. I love the large minority of the writers on my shelves who have struggled with words and thoughts and, by my lights, have lost the struggle. All together they are my community, the creators of the very idea of books, poetry, and extended narratives, and of the amazing human conversation that has taken place across the millennia, through weal and woe, over the heads of interest and utility.”
Marilynne Robinson, When I Was a Child I Read Books

Vladimir Nabokov
“The pleasures of writing correspond exactly to the pleasures of reading”
Vladimir Nabokov

John Irving
“The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.”
John Irving

Siri Hustvedt
“A book is a collaboration between the one who reads and what is read and, at its best, that coming together is a love story like any other.”
Siri Hustvedt, The Summer Without Men

Franz Kafka
“I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book we are reading doesn't shake us awake like a blow on the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? So that it can make us happy, as you put it? Good God, we'd be just as happy if we had no books at all; books that make us happy we could, in a pinch, also write ourselves. What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is what I believe.”
Franz Kafka

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