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James Stephens quotes Showing 1-27 of 27

“Curiosity will conquer fear more than bravery will.”
James Stephens
“Let the past be content with itself, for man needs forgetfulness as well as memory”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales
“Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself.”
James Stephens
“Tell me your past, my beloved, for a man is his past, and is to be known by it.”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales
“What the heart knows today the head will understand tomorrow”
James Stephens, The Crock of Gold
“It is by love alone that we understand anything”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales
tags: love
“Sleep is an excellent way of listening to an opera.”
James Stephens
“We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell.”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales
“A poem is a revelation, and it is by the brink of running water that poetry is revealed to the mind.”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales
“It has occurred to me, brother, that wisdom may not be the end to everything. Goodness and kindness are, perhaps, beyond wisdom. Is it not possible that the ultimate end is music and gaiety and a dance of joy? Wisdom is the oldest of all things. Wisdom is all head and no heart.Behold, brother, you are being crushed under the weight of your head. You are dying of old age while you are yet a child.”
James Stephens, The Crock of Gold
“There are more worlds than one, and in many ways they are unlike each other. But joy and sorrow, or, in other words, good and evil,are not absent in their degree from any of the worlds, for wherever there is life there is action, and action is but the expression of one or other of these qualities.”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales
tags: life
“Why do you live on the bank of a river?' was one of these questions.
'Because a poem in a revelation, and it is by the brink of running water that poetry is revealed to the mind.”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales
“After a lie truth bursts out, and it is no longer the radiant and serene goddess knew or hoped for—it is a disease, it is a moral syphilis and will ravage until the body in which it can dwell has been purged.”
James Stephens, The Insurrection in Dublin
“Originalitatea nu constă în a spune ce nu a mai spus nimeni, ci în a spune exact ceea ce gândești tu însuți.”
James Stephens
“But outside of the North of Ireland there is no religious question, and in the North it is fundamentally more political than religious.”
James Stephens, The Insurrection in Dublin
“Finality is death. Perfection is finality. Nothing is perfect. There are lumps in it, said the Philosopher.”
James Stephens, The Crock of Gold
“There is a difference between this world and the world of Faery, but it is not immediately perceptible. Everything that is here is there, but the things that are there are better than those that are here. All things that are bright are there brighter. There is more gold in the sun and more silver in the moon of that land. There is more scent in the flowers, more savour in the fruit. There is more comeliness in the men and more tenderness in the women. Everything in Faery is better by this one wonderful degree, and it is by this betterness you will know that you are there if you should ever happen to get there.”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales
tags: faery
“Fionn went [...] to carve a name for himself that will live while Time has an ear and knows an Irishman”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales
“The toxin generates the anti-toxin. The end lies concealed in the beginning. All bodies grow around a skeleton. Life is a petticoat about death.”
James Stephens, The Crock of Gold
tags: death, life
“The chief business of the gods is to give protection and assistance to such of their people as require it; but...they cannot give any help until it is demanded, the free-will of mankind being the most jealously guarded and holy principle in life; therefore, the interference of the loving gods comes only on an equally loving summons.”
James Stephens, The Crock of Gold
“In truth we do not go to Faery, we become Fairy, and in the beating of a pulse we may live for a year or a thousand years.”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales
“He saw a square room furnished as a library. The entire section of the walls which he could spy was covered from floor to ceiling with books. There were volumes of every size, every shape, every colour. There were long, narrow books that held themselves like grenadiers at stiff attention. There were short, fat books that stood solidly like aldermen who were going to make speeches and were ashamed but not frightened. There were mediocre books bearing themselves with the carelessness of folk who are never looked at and have consequently no shyness. There were solemn books that seemed to be feeling for their spectacles; and there were tattered, important books that had got dirty because they took snuff, and were tattered because they had been crossed in love and had never married afterwards. There were prim, ancient tomes that were certainly ashamed of their heroines and utterly unable to obtain a divorce from the hussies; and there were lean, rakish volumes that leaned carelessly, or perhaps it was with studied elegance, against their neighbours, murmuring in affected tones, "All heroines are charming to us.”
James Stephens, The Demi-gods
“Even the wind had ceased, and there seemed to be nothing in the world but the darkness and himself. In that gigantic blackness, in that unseen quietude and vacancy, the mind could cease to be personal to itself. It could be overwhelmed and merged in space, so that consciousness would be transferred or dissipated, and one might sleep standing; for the mind fears loneliness more than all else, and will escape to the moon rather than be driven inwards on its own being.”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales
“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.”
James Stephens
“To be silent is to be beautiful. Stars do not make a noise.”
James Stephens, The Crock of Gold
“Be at peace all of you, for hunger has a whip, and he will drive the strange away in the night.”
James Stephens, Traditional Irish Fairy Tales
“Knowledge, may it be said, is higher than magic and is more to be sought. It is quite possible to see what is happening and yet not know what is forward, for while seeing is believing it does not follow that either seeing or believing is knowing. Many a person can see a thing and believe a thing and know just as little about it as the person who does neither.”
James Stephens, Irish Fairy Tales


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Traditional Irish Fairy Tales Traditional Irish Fairy Tales
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The Crock of Gold (Revised Edition) The Crock of Gold
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The Insurrection in Dublin The Insurrection in Dublin
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