Boyhood Quotes

Quotes tagged as "boyhood" (showing 1-30 of 39)
Mark Twain
“Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it -- namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.”
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Ben Aaronovitch
“When you're a boy your life can be measured out as a series of uncomfortable conversations reluctantly initiated by adults in an effort to tell you things that you either already know or really don't want to know.”
Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho

Laurie Lee
“Bees blew like cake-crumbs through the golden air, white butterflies like sugared wafers, and when it wasn't raining a diamond dust took over which veiled and yet magnified all things”
Laurie Lee, Cider With Rosie

Christopher Hitchens
“Every November of my boyhood, we put on red poppies and attended highly patriotic services in remembrance of those who had 'given' their lives. But on what assurance did we know that these gifts had really been made? Only the survivors—the living—could attest to it. In order to know that a person had truly laid down his life for his friends, or comrades, one would have to hear it from his own lips, or at least have heard it promised in advance. And that presented another difficulty. Many brave and now dead soldiers had nonetheless been conscripts. The known martyrs—those who actually, voluntarily sought death and rejoiced in the fact—had been the kamikaze pilots, immolating themselves to propitiate a 'divine' emperor who looked (as Orwell once phrased it) like a monkey on a stick. Their Christian predecessors had endured torture and death (as well as inflicted it) in order to set up a theocracy. Their modern equivalents would be the suicide murderers, who mostly have the same aim in mind. About people who set out to lose their lives, then, there seems to hang an air of fanaticism: a gigantic sense of self-importance unattractively fused with a masochistic tendency to self-abnegation. Not wholesome.

The better and more realistic test would therefore seem to be: In what cause, or on what principle, would you risk your life?”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

R.M. Ballantyne
“Boys [should be] inured from childhood to trifling risks and slight dangers of every possible description, such as tumbling into ponds and off of trees, etc., in order to strengthen their nervous system... They ought to practice leaping off heights into deep water. They ought never to hesitate to cross a stream over a narrow unsafe plank for fear of a ducking. They ought never to decline to climb up a tree, to pull fruit merely because there is a possibility of their falling off and breaking their necks. I firmly believe that boys were intended to encounter all kinds of risks, in order to prepare them to meet and grapple with risks and dangers incident to man’s career with cool, cautious self-possession...”
R.M. Ballantyne

Donald Miller
“I know, from the three visits I made to him, the blended composite of love and fear that exists only in a boy's notion of his father.”
Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

Leo Tolstoy
“How strange it is that when I was a child I tried to be like a grownup, yet as soon as I ceased to be a child I often longed to be like one.”
Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Ray Bradbury
“I talk. Jim runs. I tilt stones, Jim grabs the cold junk under the stones and -lickety-split! I climb hills. Jim yells off church steeples. I got a bank account. Jim’s got the hair on his head, the yell in his mouth, the shirt on his back and the tennis shoes on his feet. How come I think he’s richer?”
Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Leo Tolstoy
“It seems to me that what we call beauty in a face lies in the smile: if the smile heightens the charm of the face, the face is a beautiful one; if it does not alter it, the face is ordinary, and if it is spoilt by a smile, it is ugly.”
Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Talon P.S.
“The echo of two boys playing in a pool testing each other to see who could hold their breath the longest.

… Whadda ya wanna do now?— I know, we could wrestle like the Roman gladiators— Okay— What do we fight for?— Loser has to do the victor’s homework for a week— Nah, raise the stakes. Loser has to suck the victor’s johnny— Trenton recalled the long ago memory of two boys wrestling, butt naked in the back yard and the battle went on forever locked in each other’s grip. A stalemate tangle in each other’s arm. And they kissed finding each other’s tongue. The taste of it so good and frightening at the same time and they pulled apart fearfully— Deez— Yeah Trent— I don’t think we should tell anyone about this, okay? — Yeah okay—”
Talon P.S., Becoming His Slave

Leo Tolstoy
“Will the freshness, lightheartedness, the need for love, and strength of faith which you have in childhood ever return? What better time than when the two best virtues -- innocent joy and the boundless desire for love -- were the only motives in life?”
Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Leo Tolstoy
“Before and after the funeral I never ceased to cry and be miserable, but it makes me ashamed when I think back on that sadness of mine, seeing that always in it was an element of self-love - now a desire to show that I prayed more than any one else, now concern about the impression I was producing on others, now an aimless curiosity which caused me to observe Mimi's cap or the faces of those around me. I despised myself for not experiencing sorrow to the exclusion of everything else, and I tried to conceal all other feelings: this made my grief insincere and unnatural. Moreover, I felt a kind of enjoyment in knowing that I was unhappy and I tried to stimulate my sense of unhappiness, and this interest in myself did more than anything else to stifle real sorrow in me.”
Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Leo Tolstoy
“There are moments when the future looks so black that one is afraid to let one's thoughts dwell on it, refuses to let one's mind function and tries to convince oneself that the future will not be, and the past has not been. At such moments, when the will is not governed or modified by reflection and the only incentives that remain in life are our physical instincts, I can understand how a child, being particularly prone owing to lack of experience to fall into such a state, may without the least hesitation or fear, with a smile of curiosity deliberately set fire to his own house - and then fan the flames where is brothers, his father an his mother, all of who he loves dearly, are sleeping.”
Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Richard Powers
“We'd drifted too far to rely on the old boyhood telepathy anymore.”
Richard Powers, The Time of Our Singing

Leo Tolstoy
“Yes, it was real hatred - not the hatred we only read about in novels, which I do not believe in, hatred that is supposed to find satisfaction in doing some one harm - but the hatred that fills you with overpowering aversion for a person who, however, deserves your respect, yet whose hair, his neck, the way he walks, the sound of his voice, his whole person, his every gesture are repulsive to you, and at the same time some unaccountable force draws you to him and compels you to follow his slightest acts with uneasy attention.”
Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Leo Tolstoy
“Besides, to fall out of love and in love at the same time is to love twice as deeply as one did before.”
Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Robertson Davies
“Look at what I wrote at the beginning of this memoir. Have I caught anything at all of the extraordinary night when Paul Dempster was born? I am pretty sure that my little sketch of Percy Boyd Staunton is accurate, but what about myself? I have always sneered at autobiographies and memoirs in which the writer appears at the beginning as a charming, knowing little fellow, possessed of insights and perceptions beyond his years, yet offering these with false naivete to the reader, as though to say, 'What a little wonder I was, but All Boy.' Have the writers any notion or true collection of what a boy is?
I have and I have reinforced it by forty-five years of teaching boys. A boy is a man in miniature, and though he may sometimes exhibit notable virtue, as well as characteristics that seem to be charming because they are childlike, he is also schemer, self-seeker, traitor, Judas, crook, and villain - in short, a man. Oh these autobiographies in which the writer postures and simpers as a David Copperfield or a Huck Finn! False, false as harlots' oaths!
Can I write truly of my boyhood? Or will that disgusting self-love which so often attaches itself to a man's idea of his youth creep in and falsify the story? I can but try. And to begin I must give you some notion of the village in which Percy Boyd Staunton and Paul Dempster and I were born.”
Robertson Davies, Fifth Business

Darnell Lamont Walker
“You're not allowed to raise boys who reject all things feminine, then get upset when they become men who hate women.”
Darnell Lamont Walker

“I do believe our culture is doing a bad job raising boys. The evidence is in the shocking violence of Paducah, Jonesboro, Cheyenne, and Edinboro. It's in our overcrowded prisons and domestic violence shelters. It's in our Ritalin-controlled elementary schools and alcohol-soaked college campuses.”
Mary Pipher, Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood

Leo Tolstoy
“Throughout the whole time that Grandmama's body was in the house I was oppressed with the fear of death, for the corpse served as a forcible and disagreeable reminder that I too must die one day -- a feeling which people often mistake for grief.”
Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Leo Tolstoy
“Has it ever befallen you, my readers, to become suddenly aware that your conception of things has altered -- as though every object in life had unexpectedly turned a side towards you of which you had hitherto remained unaware? Such a species of moral change occurred, as regards myself, during this journey, and therefore from it I date the beginning of my boyhood. For the first time in my life, I then envisaged the idea that we -- i.e. our family were not the only persons in the world; that not every conceivable interest was centered in ourselves; and that there existed numbers of people who had nothing in common with us, cared nothing for us, and even knew nothing of our existence. No doubt I had known all this before -- only I had not known it then as I know it now; I had never properly felt or understood it.”
Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

William Henry Hudson
“The British boy suffers the greatest restraint during the period when the call of nature, the instincts of play and adventure, are most urgent. Naturally, he looks eagerly forward to the time of escape, which he fondly imagines will be when his boyhood is over and he is free of masters.”
William Henry Hudson, Far Away and Long Ago

Paul Bowles
“Looking at him she felt she knew what the people of antiquity had been like. Thirty centuries or more were effaced, and there he was, the alert and predatory sub-human, further from what she believed man should be like than the naked savage, because the savage was tractable, while this creature, wearing the armor of his own rigid barbaric culture, consciously defied progress. And that was what Stenham saw, too; to him the boy was a perfect symbol of human backwardness, and excited his praise precisely because he was “pure”: there was no room in his personality for anything that mankind had not already fully developed long ago. To him he was a consolation, a living proof that today’s triumph was not yet total; he personified Stenham’s infantile hope that time might still be halted and man sent back to his origins.”
Paul Bowles, The Spider's House

Leo Tolstoy
“For the first time I envisaged the idea that we - that is, our family - were not the only people in the world, that not every conceivable interest was centered in ourselves but that there existed another life - that of people who had nothing in common with us, cared nothing for us, had no idea of our existence even. I must have known all this before but I had not known it as I did now - I had not realized it; I had not felt it.”
Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

“Where his boyhood retreat had been a cave hewn for one, it now accommodated two. He was suddenly two and it amazed and delighted, causing a stir in the pit of him, a kind of fibrillation.”
Emma Richler, Be My Wolff

Leo Tolstoy
“I endeavor to recall the happy comforting dreams interrupted by my returning to consciousness of reality, but to my astonishment so soon as I recapture the thread of my former reverie I find it impossible to go on with it and, most astonishing of all, my imaginings no longer afford me any pleasure.”
Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

Dan Groat
“I had always been a boy in this place, and many of the trees and rocks and streams had been old men when I knew them. Some had died. All had changed. I knew that. I had changed the most.”
Dan Groat, An Enigmatic Escape: A Trilogy

“The phrase ‘Boys will be boys,’ reflects that a male child is expected to be unpredictable and occasionally troublesome.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

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