Ennui Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ennui" Showing 1-30 of 92
Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

Oscar Wilde
“I am tired of myself tonight. I should like to be somebody else.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Edward Gorey
“I really think I write about everyday life. I don't think I'm quite as odd as others say I am. Life is intrinsically, well, boring and dangerous at the same time. At any given moment the floor may open up. Of course, it almost never does; that's what makes it so boring.”
Edward Gorey

Haruki Murakami
“The others in the dorm thought I wanted to be a writer, because I was always alone with a book, but I had no such ambition. There was nothing I wanted to be. ”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

David Foster Wallace
“I felt despair. The word’s overused and banalified now, despair, but it’s a serious word, and I’m using it seriously. For me it denotes a simple admixture — a weird yearning for death combined with a crushing sense of my own smallness and futility that presents as a fear of death. It’s maybe close to what people call dread or angst. But it’s not these things, quite. It’s more like wanting to die in order to escape the unbearable feeling of becoming aware that I’m small and weak and selfish and going without any doubt at all to die. It’s wanting to jump overboard.”
David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

Will Durant
“How much more suffering is caused by the thought of death than by death itself.”
Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers

Helen Keller
“It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.”
Helen Keller, The Story of My Life

“There's so much I should say, so many things I should tell him, but in the end I tell him nothing.

I cut a line and my losses, and I light a cigarette.”
Clint Catalyst, Cottonmouth Kisses

Bertrand Russell
“Boredom is therefore a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.”
Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

Ashim Shanker
“His hatred for all was so intense that it should extinguish the very love from which it was conceived. And thus, he ceased to feel. There was nothing further in which to believe that made the prospect of feeling worthwhile. Daily he woke up and cast downtrodden eyes upon the sea and he would say to himself with a hint of regret at his hitherto lack of indifference, 'All a dim illusion, was it? Surely it was foolish of me to think any of this had meaning.' He would then spend hours staring at the sky, wondering how best to pass the time if everything—even the sky itself— were for naught. He arrived at the conclusion that there was no best way to pass the time. The only way to deal with the illusion of time was to endure it, knowing full well, all the while, that one was truly enduring nothing at all. Unfortunately for him, this nihilistic resolution to dispassion didn’t suit him very well and he soon became extremely bored. Faced now with the choice between further boredom and further suffering, he impatiently chose the latter, sailing another few weeks along the coast , and then inland, before finally dropping anchor off the shores of the fishing village of Yami.”
Ashim Shanker, Only the Deplorable

Walter M. Miller Jr.
“When you tire of living, change itself seems evil, does it not? for then any change at all disturbs the deathlike peace of the life-weary.”
Walter M. Miller Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz

Emil M. Cioran
“Between Ennui and Ecstasy unwinds our whole experience of time.”
Emil Cioran, All Gall Is Divided: Aphorisms

“Wallowing on the smooth surface of their self-satisfaction, many are merely counting the shadows on the wall of their ennui, adding up the numerous illusions and indulging in the comforting lies and ignoring the unpleasant truths. (“Bread and Satellite”)”
Erik Pevernagie

David Levithan
“This is what you do now to give your day topography--scan the boxes, read the news, see the chain of your friends reporting about themselves, take the 140-character expository bursts and sift through for the information you need. It's a highly deceptive world, one that constantly asks you to comment but doesn't really care what you have to say. The illusion of participation can sometimes lead to participation. But more often than not, it only leads to more illusion, dressed in the guise of reality.”
David Levithan, Two Boys Kissing

Theodore Dalrymple
“There is something deeply attractive, at least to quite a lot of people, about squalor, misery, and vice. They are regarded as more authentic, and certainly more exciting, than cleanliness, happiness, and virtue.”
Theodore Dalrymple

Sylvia Plath

Tea leaves thwart those who court catastrophe,
designing futures where nothing will occur:
cross the gypsy’s palm and yawning she
will still predict no perils left to conquer.
Jeopardy is jejune now: naïve knight
finds ogres out-of-date and dragons unheard
of, while blasé princesses indict
tilts at terror as downright absurd.

The beast in Jamesian grove will never jump,
compelling hero’s dull career to crisis;
and when insouciant angels play God’s trump,
while bored arena crowds for once look eager,
hoping toward havoc, neither pleas nor prizes
shall coax from doom’s blank door lady or tiger.”
Sylvia Plath

Don DeLillo
“The thinness of contemporary life. I can poke my finger through it.”
Don DeLillo, Zero K

Michel Houellebecq
“Refuser de faire quelque chose parce qu'on l'a déjà fait, parce qu'on a déjà vécu l'expérience, conduit rapidement à une destruction, pour soi-même comme pour les autres, de toute raison de vivre comme de tout futur possible, et vous plonge dans un ennui pesant qui finit par se transformer en une amertume atroce, accompagnée de haine et de rancoeur à l'égard de ceux qui appartiennent encore à la vie.”
Michel Houellebecq, The Possibility of an Island

Jack Kerouac
“Way far back in the beginning of the world was the whirlwind warning that we could all be blown away like chips and cry- Men with tired eyes realize it now, and wait to deform and decay- with maybe they have the power of love yet in their hearts just the same, I just don't know what that word means anymore- All I want is an ice cream cone”
Jack Kerouac

Christopher Brookmyre
“Just for a while": Death's opening chat-up line in His great seduction, before he drugged you with soporific comforts, distracted you with minor luxuries and ensnared you with long-term payment plans.

Join the Rat Race "just for a while."

Concentrate on your career "just for a while."

Move in with your girlfriend "just for a while."

Find a bigger place, out in the burbs "just for a while."

Lie down in that wooden box "just for a while.”
Christopher Brookmyre, A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away

Beryl Markham
“From the time I arrived in British East Africa at the indifferent age of four and went through the barefoot stage of early youth hunting wild pig with the Nandi, later training racehorses for a living, and still later scouting Tanganyika and the waterless bush country between the Tana and Athi Rivers, by aeroplane, for elephant, I remained so happily provincial I was unable to discuss the boredom of being alive with any intelligence until I had gone to London and lived there for a year. Boredom, like hookworm, is endemic.”
Beryl Markham, West with the Night

Emily Dickinson
“There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference –
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
'Tis the seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –”
Emily Dickinson

Amanda Sellet
“You said she had a condition?” Terry looked questioningly at me.
“Ennui. It’s like boredom, except you think it makes you interesting.”
Amanda Sellet, By the Book

“Coals are sapphires that succumbed to ennui.”
tags: coal, ennui

Amor Towles
“With so little to do and all the time in the world to do it, the Count’s peace of mind continued to be threatened by a sense of ennui — that dreaded mire of human emotions.”
Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow
tags: ennui

Jesse Ball
“There is a constitution that some have, and I had it---to which everything foreign is wondrous, and all that is domestic, tiresome.”
Jesse Ball, Census

Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly
“les contes répétés deux fois sont ennuyeux, même quand ils sont des vérités”
Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, Joseph de Maistre, Blanc de Saint-Bonnet, Lacordaire, Gratry, Caro

Mandy Brownholtz
“The universe did not concern itself with the problems of individuals...It either implied callousness or the utmost humility, that it didn't try to tell people what was best for them. It just threw them into a soup of murky misdeed and motive and sat idly, watching life happen to them.”
Mandy Brownholtz, Rotten

Daniel Thorman
“I’d heard of homesickness, but I hadn’t known that one could experience it prior to actually leaving a place.”
Daniel Thorman, Chaos in the Caravan

John Fowles
“You will see that Charles set his sights high. Intelligent idlers always have, in order to justify their idleness to their intelligence. He had, in short, all the Byronic ennui with neither of the Byronic outlets: genius and adultery.”
John Fowles, The French Lieutenant's Woman

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