Sean Lindsay - my quote collection

seanlindsay's recent activities

seanlindsay's bookmarks

Speak of the moderns without contempt, and of the ancients without idolatry.

The word change, so dear to our Europe, has been given a new meaning: it no longer means a new stage of coherent development (as it was understood by Vico, Hegel or Marx), but a shift from one side to another, from front to back, from the back to the left, from the left to the front (as understood by designers dreaming up the fashion for the next season).
We should keep so close to facts that we never have to remember the second time what we said the first time.
The Sovereign has, under a constitutional monarchy such as ours, three rights -- the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn. And a king of great sense and sagacity would want no others.
A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.
Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
A hasty judgment is a first step to recantation.
The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent.
You had best be quick, if you are ever going to forgive me at all; life does not last forever.
Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything. We can't talk about science, because our knowledge of it is limited and unofficial, and usually our fiction is dreadful.
America fears the unshaven legs, the unshaven men's cheeks, the aroma of perspiration, and the limp prick. Above all it fears the limp prick.
Talk is by far the most accessible of pleasures. It costs nothing in money, it is all profit, it completes our education, founds and fosters our friendships, and can be enjoyed at any age and in almost any state of health.
You cannot do a goal. Long-term planning and goal-setting must therefore be complemented by short-term planning. This kind of planning requires specifying activities. You can do an activity. Activities are steps along the way to a goal. Let's say you desire security. Putting $10.00 in the bank or talking to your stockbroker about your investment plans are activities that will move you toward your goal.
You need an infinite stretch of time ahead of you to start to think, infinite energy to make the smallest decision. The world is getting denser. The immense number of useless projects is bewildering. Too many things have to be put in to balance up an uncertain scale. You can't disappear anymore. You die in a state of total indecision.
The government who robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
Grammar, which can govern even Kings.
Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which, before their union, were not perceived to have any relation.
A novel must be exceptionally good to live as long as the average cat.
It is a strange fact that freedom and equality, the two basic ideas of democracy, are to some extent contradictory. Logically considered, freedom and equality are mutually exclusive, just as society and the individual are mutually exclusive.
There comes a time when suddenly you realize that laughter is something you remember and that you were the one laughing.
An original is a creation motivated by desire. Any reproduction of an originals motivated be necessity. It is marvelous that we are the only species that creates gratuitous forms. To create is divine, to reproduce is human.
You live in a deranged age, more deranged that usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing.
Anyone who attempts to relate his life loses himself in the immediate. One can only speak of another.
The principles which men give to themselves end by overwhelming their noblest intentions.
You gave him an opportunity of showing greatness of character and he did not seize it. He will never forgive you for that.
I may not be a great actress but I've become the greatest at screen orgasms. Ten seconds of heavy breathing, roll your head from side to side, simulate a slight asthma attack and die a little.
Talent for talent's sake is a bauble and a show. Talent working with joy in the cause of universal truth lifts the possessor to new power as a benefactor.
We spend all our time looking for some concept of Truth, but Truth is what is left when we drop all concepts.
Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.
Sin, guilt, neurosis --they are one and the same, the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.
History is little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.
It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before... to test your limits... to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
A sweeping statement is the only statement worth listening to. The critic without faith gives balanced opinions, usually about second-rate writers.
Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.
Compassion automatically invites you to relate with people because you no longer regard people as a drain on your energy.
Patience. A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.
Rest not. Life is sweeping by; go and dare before you die. Something mighty and sublime, leave behind to conquer time.
This is the sum of all -- righteousness. In causing pleasure or in giving pain, in doing good or injury to others, a man obtains a proper rule of action by looking at his neighbor as himself.
Begin where you are; work where you are; the hour which you are now wasting, dreaming of some far off success may be crowded with grand possibilities.
The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said. Shakespeare, Balzac, Homer have all written about the same things, and if they had lived one thousand or two thousand years longer, the publishers wouldn't have needed anyone since.
Reckoned physiologically, everything ugly weakens and afflicts man. It recalls decay, danger, impotence; he actually suffers a loss of energy in its presence. The effect of the ugly can be measured with a dynamometer. Whenever man feels in any way depressed, he senses the proximity of something ugly. His feeling of power, his will to power, his courage, his pride -- they decline with the ugly, they increase with the beautiful.
One ought to examine himself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.
The secret of ugliness consists not in irregularity, but in being uninteresting.
We are either progressing or retrograding all the while. There is no such thing as remaining stationary in this life.
Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written.
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
A walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.
Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent.
Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.
The dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits.
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. [Measure For Measure]
I had rather have a fool make me merry, than experience make me sad.
Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.
Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?
We wound our modesty and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.
Lord Bacon told Sir Edward Coke when he was boasting, The less you speak of your greatness, the more shall I think of it.
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale.
He took the bride about the neck and kissed her lips with such a clamorous smack that at the parting all the church did echo.
Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. [Hamlet]
There is no darkness, but ignorance.
The miserable have no other medicine but only hope.
Men's faults to themselves seldom appear.
A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.
Doubt is the father of invention.
Envy is the tax which all distinction must pay.
Some folks rail against other folks, because other folks have what some folks would be glad of.
The envious die not once, but as oft as the envied win applause.
Despair is the conclusion of fools.
Celebrity is never more admired than by the negligent.
And oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.
When workmen strive to do better than well, they do confound their skill in covetousness.
There's small choice in rotten apples.
Oh, what a bitter thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes.
True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance.
Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we might win, by fearing to attempt.[Measure For Measure]
Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.
Men are so constituted that every one undertakes what he sees another successful in, whether he has aptitude for it or not.
All the world is competent to judge my pictures except those who are of my profession.
To have doubted one's own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.
Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.
Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players, and Tennessee Williams has about 5, and Samuel Beckett one -- and maybe a clone of that one. I have 10 or so, and that's a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.
Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.
Laughing at someone else is an excellent way of learning how to laugh at oneself; and questioning what seem to be the absurd beliefs of another group is a good way of recognizing the potential absurdity of many of one's own cherished beliefs.
In America, the race goes to the loud, the solemn, the hustler. If you think you're a great writer, you must say that you are.
Some writers take to drink, others take to audiences.
The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity -- much less dissent.
On 16 September 1985, when the Commerce Department announced that the United States had become a debtor nation, the American Empire died.
Writing fiction has become a priestly business in countries that have lost their faith.
Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.
Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.
I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
Great doubts deep wisdom. Small doubts little wisdom.
The road to perseverance lies by doubt.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
It is not enough to succeed, others must fail.
There is no sweeter sound than the crumbling of ones fellow man.
All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.
The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us.
Life, as the most ancient of all metaphors insists, is a journey; and the travel book, in its deceptive simulation of the journey's fits and starts, rehearses life's own fragmentation. More even than the novel, it embraces the contingency of things.
To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable words. Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up.
Actually if a writer needs a dictionary he should not write. He should have read the dictionary at least three times from beginning to end and then have loaned it to someone who needs it. There are only certain words which are valid and similes (bring me my dictionary) are like defective ammunition (the lowest thing I can think of at this time).
In argument similes are like songs in love; they describe much, but prove nothing.
Why, ever since Adam, who has got to the meaning of this great allegory -- the world? Then we pygmies must be content to have out paper allegories but ill comprehended.
Find enough clever things to say, and you're a Prime Minister; write them down and you're a Shakespeare.
Do we write books so that they shall merely be read? Don't we also write them for employment in the household? For one that is read from start to finish, thousands are leafed through, other thousands lie motionless, others are jammed against mouseholes, thrown at rats, others are stood on, sat on, drummed on, have gingerbread baked on them or are used to light pipes.
Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved-to write a book.
No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.
There is a great discovery still to be made in literature, that of paying literary men by the quantity they do not write.
If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.
The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.
Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why.
A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one; it comes as sincerely from the author's soul.
Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.
All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn't sit in the same room with me.
It is healthier, in any case, to write for the adults one's children will become than for the children one's mature critics often are.
The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
Writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.
No one who cannot limit himself has ever been able to write.
The agent never receipts his bill, puts his hat on and bows himself out. He stays around forever, not only for as long as you can write anything that anyone will buy, but as long as anyone will buy any portion of any right to anything that you ever did write. He just takes ten per cent of your life.
When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
Anybody can write a three-volume novel. It merely requires a complete ignorance of both life and literature.
Shocking writing is like murder: the questions the jury must decide are the questions of motive and intent.
Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.
Why did I write? What sin to me unknown dipped me in ink, my parents , or my own?
Good authors, too, who once knew better words now only use four-letter words writing prose... anything goes.
Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once.
Only when one has lost all curiosity about the future has one reached the age to write an autobiography.
It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up, because by that time I was too famous.
Even those who write against fame wish for the fame of having written well, and those who read their works desire the fame of having read them.
The only sensible ends of literature are, first, the pleasurable toil of writing; second, the gratification of one's family and friends; and lastly, the solid cash.
Sex is. There is nothing more to be done about it. Sex builds no roads, writes no novels and sex certainly gives no meaning to anything in life but itself.
If you know somebody is going to be awfully annoyed by something you write, that's obviously very satisfying, and if they howl with rage or cry, that's honey.
Journalist: a person without any ideas but with an ability to express them; a writer whose skill is improved by a deadline: the more time he has, the worse he writes.
Somebody said to me, But the Beatles were anti-materialistic. That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, Now, let's write a swimming pool.
Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs.
Novelists do not write as birds sing, by the push of nature. It is part of the job that there should be much routine and some daily stuff on the level of carpentry.
It seems that the fiction writer has a revolting attachment to the poor, for even when he writes about the rich, he is more concerned with what they lack than with what they have.
No good poetry is ever written in a manner twenty years old, for to write in such a manner shows conclusively that the writer thinks from books, convention and clich?, not from real life.
The artist doesn't have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don't have the time to read reviews.
I find in most novels no imagination at all. They seem to think the highest form of the novel is to write about marriage, because that's the most important thing there is for middle-class people.
We are motivated by a keen desire for praise, and the better a man is the more he is inspired by glory. The very philosophers themselves, even in those books which they write in contempt of glory, inscribe their names.
He gains everyone's approval who mixes the pleasant with the useful.

But wait... my book has more:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • »
  • seanlindsay's authors/films

    I haven't favorited any authors at the moment.

    seanlindsay's friends

    I haven't follow any friends at the moment.

    seanlindsay's feelings

    Get Quotes of the Day

    Your daily dose of thought, inspiration and motivation.