Quotes by Elias Canetti

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Every decision is liberating, even if it leads to disaster. Otherwise, why do so many people walk upright and with open eyes into their misfortune?

Someone who always has to lie discovers that every one of his lies is true.
When you write down your life, every page should contain something no one has ever heard about.
The paranoiac is the exact image of the ruler. The only difference is their position in the world. One might even think the paranoiac the more impressive of the two because he is sufficient unto himself and cannot be shaken by failure.
The process of writing has something infinite about it. Even though it is interrupted each night, it is one single notation.
There is nothing that man fears more than the touch of the unknown. He wants to see what is reaching towards him, and to be able to recognize or at least classify it. Man always tends to avoid physical contact with anything strange.
One should not confuse the craving for life with endorsement of it.
A modern man has nothing to add to modernism, if only because he has nothing to oppose it with. The well-adapted drop off the dead limb of time like lice.
Pessimists are not boring. Pessimists are right. Pessimists are superfluous.
The profoundest thoughts of the philosophers have something trickle about them. A lot disappears in order for something to suddenly appear in the palm of the hand.
One should use praise to recognize what one is not.
The self-explorer, whether he wants to or not, becomes the explorer of everything else. He learns to see himself, but suddenly, provided he was honest, all the rest appears, and it is as rich as he was, and, as a final crowning, richer.
There is no such thing as an ugly language. Today I hear every language as if it were the only one, and when I hear of one that is dying, it overwhelms me as though it were the death of the earth.
It doesn't matter how new an idea is: what matters is how new it becomes.
There is no doubt: the study of man is just beginning, at the same time that his end is in sight.
As if one could know the good a person is capable of, when one doesn't know the bad he might do.
Whether or not God is dead: it is impossible to keep silent about him who was there for so long.
He who is obsessed by death is made guilty by it.
The fear of burglars is not only the fear of being robbed, but also the fear of a sudden and unexpected clutch out of the darkness.
Adults find pleasure in deceiving a child. They consider it necessary, but they also enjoy it. The children very quickly figure it out and then practice deception themselves.