Quotes by Edward Dahlberg

Get quotes of the day


How do you feel today?    I feel ...

Edward Dahlberg (July 22, 1900-February 27, 1977) was an American novelist and essayist.

Add to my favourites Get these quotes on a PDF
A strong foe is better than a weak friend.

When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.
What most men desire is a virgin who is a whore.
Men are mad most of their lives; few live sane, fewer die so. The acts of people are baffling unless we realize that their wits are disordered. Man is driven to justice by his lunacy.
The ruin of the human heart is self-interest, which the American merchant calls self-service. We have become a self-service populace, and all our specious comforts --the automatic elevator, the escalator, the cafeteria --are depriving us of volition and moral and physical energy.
So much of our lives is given over to the consideration of our imperfections that there is no time to improve our imaginary virtues. The truth is we only perfect our vices, and man is a worse creature when he dies than he was when he was born.
We are always talking about being together, and yet whatever we invent destroys the family, and makes us wild, touchless beasts feeding on technicolor prairies and rivers.
One of the weaknesses in the cooperative is that it has never been sufficiently leavened by the imagination. This is a quick-silver faculty, and likely to be a cause of worry to any collective settlement.
The machine has had a pernicious effect upon virtue, pity, and love, and young men used to machines which induce inertia, and fear, are near impotent.
Man hoards himself when he has nothing to give away.
There is a strange and mighty race of people called the Americans who are rapidly becoming the coldest in the world because of this cruel, man-eating idol, lucre.
Always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter. Walt Disney Every decision you make is a mistake.
No people require maxims so much as the American. The reason is obvious: the country is so vast, the people always going somewhere, from Oregon apple valley to boreal New England, that we do not know whether to be temperate orchards or sterile climate.
We are a most solitary people, and we live, repelled by one another, in the gray, outcast cities of Cain.
We cannot live, suffer or die for somebody else, for suffering is too precious to be shared.
Intellectual sodomy, which comes from the refusal to be simple about plain matters, is as gross and abundant today as sexual perversion and they are nowise different from one another.
Though man is the only beast that can write, he has small reason to be proud of it. When he utters something that is wise it is nothing that the river horse does not know, and most of his creations are the result of accident.
Genius, like truth, has a shabby and neglected mien.
Everything ultimately fails, for we die, and that is either the penultimate failure or our most enigmatical achievement.
Every decision you make is a mistake.
Recognize the cunning man not by the corpses he pays homage to but by the living writers he conspires against with the most shameful weapon, Silence, or the briefest review.
It is very perplexing how an intrepid frontier people, who fought a wilderness, floods, tornadoes, and the Rockies, cower before criticism, which is regarded as a malignant tumor in the imagination.
Hardly a book of human worth, be it heaven's own secret, is honestly placed before the reader; it is either shunned, given a Periclean funeral oration in a hundred and fifty words, or interred in the potter's field of the newspapers back pages.
I would rather take hellebore than spend a conversation with a good, little man.
One cat in a house is a sign of loneliness, two of barrenness, and three of sodomy.
Utility is our national shibboleth: the savior of the American businessman is fact and his uterine half-brother, statistics.
We can only write well about our sins because it is too difficult to recall a virtuous act or even whether it was the result of good or evil motives.
Those who write for lucre or fame are grosser than the cartel robbers, for they steal the genius of the people, which is its will to resist evil.
Ambition is a Dead Sea fruit, and the greatest peril to the soul is that one is likely to get precisely what he is seeking.
There is hardly a man on earth who will take advice unless he is certain that it is positively bad.
Nothing in our times has become so unattractive as virtue.
No country has suffered so much from the ruins of war while being at peace as the American.
The majority of persons choose their wives with as little prudence as they eat. They see a troll with nothing else to recommend her but a pair of thighs and choice hunkers, and so smart to void their seed that they marry her at once. They imagine they can live in marvelous contentment with handsome feet and ambrosial buttocks. Most men are accredited fools shortly after they leave the womb.
Herman Melville was as separated from a civilized literature as the lost Atlantis was said to have been from the great peoples of the earth.
What has a writer to be bombastic about? Whatever good a man may write is the consequence of accident, luck, or surprise, and nobody is more surprised than an honest writer when he makes a good phrase or says something truthful.
Writing is conscience, scruple, and the farming of our ancestors.