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Cyril Connolly's Quotes

Cyril Connolly profile photo

Born: 1903-09-10
Profession: Journalist
Nation: English
Biography of Cyril Connolly

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Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.

Tags: Few, Number, Small

Classical and romantic: private language of a family quarrel, a dead dispute over the distribution of emphasis between man and nature.

Tags: Family, Nature, Romantic

For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act?

Tags: Act, Liberty

Idleness is only a coarse name for my infinite capacity for living in the present.

Tags: Living, Name, Present

Imprisoned in every fat man a thin man is wildly signaling to be let out.

Tags: Fat, Thin, Wildly

Like water, we are truest to our nature in repose.

Tags: Nature, Repose, Water

Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once.

Tags: Art, Once, Writing

No city should be too large for a man to walk out of in a morning.

Tags: City, Morning, Walk

No taste is so acquired as that for someone else's quality of mind.

Tags: Else, Mind, Someone

Our memories are card indexes consulted and then returned in disorder by authorities whom we do not control.

Tags: Control, Disorder, Memories

The artist is a member of the leisured classes who cannot pay for his leisure.

Tags: Artist, Cannot, Pay

The dread of lonliness is greater than the fear of bondage, so we get married.

Tags: Fear, Greater, Married

The only way for writers to meet is to share a quick peek over a common lamp-post.

Tags: Common, Meet, Share

The past is the only dead thing that smells sweet.

Tags: Dead, Past, Sweet

There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbours will say.

Tags: Dare, Fear, Themselves

There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall.

Tags: Art, Enemy, Good

Today the function of the artist is to bring imagination to science and science to imagination, where they meet, in the myth.

Tags: Artist, Science, Today

Vulgarity is the garlic in the salad of life.

Tags: Garlic, Life, Salad

Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising.

Tags: Call, Destroy, Wish

Words today are like the shells and rope of seaweed which a child brings home glistening from the beach and which in an hour have lost their luster.

Tags: Home, Lost, Today

Youth is a period of missed opportunities.

Tags: Missed, Period, Youth

A great writer creates a world of his own and his readers are proud to live in it. A lesser writer may entice them in for a moment, but soon he will watch them filing out.

Tags: Great, May, Moment

The more books we read, the clearer it becomes that the true function of a writer is to produce a masterpiece and that no other task is of any consequence.

Tags: Books, Read, True
Much more quotes by Cyril Connolly below the page.

When we have ceased to love the stench of the human animal, either in others or in ourselves, then are we condemned to misery, and clear thinking can begin.

Tags: Human, Love, Thinking

The true index of a man's character is the health of his wife.

Tags: Character, Health, Marriage

A lazy person, whatever the talents with which he set out, will have condemned himself to second-hand thoughts and to second-rate friends.

Tags: Friends, Lazy, Thoughts

We love but once, for once only are we perfectly equipped for loving.

Tags: Love, Loving, Once

Always be nice to those younger than you, because they are the ones who will be writing about you.

Tags: Nice, Writing, Younger

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.

Tags: Self, Write, Yourself

There is no pain equal to that which two lovers can inflict on one another. This should be made clear to all who contemplate such a union. The avoidance of this pain is the beginning of wisdom, for it is strong enough to contaminate the rest of our lives.

Tags: Pain, Strong, Wisdom

The secret of success is to be in harmony with existence, to be always calm to let each wave of life wash us a little farther up the shore.

Tags: Calm, Life, Success

All charming people have something to conceal, usually their total dependence on the appreciation of others.

Tags: Charming, Others, Total

We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament, and embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy.

Tags: Happy, Illusion, Passion

Greed, like the love of comfort, is a kind of fear.

Tags: Fear, Greed, Love

The artist one day falls through a hole in the brambles, and from that moment he is following the dark rapids of an underground river which may sometimes flow so near to the surface that the laughing picnic parties are heard above.

Tags: Art, Dark, May

When young we are faithful to individuals, when older we grow loyal to situations and to types.

Tags: Faithful, Older, Young

A best-seller is the golden touch of mediocre talent.

Tags: Golden, Talent, Touch

Hate is the consequence of fear; we fear something before we hate it; a child who fears noises becomes a man who hates noise.

Tags: Child, Fear, Hate

It is only in the country that we can get to know a person or a book.

Tags: Book, Country, Nature

The true function of a writer is to produce a masterpiece and no other task is of any consequence.

Tags: Task, True, Writer

Those of us who were brought up as Christians and have lost our faith have retained the sense of sin without the saving belief in redemption. This poisons our thought and so paralyses us in action.

Tags: Faith, Lost, Thought

Slums may well be breeding grounds of crime, but middle class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium.

Tags: Apathy, Crime, May

The civilized are those who get more out of life than the uncivilized, and for this we are not likely to be forgiven.

Tags: Forgiven, Life, Likely

In the sex war, thoughtlessness is the weapon of the male, vindictiveness of the female.

Tags: Female, Sex, War

It is a mistake to expect good work from expatriates for it is not what they do that matters but what they are not doing.

Tags: Expect, Good, Work

No one over thirty-five is worth meeting who has not something to teach us, - something more than we could learn for ourselves, from a book.

Tags: Book, Learn, Worth

Purity engenders Wisdom, Passion avarice, and Ignorance folly, infatuation and darkness.

Tags: Ignorance, Passion, Wisdom

The worst vice of the solitary is the worship of his food.

Tags: Food, Worship, Worst

As repressed sadists are supposed to become policemen or butchers so those with an irrational fear of life become publishers.

Tags: Become, Fear, Life