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Quotes of the day: Clifton Fadiman

Published Thursday, May 15, 2014 @ 12:51 AM EDT
May 15 2014

Clifton Paul "Kip" Fadiman (May 15, 1904 – June 20, 1999) was an erudite essayist and editor whose affable wit delighted millions during his long reign as moderator of the popular "Information Please" radio quiz show and even longer tenure as senior editor of the Book of the Month Club. (Click here for full Los Angeles Times article)


A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover.

A cheese may disappoint. It may be dull, it may be naive, it may be oversophisticated. Yet it remains cheese, milk's leap toward immortality.

A good memory is one trained to forget the trivial.

A sense of humor is the ability to understand a joke- and that the joke is oneself.

An aphorism can contain only as much wisdom as overstatement will permit.

As between mileage and experience choose experience.

Experience teaches you that the man who looks you straight in the eye, particularly if he adds a firm handshake, is hiding something.

For most men life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed.

Gertrude Stein was masterly in making nothing happen very slowly.

Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking.

My main recollection is of the work I had to do in order to eat.

One measure of friendship consists not in the number of things friends can discuss, but in the number of things they need no longer mention.

One newspaper a day ought to be enough for anyone who still prefers to retain a little mental balance.

One's first book, kiss or home run is always the best.

Science fiction is a kind of archeology of the future.

The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech.

The man who attracts luck carries with him the magnet of preparation.

The only reason for being young is to outgrow it.

There are two kinds of writers; the great ones who can give you truths, and the lessor ones, who can only give you themselves.

To divide one's life by years is of course to tumble into a trap set by our own arithmetic.

To feel at home, stay at home.

We prefer to believe that the absence of inverted commas guarantees the originality of a thought, whereas it may be merely that the utterer has forgotten its source.

When I opened and read the first page of a book for the first time, I felt this was remarkable: that I could learn something very quickly that I could not have learned any other way.

When you re-read a classic you do not see in the book more than you did before. You see more in you than there was before.

When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.

Categories: Clifton Fadiman, Quotes of the day


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