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Quotes of the day: Edith Sitwell

Published Saturday, September 06, 2014 @ 7:25 PM EDT
Sep 06 2014

Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell DBE (September 7, 1887 - December 9, 1964) was a British poet and critic and the eldest of the three literary Sitwells. Like her brothers Osbert and Sacheverell, Edith reacted badly to her eccentric, unloving parents, and lived for much of her life with her governess. She never married, but became passionately attached to the homosexual Russian painter Pavel Tchelitchew, and her home was always open to London's poetic circle, to whom she was unfailingly generous and helpful. Sitwell published poetry continuously from 1913, some of it abstract and set to music. With her dramatic style and exotic costumes, she was sometimes labelled a poseur, but her work was also praised for its solid technique and painstaking craftsmanship. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A great many people now reading and writing would be better employed keeping rabbits.

Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.

Good taste is the worst vice ever invented.

Hot water is my native element. I was in it as a baby, and I have never seemed to get out of it ever since.

I am an unpopular electric eel in a pool of catfish.

I am one of those unhappy persons who inspire bores to the greatest flights of art.

I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.

I have often wished I had time to cultivate modesty... But I am too busy thinking about myself.

I wish the government would put a tax on pianos for the incompetent.

I wouldn't dream of following a fashion... how could one be a different person every three months?

It is a part of the poet's work to show each man what he sees but does not know he sees.

My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.

People are usually made Dames for virtues I do not possess.

The aim of flattery is to soothe and encourage us by assuring us of the truth of an opinion we have already formed about ourselves.

The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth.

The trouble with most Englishwomen is that they will dress as if they had been a mouse in a previous incarnation... they do not want to attract attention.

Vulgarity is, in reality, nothing but a modern, chic, pert descendant of the goddess Dullness.

When we think of cruelty, we must try to remember the stupidity, the envy, the frustration from which it has arisen.

Why not be one's self? That is the whole secret of a successful appearance. If one is a greyhound, why try to look like a Pekinese?


((September 7 is also the birthday of Taylor Caldwell.)

Categories: Edith Sitwell, Quotes of the day


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