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Quotes of the day: Cyril Connolly

Published Tuesday, September 09, 2014 @ 8:08 PM EDT
Sep 09 2014

Cyril Vernon Connolly (September 10, 1903 - November 26, 1974) was an English intellectual, literary critic and writer. He was the editor of the influential literary magazine Horizon (1940–49) and wrote Enemies of Promise (1938), which combined literary criticism with an autobiographical exploration of why he failed to become the successful author of fiction that he had aspired to be in his youth. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A mistake which is commonly made about neurotics is to suppose that they are interesting. It is not interesting to be always unhappy, engrossed with oneself, malignant or ungrateful, and never quite in touch with reality. Neurotics are heartless.

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

Destroy him as you will, the bourgeois always bounces up- execute him, expropriate him, starve him out en masse, and he reappears in your children.

Everything is a dangerous drug to me except reality, which is unendurable.

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

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

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

It is after creation, in the elation of success, or the gloom of failure, that love becomes essential.

Life is a maze in which we take the wrong turn before we have learned to walk.

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

Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once, and they require separate techniques.

Longevity is the revenge of talent upon genius.

My recipe for marital happiness is whenever you can, read at meals.

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

No education is worth having that does not teach the lesson of concentration on a task, however unattractive. These lessons, if not learnt early, will be learnt, if at all, with pain and grief in later life.

Peace ... is a morbid condition, due to a surplus of civilians, which war seeks to remedy.

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

The friendships which last are those wherein each friend respects the other's dignity to the point of not really wanting anything from him

(The generation gap) is the one war in which everyone changes sides.

The man who is master of his passions is Reason's slave.

The river of truth is always splitting up into arms that reunite. Islanded between them, the inhabitants argue for a lifetime as to which is the mainstream.

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

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

There is no hate without fear. Hate is crystallized fear, fear's dividend, fear objectivized. We hate what we fear and so where hate is, fear will be lurking

There is no jury like a woman searching for a new lover.

Vulgarity is the garlic in the salad of charm.

Whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first call promising.


Categories: Cyril Connolly, Quotes of the day


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