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Quotes of the day: J.B. Priestley

Published Saturday, September 12, 2015 @ 7:58 PM EDT
Sep 12 2015

John Boynton Priestley, OM (September 13, 1894 – August 14, 1984), was an English novelist, playwright and broadcaster. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.

Almost all propaganda is designed to create fear. Heads of governments and their officials know that a frightened people is easier to govern, will forfeit rights it would otherwise defend, is less likely to demand a better life, and will agree to millions and millions being spend on 'Defense.'

Be yourself is about the worst advice you can give to some people.

I can't help feeling wary when I hear anything said about the masses. First you take their faces from 'em by calling 'em the masses and then you accuse 'em of not having any faces.

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.

I have lived longer than you. I have thought more, and I have suffered more. And I tell you there is more truth to the fundamental nature of things in the most foolish fairy tales than there is in any of your complaints against life.

I know only two words of American slang, 'swell' and 'lousy'. I think 'swell' is lousy, but 'lousy' is swell.

If we have the courage and patience, the energy and skill, to take us voyaging to other planets, then let us use some of these to tidy up and civilize this earth. One world at a time, please.

If we openly declare what is wrong with us, what is our deepest need, then perhaps the death and despair will by degrees disappear.

Like its politicians and its wars, society has the teenagers it deserves.

Living in an age of advertisement, we are perpetually disillusioned. The perfect life is spread before us every day, but it changes and withers at a touch.

Many a man is praised for his reserve and so-called shyness when he is simply too proud to risk making a fool of himself.

Marriage is like paying an endless visit in your worst clothes.

One of the delights known to age, and beyond the grasp of youth, is that of Not Going.

Pubic hair is not an adequate substitute for wit.

Public opinion polls are rather like children in a garden, digging things up all the time to see how they're growing.

She was a handsome woman of forty-five and would remain so for many years.

Something in me resists the calendar expectation of happiness. Merry Christmas yourself! it mutters as it shapes a ghostly grin.

The more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.

The real lost souls don't wear their hair long and play guitars. They have crew cuts, trained minds, sign on for research in biological warfare, and don't give their parents a moment's worry.

The weakness of American civilization, and perhaps the chief reason why it creates so much discontent, is that it is so curiously abstract. It is a bloodless extrapolation of a satisfying life... You dine off the advertiser's 'sizzling' and not the meat of the steak.

There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age. I missed it coming and going.

To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.

We pay when old for the excesses of youth.

When I was young there was no respect for the young, and now that I am old there is no respect for the old. I missed out coming and going.


(September 13 is also the birthday of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach and Roald Dahl.)

Categories: J.B. Priestley, Quotes of the day


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