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Quotes of the day: Havelock Ellis

Published Monday, February 01, 2016 @ 11:53 PM EST
Feb 01 2016

Henry Havelock Ellis, known as Havelock Ellis (February 2, 1859 – July 8, 1939), was an English physician, writer, progressive intellectual and social reformer who studied human sexuality. He was co-author of the first medical textbook in English on homosexuality in 1897, and also published works on a variety of sexual practices and inclinations, as well as transgender psychology. He is credited with introducing the notions of narcissism and autoeroticism, later adopted by psychoanalysis. He served as president of the Galton Institute and, like many intellectuals of his era, supported eugenics. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


'Charm' - which means the power to effect work without employing brute force- is indispensable to women. Charm is a woman's strength just as strength is a man's charm.

'Homosexual' is a barbarously hybrid word, and I claim no responsibility for it.

A man must not swallow more beliefs than he can digest.

All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution.

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.

Dreams are necessary to life.

Every artist writes his own autobiography.

Every man of genius sees the world at a different angle from his fellows, and there is his tragedy.

If men and women are to understand each other, to enter into each other's nature with mutual sympathy, and to become capable of genuine comradeship, the foundation must be laid in youth.

Imagination is a poor substitute for experience.

In philosophy, it is not the attainment of the goal that matters, it is the things that are met with by the way.

Jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretence of keeping it alive.

Man lives by imagination.

The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw.

The byproduct is sometimes more valuable than the product.

The greatest task before civilization at present is to make machines what they ought to be, the slaves, instead of the masters of men.

The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum.

The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago, had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.

The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.

There has never been any country at every moment so virtuous and so wise that it has not sometimes needed to be saved from itself.

To be a leader of men one must turn one's back on men.

What we call 'morals' is simply blind obedience to words of command.

What we call 'Progress' is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance.

When love is suppressed hate takes its place.


(February 2 is also the birthday of James Joyce.)

Categories: Havelock Ellis, Quotes of the day


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