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Quotes of the day: Anthony Burgess

Published Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 12:13 AM EST
Feb 25 2014

John Anthony Burgess Wilson, FRSL (February 25, 1917 – November 22, 1993) – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English writer and composer. From relatively modest beginnings in a Manchester Catholic family in the North of England, he eventually became one of the best known English literary figures of the latter half of the twentieth century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Americans will listen, but they do not care to read. War and Peace must wait for the leisure of retirement, which never really comes: meanwhile it helps to furnish the living room.

An Irish homosexual is a man who prefers women to drink.

And the words slide into the slots ordained by syntax, and glitter as with atmospheric dust with those impurities which we call meaning.

Bathe twice a day to be really clean, once a day to be passably clean, once a week to avoid being a public menace.

Death comes along like a gas bill one can't pay.

Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses to be bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?

Every dogma has its day.

I suppose the only real reason for travelling is to learn that all people are the same.

If the world is to be improved it must be by the exercise of individual charity.

If you expect the worst from a person you can never be disappointed.

It's sapiens to be homo.

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

Life is a wretched gray Saturday, but it has to be lived through.

Men are influenced by big loud empty words, styes which swell the eyelids and impede vision of the truth.

No matter how poor a writer is, if he has written a book which changes someone's life he has achieved the only sort of success worth having.

Reality is what I see, not what you see.

The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.

The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it.

The state is never so efficient as when it wants money.

The U.S. presidency is a Tudor monarchy plus telephones.

To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.

Violence among young people is an aspect of their desire to create. They don't know how to use their energy creatively so they do the opposite and destroy.

We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation.

We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.

Writers are not, by nature, respectable: their function is to be subversive.

Categories: Anthony Burgess, Quotes of the day


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