What follows are the best sourced quotes (or, if you will, quotations) from writers down the ages, 50 of the most awesome, moving, and inspiring things that writers have ever said in literature. At least, that’s what we here at Interesting Literature reckon – we hope you agree.
Remember that quote from Abraham Lincoln, ‘The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity.’ That joke is a reminder that we should be on our guard about internet quotes – so, although we haven’t cited chapter and page numbers, we have given the title of the text in which each quote can be found. (If you know better and think we’ve still misattributed any of the following, do get in touch.)
If you enjoy these quotes, you might also like our 10 great quotes from Oscar Wilde and our 10 great quotes about poetry.
Live all you can – it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. – Henry James, The Ambassadors
God may reduce you on Judgment Day to tears of shame, reciting by heart the poems you would have written, had your life been good. – W. H. Auden, ‘Thanksgiving for a Habitat’
Some folks are wise and some are otherwise. – Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Roderick Random
Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience – or give it a more fascinating name: Call it hope. – Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature. – P. G. Wodehouse, ‘Strychnine in the Soup’
Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind. – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. – Cyril Connolly, The New Statesman, 1933
Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie … a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion. – George Orwell, ‘The Art of Donald McGill’, Horizon, 1941
Hour by hour, day by day, life becomes possible. – Sylvia Plath, The Journals of Sylvia Plath
Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes to make bears dance when what we really want is to move the stars. – Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
The house of delusions is cheap to build, but draughty to live in. – A. E. Housman, UCL Inaugural Lecture, 1892
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