Literature

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Quotes regarding Literature.

Sourced[edit]

  • Republic of letters.
    • Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones (1749), Book XIV, Chapter I.
  • I don't think literature will be purged until its philosophic pretentiousness is extruded, and I shant live to see that purge, nor perhaps when it has happened will anything survive.
  • [...] it is now only in letters I write what I feel: not in literature any more, and I seldom say it, because I keep trying to be amusing.
  • That doesn't matter. Don't you give up on this [library] card. Because books can be solid gold. Yeah, the great ones have gotten us through the nights for centuries. Just give a writer an hour to hook you and if he can't wish him the best of luck and find someone else.
  • La literatura es una batalla silenciosa en la que uno ha de ganar, o de perder; palmo a palmo, un territorio quo no es suyo con armas que no le pertenecen.
(Literature is a silent battle in which everyone has to win or lose, a territory that is not yours, not with weapons that belong to him.)
  • La république des lettres.
    • The republic of letters.
    • Molière, Le Mariage forcé, scene 6 (1664).
  • When people cannot write good literature it is perhaps natural that they should lay down rules how good literature should be written.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 461.
  • Literature is the thought of thinking Souls.
  • Literary Men are * * * a perpetual priesthood.
  • I made a compact with myself that in my person literature should stand by itself, of itself, and for itself.
  • But, indeed, we prefer books to pounds; and we love manuscripts better than florins; and we prefer small pamphlets to war horses.
  • Time the great destroyer of other men's happiness, only enlarges the patrimony of literature to its possessor.
    • Isaac D'Israeli, [The Literary Character, Illustrated by the History of Men of Genius (1795-1822), Chapter XXII.
  • Literature is an avenue to glory, ever open for those ingenious men who are deprived of honours or of wealth.
    • Isaac D'Israeli, [The Literary Character, Illustrated by the History of Men of Genius (1795-1822), Chapter XXIV.
  • Our poetry in the eighteenth century was prose; our prose in the seventeenth, poetry.
    • J. C. and A. W. Hare, Guesses at Truth.
  • The death of Dr. Hudson is a loss to the republick of letters.
    • William King, letter (Jan. 7, 1719). Same phrase occurs in the Spectator. Commonwealth of letters is used by Addison, Spectator, No. 529. Nov. 6, 1712.
  • There is first the literature of knowledge, and secondly, the literature of power. The function of the first is—to teach; the function of the second is—to move, the first is a rudder, the second an oar or a sail. The first speaks to the mere discursive understanding; the second speaks ultimately, it may happen, to the higher understanding or reason, but always through affections of pleasure and sympathy.
  • La mode d'aimer Racine passera comme la mode du café.
    • The fashion of liking Racine will pass away like that of coffee.
    • Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné, according to Voltaire, Letters (Jan. 29, 1690), who connected two remarks of hers to make the phrase; one from a letter March 16, 1679, the other, March 10, 1672. La Harpe reduced the mot to "Racine passera comme le café?"
  • We cultivate literature on a little oat-meal.
    • Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir (1855), Volume I, p. 23.
  • The great Cham of literature. [Samuel Johnson.]

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)[edit]

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • A beautiful literature springs from the depth and fullness of intellectual and moral life, from an energy of thought and feeling, to which nothing, as we believe, ministers so largely as enlightened religion.
  • God be thanked for books! they are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages. Books are the true levelers. They give to all who will faithfully use them the society, the spiritual presence, of the best and greatest of our race,
  • From the hour of the invention of printing, books, and not kings, were to rule the world. Weapons forged in the mind, keen-edged, and brighter than a sunbeam, were to supplant the sword and battle-axe. Books! lighthouses built on the sea of time! Books! by whose sorcery the whole pageantry of the world's history moves in solemn procession before our eyes. From their pages great souls look down in all their grandeur, undimmed by the faults and follies of earthly existence, consecrated by time.
  • Be less concerned about the number of books you read, and more about the good use you make of them. The best of books is the Bible.
  • The great standard of literature as to purity and exactness of style is the Bible.
  • Thou mayest as well expect to grow stronger by always eating, as wiser by always reading.
  • It is right for you, young men, to enrich yourselves with the spoils of all pure literature; but he who would make a favorite of a bad book, simply because it contains a few beautiful passages, might as well caress the hand of an assassin because of the jewelry which sparkles on his fingers.


Misattributed[edit]

  • Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    • Commonly attributed to Samuel Johnson, not found in his writings or contemporary writings about him; see details

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