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Cyril Connolly Quotes


An English author, editor and critic.
(1903 - 1974)

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A best-seller is the golden touch of mediocre talent.
 

A ceremony of self-wastage - good talkers are miserable, they know that they have betrayed themselves, that they have taken material which should have a life of its own, to disperse it in noises upon the air.
[Conversation]
 

A great writer creates a world of his own and his readers are proud to live in it. A lesser writer may entice them in for a moment, but soon he will watch them filing out.
 

A lazy person, whatever the talents with which he set out, will have condemned himself to second-hand thoughts and to second-rate friends.
 

A life based on reason will always require to be balanced by an occasional bout of violent and irrational emotion, for the instinctual tribes must be satisfied.
[Reason]
 

A writer who takes up journalism abandons the slow tempo of literature for a faster one and the change will do him harm. By degrees the flippancy of journalism will become a habit and the pleasure of being paid on the nail and more especially of being praised on the nail, grow indispensable.
 

All charming people have something to conceal, usually their total dependence on the appreciation of others.
[Deception]
 

Always be nice to those younger than you, because they are the ones who will be writing about you.
 

As repressed sadists are supposed to become policemen or butchers so those with an irrational fear of life become publishers.
 

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
[Writers And Writing]
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Carelessness is not fatal to journalism, nor are cliches, for the eye rests lightly on them. But what is intended to be read once can seldom be read more than once; a journalist has to accept the fact that his work, by its very todayness, is excluded from any share in tomorrow.
 

Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
 

Classical and romantic: private language of a family quarrel, a dead dispute over the distribution of emphasis between man and nature.
 

Destroy him as you will, the bourgeois always bounces up - execute him, expropriate him, starve him out en masse, and he reappears in your children.
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For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act?
 

Greed, like the love of comfort, is a kind of fear.
[Greed]
 

Happiness lies in the fulfillment of the spirit through the body.
[Happiness]
 

Hate is the consequence of fear; we fear something before we hate it; a child who fears noises becomes a man who hates noise.
[Hatred]
 

Idleness is only a coarse name for my infinite capacity for living in the present.
 

Imprisoned in every fat man a thin man is wildly signaling to be let out.
 


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