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J. B. Priestley Quotes


John Boynton Priestley, known as J.B. Priestley, was an English novelist, playwright and broadcaster.
(1894 - 1984)

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"Orthodoxy, my Lord," said Bishop Warburton, in a whisper, - "orthodoxy is my doxy, - heterodoxy is another man's doxy."
[Doctrine]
 

A novelist who writes nothing for 10 years finds his reputation rising. Because I keep on producing books they say there must be something wrong with this fellow.
 

Accidents, try to change them - it's impossible. The accidental reveals man.
 

Already we Viewers, when not viewing, have begun to whisper to one another that the more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.
[Communication]
 

Any fool can be fussy and rid himself of energy all over the place, but a man has to have something in him before he can settle down to do nothing.
[Idleness]
 

As we read the school reports on our children, we realize a sense of relief that can rise to delight that thank Heaven nobody is reporting in this fashion on us.
 

Be yourself is about the worst advice you can give to some people.
 

Britain, which in the years immediately before this war was rapidly losing such democratic virtues as it possessed, is now being bombed and burned into democracy.
 

Comedy, we may say, is society protecting itself - with a smile.
 

Have you not a moist eye, a dry hand, a yellow cheek, a white beard, a decreasing leg, an increasing belly? Is not your voice broken, your wind short, your chin double, your wit single, and every part about you blasted with antiquity?
 

I know only two words of American slang, 'swell' and 'lousy'. I think 'swell' is lousy, but 'lousy' is swell.
 

I never read the life of any important person without discovering that he knew more and could do more than I could ever hope to know or do in half a dozen lifetimes.
 

I sometimes wish they would swagger more now, buy bigger overcoats and wilder hats, and retain those traces of make-up that put them outside respectability and keep them rogues and vagabonds, which is what, at heart - bless 'em - they are.
 

If we openly declare what is wrong with us, what is our deepest need, then perhaps the death and despair will by degrees disappear.
 

If you are a genius, you'll make your own rules, but if not - and the odds are against it - go to your desk no matter what your mood, face the icy challenge of the paper - write.
 

In plain words: now that Britain has told the world that she has the H-Bomb she should announce as early as possible that she has done with it, that she proposes to reject in all circumstances nuclear warfare.
 

Like its politicians and its war, society has the teenagers it deserves.
 

Living in an age of advertisement, we are perpetually disillusioned. The perfect life is spread before us every day, but it changes and withers at a touch.
 

Many a man is praised for his reserve and so-called shyness when he is simply too proud to risk making a fool of himself.
 

Marriage is like paying an endless visit in your worst clothes.
[Marriage]
 


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