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W. H. Auden Quotes


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No hero is mortal till he dies.
 

No human being is innocent, but there is a class of innocent human actions called Games.
 

No poet or novelist wishes he were the only one who ever lived, but most of them wish they were the only one alive, and quite a number fondly believe their wish has been granted.
 

Nobody can honestly think of himself as a strong character because, however successful he may be in overcoming them, he is necessarily aware of the doubts and temptations that accompany every important choice.
 

Now is the age of anxiety.
 

Of all possible subjects, travel is the most difficult for an artist, as it is the easiest for a journalist.
 

One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
 

One cannot walk through an assembly factory and not feel that one is in Hell.
 

Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.
 

Sob, heavy world Sob as you spin, Mantled in mist Remote from the happy.
 

Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.
 

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.
 

The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.
 

The class distinctions proper to a democratic society are not those of rank or money, still less, as is apt to happen when these are abandoned, of race, but of age.
 

The countenances of children, like those of animals, are masks, not faces, for they have not yet developed a significant profile of their own.
 

The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.
[Observation]
 

The relation of faith between subject and object is unique in every case. Hundreds may believe, but each has to believe by himself.
 

The surest sign that a man has a genuine taste of his own is that he is uncertain of it.
 

The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living.
 

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
 


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