Oxford is Oxford: not a mere receptacle for youth, like Cambridge. Perhaps it wants its inmates to love it rather than to love one another.
to descend from bright heaven to earth, whereon there are shadows because there are hills.
Life never gives us what we want at the moment that we consider appropriate.
A novel must give a sense of permanence as well as a sense of life.
There is much good luck in the world, but it is luck. We are none of us safe. We are children, playing or quarrelling on the line.
We may divide characters into flat and round.
Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its highest. Live in fragments no longer.
The only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.
Beauty ought to look a little surprised: it is the emotion that best suits her face. The beauty who does not look surprised, who accepts her position as her due -- she reminds us too much of a prima donna.
Those who prepared for all the emergencies of life beforehand may equip themselves at the expense of joy.
Personal relations are the important thing for ever and ever, and not this outer life of telegrams and anger.
Have you ever noticed that there are people who do things which are most indelicate, and yet at the same time -- beautiful?
The traveller who has gone to Italy to study the tactile values of Giotto, or the corruption of the Papacy, may return remembering nothing but the blue sky and the men and women who live under it.
Riposte of "that old lady in the anecdote who was accused by her nieces of being illogical," Logic! Good gracious! What rubbish! How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?
Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown.
Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas! we return.
The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world.
The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world; it will accept those whom breeding and intellect and culture have alike rejected.
How can I know what I think till I see what I say?
Logic! Good gracious! What rubbish!
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.
If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.
Roger Fry is painting me. It is too like me at present, but he is confident he will be able to alter that. Post-Impressionism is at present confined to my lower lip... and to my chin.
There is an aristocracy of the sensitive. They represent the true human tradition of permanent victory over cruelty and chaos.
I am certainly an ought and not a must.
I never could get on with representative individuals but people who existed on their own account and with whom it might therefore be possible to be friends.
History develops, art stands still.
To make us feel small in the right way is a function of art; men can only make us feel small in the wrong way.
When you come back you will not be you. And I may not be I.
My law-givers are Erasmus and Montaigne, not Moses and St Paul.
For it is a serious thing to have been watched. We all radiate something curiously intimate when we believe ourselves to be alone.
And I do believe that Italy really purifies and ennobles all who visit her. She is the school as well as the playground of the world.
The four characteristics of humanism are curiosity, a free mind, belief in good taste, and belief in the human race.
Mistrust all enterprises that require new clothes.
Standing each by his monster, they looked at each other, and smiled.
All men are equal -- all men, that is to say, who possess umbrellas.
When love flies it is remembered not as love but as something else. Blessed are the uneducated, who forget it entirely, and are never conscious of folly or pruriency in the past, of long aimless conversations.
The sadness of the incomplete, the sadness that is often Life, but should never be Art.
Tolerance is a very dull virtue. It is boring. Unlike love, it has always had a bad press. It is negative. It merely means putting up with people, being able to stand things.
The more highly public life is organized the lower does its morality sink.
Only a struggle twists sentimentality and lust together into love.
You talk as if a god had made the Machine," cried the other. "I believe that you pray to it when you are unhappy. Men made it, do not forget that. Great men, but men. The Machine is much, but not everything.
It is so difficult -- at least, I find it difficult -- to understand people who speak the truth.
For you cannot have gentility without paying for it.
Reverence is fatal to literature.
The so called white races are really pinko-grey.
Il vento le scompigliava i capelli, il sole li glorificava.
The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken.
I'm a holy man minus the holiness.
I'm a holy man minus the holiness. Hand that on to your three spies, and tell them to put it in their pipes.
Men yearn for poetry though they may not confess it; they desire that joy shall be graceful and sorrow august and infinity have a form.
There lies at the back of every creed something terrible and hard for which the worshipper may one day be required to suffer.
I have always found writing pleasant and don't understand what people mean by 'throes of creation.'
They had nothing in common but the English language.
I won't be protected. I will choose for myself what is ladylike and right. To shield me is an insult.
And don't, let me beg you, go with that awful tourist idea that Italy's only a museum of antiquities and art. Love and understand the Italians, for the people are more marvellous than the land.
One's favorite book is as elusive as one's favorite pudding.
Liking one person is an extra reason for liking another.
I hated the idleness, the stupidity, the respectability, the petty unselfishness.
It is easy to face Death and Fate, and the things that sound so dreadful. It is on my muddles that I look back with horror -- on thethings that I might have avoided.
Outside the arch, always there seemed another arch. And beyond the remotest echo, a silence.
I have no mystic faith in the people. I have in the individual.
The king died and then the queen died is a story. The king died, and then queen died of grief is a plot.
Axiom : Novel must have either one living character or a perfect pattern: fails otherwise.
Pathos, piety, courage, they exist, but are identical, and so is filth. Everything exists, nothing has value.
As her time in Florence drew to a close she was only at ease amongst those to whom she felt indifferent.
A critic has no right to the narrowness which is the frequent prerogative of the creative artist.
Do not be proud of your inconsistency. It is a pity, it is a pity that we should be equipped like this. It is a pity that Man cannot be at the same time impressive and truthful.
Unless we remember we cannot understand.
Their quarrel was no more surprising than are most quarrels -- inevitable at the time, incredible afterwards.
The bully and his victim never quite forget their first relations.
English literature is a flying fish.
In the creative state a man is taken out of himself.
In the creative state a man is taken out of himself. He lets down as it were a bucket into his subconscious, and draws up something which is normally beyond his reach. He mixes this thing with his normal experiences and out of the mixture he makes a work of art.
There's never any great risk as long as you have money.
Charm, in most men and nearly all women, is a decoration.
If there is on earth a house with many mansions, it is the house of words.
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is the most sublime noise that has ever penetrated into the ear of man.
No one is more triumphant than the man who chooses a worthy subject and masters all its facts.
The final test for a novel will be our affection for it, as it is the test of our friends, and of anything else which we cannot define.
Human relations are impossible. When they are real they are uncomfortable, and when they are comfortable they are unreal. It was for the journey into solitude that the human soul was created.
Characters must not brood too long. They must not waste time running up and down ladders in their own insides.
The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death.
Reformers who are obsessed with purity and cannot see that their obsession is impure.
We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand.
Our life on earth is, and ought to be, material and carnal. But we have not yet learned to manage our materialism and carnality properly; they are still entangled with the desire for ownership.
We are all like Scheherazade's husband, in that we want to know what happens next.
Life is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along.
I am so used to seeing the sort of play which deals with one man and two women. They do not leave me with the feeling I have made a full theatrical meal they do not give me the experience of the multiplicity of life.
Love is a great force in private life; it is indeed the greatest of all things; but love in public affairs does not work.
There are moments when the inner life actually 'pays,' when years of self-scrutiny, conducted for no ulterior motive, are suddenly of practical use.
I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.
Do you suppose there's any difference between spring in nature and spring in man? But there we go, praising the one and condemning the other as improper, ashamed that the same laws work eternally through both.
Two cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism.
Letters have to pass two tests before they can be classed as good: they must express the personality both of the writer and of the recipient.
She only felt that the candle would burn better, the packing go easier, the world be happier, if she could give and receive some human love.
Oh, poor, poor fellow!' said Mrs. Elliot with a remorse that was sincere, though her congratulations would not have been.
Excuse my mistakes, realize my limitations. Life is not easy as we know it on the earth.
Truth is a flower in whose neighbourhood others must wither.
But why I cry out against Rubens is because he painted undressed people instead of naked ones.
We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.
It comes to this then: there always have been people like me and always will be, and generally they have been persecuted.
The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world.
It so happened that Lucy, who found daily life rather chaotic, entered a more solid world when she opened the piano. She was then no longer either deferential or patronizing; no longer either a rebel or a slave.
Lord I disbelieve -- help thou my unbelief.
One of the evils of money is that it tempts us to look at it rather than at the things that it buys.
Suspense: the only literary tool that has any effect upon tyrants and savages.
I would rather be a coward than brave because people hurt you when you are brave.
One doesn't come to Italy for niceness," was the retort; "one comes for life. Buon giorno! Buon giorno!
A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself.
The English countryside, its growth and its destruction, is a genuine and tragic theme.
We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?
The crime of suicide lies rather in its disregard for the feelings of those whom we leave behind.
At the moment they vanished they were everywhere, the cool benediction of the night descended, the stars sparkled, and the whole universe was a hill.
But nothing in India is identifiable, the mere asking of a question causes it to disappear or to merge in something else.
Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice.
Most quarrels are inevitable at the time; incredible afterwards.
This element of surprise or mystery the detective element as it is sometimes rather emptily called is of great importance in a plot.
This element of surprise or mystery -- the detective element as it is sometimes rather emptily called -- is of great importance in a plot. It occurs through a suspension of the time-sequence; a mystery is a pocket in time, and it occurs crudely, as in "Why did the queen die?" and more subtly in half-explained gestures and words, the true meaning of which only dawns pages ahead. Mystery is essential to a plot, and cannot be appreciated without intelligence.
What is wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote.
A work of art is never finished. It is merely abandoned.
One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.
It isn't possible to love and to part.
The work of art assumes the existence of the perfect spectator, and is indifferent to the fact that no such person exists.
The book A Passage to India shows signs of fatigue and disillusionment; but it has chapters of clear and triumphant beauty, and above all it makes us wonder, what will he write next?
It is the vice of a vulgar mind to be thrilled by bigness.
It is the vice of a vulgar mind to be thrilled by bigness, to think that a thousand square miles are a thousand times more wonderful than one square mile, and that a million square miles are almost the same as heaven.
She stopped and leant her elbows against the parapet of the embankment. He did likewise. There is at times a magic in identity of position; it is one of the things that have suggested to us eternal comradeship.
Only a writer who has the sense of evil can make goodness readable.
I have only got down on to paper, really, three types of people: the person I think I am, the people who irritate me, and the people I'd like to be.
People have their own deaths as well as their own lives, and even if there is nothing beyond death, we shall differ in our nothingness.
Self-pity? I see no moral objections to it, the smell drives people away, but that's a practical objection, and occasionally an advantage.
They cared for no one, they were outside humanity, and death, had it come, would only have continued their pursuit of a retreating horizon.
The people I respect most behave as if they were immortal and as if society was eternal.
Science explained people, but could not understand them. After long centuries among the bones and muscles it might be advancing to knowledge of the nerves, but this would never give understanding.
Nonsense and beauty have close connections.
A novel must give a sense of permanence as well as a sense of life.