Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." [The New Statesman, February 25, 1933]
While thoughts exist, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living.
Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice.
...art is made by the alone for the alone… The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication...
Whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first call promising.
When I write after dark the shades of evening scatter their purple through my prose.
Our memories are card-indexes consulted and then put back in disorder by authorities whom we do not control.
There are only three things which make life worth living: to be writing a tolerably good book, to be in a dinner party of six, and to be traveling south with someone whom your conscience permits you to love.
There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbours will say.
We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament, and embrace it with passion.
No education is worth having that does not teach the lesson of concentration on a task, however unattractive. These lessons, if not learnt early, will be learnt, if at all, with pain and grief in later life.
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.
If our elaborate and dominating bodies are given to us to be denied at every turn, if our nature is always wrong and wicked, how ineffectual we are—like fishes not meant to swim.
Youth is a period of missed opportunities.
Streets of Paris, pray for me; beaches in the sun, pray for me; ghosts of the lemurs, intercede for me; plane-tree and laurel-rose, shade me; summer rain on quays of Toulon, wash me away.
While thought exists, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living. Cyril Connolly (English critic and editor, 1903-1974)
Neither harsh reviews, the contempt of equals nor the indifference of superiors can affect those who have once tapped the great heart of suffering humanity and found out what a goldmine it is.
Always be nice to those younger than you, because they are the ones who will be writing about you.
Is it possible to love any human being without being torn limb from limb?
As repressed sadists are supposed to become policemen or butchers, so those with an irrational fear of life become publishers.
...there is a way of leaving and yet of not leaving; of hinting that one loves and is willing to return, yet never coming back and so preserving a relationship in a lingering decay.
Both my happiness and unhappiness I owe to the love of pleasure; of sex, travel, reading, conversation (hearing oneself talk), food, drink, cigars and lying in warm water.
A life based on reason will always require to be balanced by an occasional bout of violent and irrational emotion, for the instinctual drives must be satisfied.
The artist secretes nostalgia around life.
We pay for vice by the knowledge that we are wicked; we pay for pleasure when we find out too late that we are nothing.