The unfed mind devours itself.
How marvelous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself.
Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.
Write something, even if it's just a suicide note.
Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.
The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.
Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can't read them either.
Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.
The important thing is not the object of love, but the emotion itself.
It is not enough merely to win; others must lose.
I’m not sentimental about anything. Life flows by, and you flow with it or you don’t. Move on and move out.
Monotheism is easily the greatest disaster to befall the human race.
I sometimes think it is because they are so bad at expressing themselves verbally that writers take to pen and paper in the first place
There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.
A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.
Always a godfather, never a god.
We are the United States of Amnesia, we learn nothing because we remember nothing.
The idea of a good society is something you do not need a religion and eternal punishment to buttress; you need a religion if you are terrified of death.
Andy Warhol is the only genius I've ever known with an IQ of 60.
To a born-again atheist like myself, it is clear that each of us has multiple selves, talents, perceptions. But to the Roman Catholic, unity is all.
Write what you know will always be excellent advice for those who ought not to write at all. Write what you think, what you imagine, what you suspect!
Southerners make good novelists: they have so many stories because they have so much family.
As the age of television progresses the Reagans will be the rule, not the exception. To be perfect for television is all a President has to be these days.
A writer must always tell the truth (unless he's a journalist)
As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies.
There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.
Traitors who prevail are patriots; usurpers who succeed are divine emperors.
Love is a fan club with only two fans.
I suspect that one of the reasons we create fiction is to make sex exciting.
It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.
Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head.
Never have children, only grandchildren.
History is idle gossip about a happening whose truth is lost the instant it has taken place.
Never pass up a chance to have sex or appear on television.
Never offend an enemy in a small way.
Nothing human is finally calculable; even to ourselves we are strange.
There is something about the state putting the power to bully into the hands of subnormal, sadistic apes that makes my blood boil.
By the time a man gets to be presidential material, he's been bought ten times over.
Of course his dust would be absorbed in other living things and to that degree at least he would exist again, though it was plain enough that the specific combination which was he would never exist again.
The first TV babies are now writing with a TV mind that has no attention span at all.
Miss Rand now tells us that what we have thought was right is really wrong. The lesson should have read: One for one and none for all.
In fact, life itself is a contradiction if only because birth is the direct cause, in every single case, of death
Reality is something the human race doesn't handle very well.
How hungrily we read about ourselves!
I wanted to be a politician and a movie star. But I was born a writer. If you're born that, you can't change it. You're going to do it whether you want to or not.
We are given our place in time as we are given our eyes: weak, strong, clear, squinting, the thing is not ours to choose. Well, this has been a squinting, walleyed time to be born in.
Nothing that ever was changes. Yet nothing that is can ever be the same as what went before.
The worst thing to happen to Lincoln - aside from the unfortunate incident at Ford's theatre - was to fall into the hands of Carl Sandburg.
Although Americans justify their self-interest in moral terms, their true interest is never itself moral.
Ideally, of course, a relationship is best, but then how many people are capable of deep feeling? Practically none.
Anyone who sings about love and harmony and life [john lennon] is dangerous to someone who sings about death and killing and subduing [Nixon]
If Henry Miller often sounded like a village idiot, it is because, like Whitman, he was the rest of the village as well.
What other culture could have produced someone like Hemingway and not seen the joke?
Americans tend to play different roles, hoping that somehow they’ll stumble on the right one.
Heroes must see to their own fame. No one else will.
Once people get hung up on theology, they've lost sanity forever. More people have been killed in the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world.
Since nothing is free, to each his price.
In America, the race goes to the loud, the solemn, the hustler. If you think you're a great writer, you must say that you are.
The public is always relieved to find that once the chief officers of state are elected they do not sincerely want change.
Prepare yourself for some bad news: Ronald Reagan’s library just burned down. Both books were destroyed. But the real horror: He hadn’t finished coloring either one of them.
Eventually all things are known. And few matter.
No one can ever love us quite so much as we love ourselves.
Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players. … I have 10 or so, and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.
For the average American freedom of speech is simply the freedom to repeat what everyone else is saying and no more.
Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.
The rhetoric of hate is often most effective when couched in the idiom of love.
Let the dust take me when the adventure's done and I shall make the dust glitter for all eternity with my marvelous fury.
Christianity is such a silly religion.
I’ve always said, ‘I have nothing to say, only to add.’ And it’s with each addition that the writing gets done. The first draft of anything is really just a track.
We no longer live in a nation, but in a Homeland.
Drugs. If they did not exist our governors would have invented them in order to prohibit them and so make much of the population vulnerable to arrest, imprisonment, seizure of property, and so on.
For a man to successful, not only must he succeed but his friends must also fail.
It is curious how little interested we are in the sexual desires of those who do not attract us.
Love is not my bag.
Always beware of the fact, that the only thing hindering an all out revolution is your fear of losing the scraps they throw at you.--Twitter post, July 29, 2012
Whether he knows it or not, the middle-income American is taxed as though he were living in a socialist society.
To turn life into words is to make life yours to do with as you please, instead of the other way round
That's why Priscus is wisest of all: silence cannot be judged. Silence masks all things or no thing. Only Priscus can tell us what his silence conceals, but since he won't, we suspect him great.
A good deed never goes unpunished.
To be categorized is, simply, to be enslaved
What is in question is a kind of book reviewing which seems to be more and more popular: the loose putting down of opinions as though they were facts, and the treating of facts as though they were opinions.
Ronald Reagan is a triumph of the embalmer's art.
It is of no consequence what others think of you. What matters is what you think of them. That is how you live your life.
Our form of democracy is bribery, on the highest scale.
Sexual revelation in literature, must be tactful and must serve plot
There is no such thing as a homosexual or a heterosexual person. There are only homo- or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices.
I'm a born-again atheist.
Love it or loathe it, you can never leave it or lose it.
Say very mildly, we have only one political party in the U.S., the Property Party, with two right wings, Republican and Democrat.
...Leggett feels that to be excitingly right in general is better than to be dully accurate in particular. That is why he is such an effective journalist.
That my plans have lately gone somewhat awry is the sort of risk one must take if life is to be superb.
...,I have never visited any city in the world where I was not told that I just missed the golden age. I seem never to be on time." Cyrus Sitema
I think there should be a constitutional amendment making it impossible for anyone to be president who believes in an afterlife.
Beneath my cold exterior, once you break the ice, you find cold water.
Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.
The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so.