The artist is a member of the leisured classes who cannot pay for his leisure.
Category: Arts And Artists
The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication: that is why so many bad artists are unable to give it up.
Category: Arts And Artists
All charming people have something to conceal, usually their total dependence on the appreciation of others.
No city should be too large for a man to walk out of in a morning.
Category: Cities And City Life
Civilization is an active deposit which is formed by the combustion of the present with the past. Neither in countries without a Present nor in those without a Past is it to be encountered. Proust in Venice, Matisse's birdcages overlooking the flower market at Nice, Gide on the seventeenth-century quais of Toulon, Lorca in Granada, Picasso by Saint-Germain-des-Prés: there lies civilization and for me it can exist only under those liberal regimes in which the Present is alive and therefore capable of assimilating the Past.
The civilized are those who get more out of life than the uncivilized, and for this we are not likely to be forgiven.
When I contemplate the accumulation of guilt and remorse which, like a garbage-can, I carry through life, and which is fed not only by the lightest action but by the most harmless pleasure, I feel Man to be of all living things the most biologically incompetent and ill-organized. Why has he acquired a seventy years life-span only to poison it incurably by the mere being of himself? Why has he thrown Conscience, like a dead rat, to putrefy in the well?
Slums may well be breeding-grounds of crime, but middle-class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium.
Category: Crime And Criminals
I review novels to make money, because it is easier for a sluggard to write an article a fortnight than a book a year, because the writer is soothed by the opiate of action, the crank by posing as a good journalist, and having an air hole. I dislike it. I do it and I am always resolving to give it up.
Category: Critics And Criticism
The goal of every culture is to decay through over-civilization; the factors of decadence, -- luxury, skepticism, weariness and superstition, -- are constant. The civilization of one epoch becomes the manure of the next.
Green leaves on a dead tree is our epitaph -- green leaves, dear reader, on a dead tree.
It is a mistake to expect good work from expatriates for it is not what they do that matters but what they are not doing.
The one way to get thin is to re-establish a purpose in life.
Category: Food And Eating
In America every woman has her set of girl-friends; some are cousins, the rest are gained at school. These form a permanent committee who sit on each other's affairs, who ''come out'' together, marry and divorce together, and who end as those groups of bustling, heartless well-informed club-women who govern society. Against them the Couple of Ehepaar is helpless and Man in their eyes but a biological interlude.
Category: Friends And Friendship
There cannot be a personal God without a pessimistic religion. As soon as there is a personal God he is a disappointing God.