Quotes Categories

Cyril Connolly Quotes

(1903-1974), British Critic

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.

Category: Charm

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.

Category: Civilization

The civilized are those who get more out of life than the uncivilized, and for this we are not likely to be forgiven.

Category: Civilization

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?

Category: Conscience

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.

Category: Decadence

Green leaves on a dead tree is our epitaph -- green leaves, dear reader, on a dead tree.

Category: Epitaphs

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.

Category: Exile

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.

Category: God