Quotes Categories

W. H. Auden Quotes

(1907-1973), Anglo-American Poet

The actors today really need the whip hand. They're so lazy. They haven't got the sense of pride in their profession that the less socially elevated musical comedy and music hall people or acrobats have. The theater has never been any good since the actors became gentlemen.

Category: Acting And Actors

The class distinctions proper to a democratic society are not those of rank or money, still less, as is apt to happen when these are abandoned, of race, but of age.

Category: Age And Aging

God bless the USA, so large, so friendly, and so rich.

Category: America

The Americans are violently oral. That's why in America the mother is all-important and the father has no position at all -- isn't respected in the least. Even the American passion for laxatives can be explained as an oral manifestation. They want to get rid of any unpleasantness taken in through the mouth.

Category: America

Every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self.

Category: Autobiography

Of course, behaviorism works. So does torture. Give me a no-nonsense, down-to-earth behaviorist, a few drugs, and simple electrical appliances, and in six months I will have him reciting the Athanasian Creed in public.

Category: Behavior

A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.

Category: Books And Reading

Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.

Category: Books And Reading

Nobody knows what the cause is, though some pretend they do; it like some hidden assassin waiting to strike at you. Childless women get it, and men when they retire; it as if there had to be some outlet for their foiled creative fire.

Category: Cancer

The countenances of children, like those of animals, are masks, not faces, for they have not yet developed a significant profile of their own.

Category: Children

Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful, but because it is his. If it were his beauty that enthralled him, he would be set free in a few years by its fading.

Category: Conceit

Literary confessors are contemptible, like beggars who exhibit their sores for money, but not so contemptible as the public that buys their books.

Category: Confession

''Healing,'' Papa would tell me, ''is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.''

Category: Convalescence

All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work ''comes'' to him.

Category: Creativity

Criticism should be a casual conversation.

Category: Critics And Criticism