Robertson Davies Quotes (34 quotations)

Index Page # 1 of 2 (Quotes : 1 - 25 )

1. A happy childhood has spoiled many a promising life. - Robertson Davies

2. A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight. - Robertson Davies

3. Do not suppose, however, that I intend to urge a diet of classics on anybody. I have seen such diets at work. I have known people who have actually read all, or almost all, the guaranteed Hundred Best Books. God save us from reading nothing but the best. - Robertson Davies

4. Every man is wise when attacked by a mad dog; fewer when pursued by a mad woman; only the wisest survive when attacked by a mad notion. - Robertson Davies

5. Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it. - Robertson Davies

6. Fanaticism is overcompensation for doubt. - Robertson Davies

7. Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them. - Robertson Davies

8. Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness. - Robertson Davies

9. He was a genius - that is to say, a man who does superlatively and without obvious effort something that most people cannot do by the uttermost exertion of their abilities. - Robertson Davies

10. I do not 'get' ideas; ideas get me. - Robertson Davies

11. I heard his library burned down and both books were destroyed - and one of them hadn't even been colored in yet. - Robertson Davies

12. I never heard of anyone who was really literate or who ever really loved books who wanted to suppress any of them. - Robertson Davies

13. I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind... At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme, I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy, and wise in spite of themselves. - Robertson Davies

14. Literary critics, however, frequently suffer from a curious belief that every author longs to extend the boundaries of literary art, wants to explore new dimensions of the human spirit, and if he doesn't, he should be ashamed of himself. - Robertson Davies

15. Many a promising career has been wrecked by marrying the wrong sort of woman. The right sort of woman can distinguish between Creative Lassitude and plain shiftlessness. - Robertson Davies

16. May I make a suggestion, hoping it is not an impertinence? Write it down: write down what you feel. It is sometimes a wonderful help in misery. - Robertson Davies

17. Only a fool expects to be happy all the time. - Robertson Davies

18. Our grandparents used to say that we must eat a peck of dirt before we die, and they were right. And you must read a lot of rubbish before you die, as well, because an exclusive diet of masterpieces will give you spiritual dyspepsia. How do you know that a mountain peak is glorious if you have never scrambled through a dirty valley? How do you know that your gourmet meal is perfect in its kind if you have never eaten a roadside hot dog? - Robertson Davies

19. Perhaps the word for the feeling I mean is serenity, a high acceptance, a recognition that Heracleitus's doctrine of eternal flow is a great truth, and while we may not, in ourselves, find the moment when the one element changes into the other, that moment will come and the consciousness of its inevitability may give us courage in adversity, and balance in good fortune. - Robertson Davies

20. Several children present me with scraps of paper for autographs: obviously don't know who I am and don't care. I sign "Jackie Collins" and they go away quite content. - Robertson Davies

21. The average politician goes through a sentence like a man exploring a disused mine shaft-blind, groping, timorous and in imminent danger of cracking his shins on a subordinate clause or a nasty bit of subjunctive. - Robertson Davies

22. The clerisy are those who read for pleasure, but not for idleness; who read for pastime but not to kill time; who love books, but do not live by books. - Robertson Davies

23. The drama may be called that part of theatrical art which lends itself most readily to intellectual discussion: what is left is theater. - Robertson Davies

24. The great book for you is the book that has the most to say to you at the moment when you are reading. I do not mean the book that is most instructive, but the book that feeds your spirit. And that depends on your age, your experience, your psychological and spiritual need. - Robertson Davies

25. The love of truth lies at the root of much humor. - Robertson Davies

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