Monday, August 21, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Cyril Connolly (1903 – 1974)


English author, editor and critic.
Cyril Connolly
The true index of a manís character is the health of his wife.
Connolly quotes
The past is the only dead thing that smells sweet.
Connolly
Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once, and they require separate techniques.




Connolly Cyril quotes
Imprisoned in every fat man a thin one is wildly signalling to be let out.
Connolly Cyril
The Mandarin style at its best yields the richest and most complete expression of the English language. It is the diction of Donne, Browne, Addison, Johnson, Gibbon, de Quincey, Landor, Carlyle and Ruskin as opposed to that of Bunyan, Dryden, Locke, Defoe, Cowper, Cobbett, Hazlitt, Southey and Newman. It is characterized by long sentences with many dependent clauses, by the use of the subjunctive and conditional, by exclamations and interjections, quotations, allusions, metaphors, long images, Latin terminology, subtlety and conceits. Its cardinal assumption is that neither the writer nor the reader is in a hurry, that both are possessed of a classical education and a private income. It is Ciceronian English.
Cyril Connolly quotes
Flaubert spoke true: to succeed a great artist must have both character and fanaticism and few in this country are willing to pay the price. Our writers have either no personality and therefore no style or a false personality and therefore a bad style; they mistake prejudice for energy and accept the sensation of material well-being as a system of thought.
Cyril Connolly
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Connolly Cyril quotes
Destroy him as you will, the bourgeois always bounces up ó execute him, expropriate him, starve him out en masse, and he reappears in your children.
Connolly
No education is worth having that does not teach the lesson of concentration on a task, however unattractive. These lessons, if not learnt early, will be learnt, if at all, with pain and grief in later life.
Connolly Cyril
A mistake which is commonly made about neurotics is to suppose that they are interesting. It is not interesting to be always unhappy, engrossed with oneself, malignant or ungrateful, and never quite in touch with reality. Neurotics are heartless.
Cyril Connolly
To this period [age seven] I trace my worst faults. Indecision, for I found that by hesitating for a long time over two toys in a shop I would be given both and so was tempted to make two alternatives always seem equally attractive; Ingratitude, for I grew so used to having what I wanted that I assumed it as a right; Laziness, for sloth is the especial vice of tyrants; the Impatience with boredom that is generated by devotion; the Cruelty which comes from a knowledge of power and the Giving way to moods, for I learnt that sulking, crying, moping and malingering were bluffs that paid.




Cyril Connolly quotes
I greet you, my educated fellow bourgeois, whose interests and whose doubts I share.
Cyril Connolly
There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall.
Connolly quotes
Like water, we are truest to our nature in repose.
Connolly Cyril
It is after creation, in the elation of success, or the gloom of failure, that love becomes essential.
Connolly Cyril quotes
There is no hate without fear. Hate is crystallized fear, fear's dividend, fear objectivized. We hate what we fear and so where hate is, fear will be lurking. Thus we hate what threatens our person, our liberty, our privacy, our income, our popularity, our vanity and our dreams and plans for ourselves. If we can isolate this element in what we hate we may be able to cease from hating. Analyse in this way the hatred of ideas or of the kind of people whom we have once loved and whose faces are preserved in Spirits of Anger. Hate is the consequence of fear; we fear something before we hate; a child who fears noises becomes the man who hates them.
Cyril Connolly
Miserable Orpheus who, turning to lose his Eurydice, beholds her for the first time as well as the last.
Cyril Connolly quotes
Whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first call promising.
Young writers if they are to mature require a period of between three and seven years in which to live down their promise. Promise is like the mediaeval hangman who after settling the noose, pushed his victim off the platform and jumped on his back, his weight acting a drop while his jockeying arms prevented the unfortunate from loosening the rope. When he judged him dead he dropped to the ground.
Cyril Connolly
Beneath a mask of selfish tranquility nothing exists except bitterness and boredom. I am one of those whom suffering has made empty and frivolous: each night in my dreams I pull the scab off a wound; each day, vacuous and habit-ridden, I help it re-form.
Connolly Cyril
There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbours will say.


© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact