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Samuel(novelistButler (1835 – 1902)


British satirist, best known for his novels Erewhon and The Way of All Flesh.
Samuel(novelistButler
My notes always grow longer if I shorten them. I mean the process of compression makes them more pregnant and they breed new notes.
Butler quotes
Sin is like a mountain with two aspects according to whether it is viewed before or after it has been reached: yet both aspects are real.
Butler
God's merits are so transcendent that it is not surprising his faults should be in reasonable proportion.




I am the enfant terrible of literature and science.
The dons are too busy educating the young men to be able to teach them anything.
Samuel(novelistButler quotes
A man’s style in any art should be like his dress — it should attract as little attention as possible.
Samuel(novelistButler
Memory and forgetfulness are as life and death to one another. To live is to remember and to remember is to live. To die is to forget and to forget is to die.
Feeling is an art and, like any other art, can be acquired by taking pains.
Butler
He [the Philosopher] should have made many mistakes and been saved often by the skin of his teeth, for the skin of one’s teeth is the most teaching thing about one. He should have been, or at any rate believed himself, a great fool and a great criminal. He should have cut himself adrift from society, and yet not be without society.
Inspiration is never genuine if it is known as inspiration at the time. True inspiration always steals on a person; its importance not being fully recognised for some time.
Samuel(novelistButler
I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.




Samuel(novelistButler quotes
Critics generally come to be critics by reason not of their fitness for this but of their unfitness for anything else. Books should be tried by a judge and jury as though they were crimes, and counsel should be heard on both sides.
Samuel(novelistButler
Most artists, whether in religion, music, literature, painting, or what not, are shopkeepers in disguise. They hide their shop as much as they can, and keep pretending that it does not exist, but they are essentially shopkeepers and nothing else.
Butler quotes
Silence is not always tact and it is tact that is golden, not silence.
The greatest poets never write poetry. The Homers and Shakespeares are not the greatest — they are only the greatest that we can know. And so with Handel among musicians. For the highest poetry, whether in music or literature, is ineffable — it must be felt from one person to another, it cannot be articulated.
An idea must not be condemned for being a little shy and incoherent; all new ideas are shy when introduced first among our old ones. We should have patience and see whether the incoherency is likely to wear off or to wear on, in which latter case the sooner we get rid of them the better.
Samuel(novelistButler
When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence.
Samuel(novelistButler quotes
Sensible people get the greater part of their own dying done during their own lifetime.
Samuel(novelistButler
It is far safer to know too little than too much. People will condemn the one, though they will resent being called upon to exert themselves to follow the other.
The man who lets himself be bored is even more contemptible than the bore.


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