Sharper Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 42 quotes )
In general, one's memories of any period must necessarily weaken as one moves away from it. One is constantly learning new facts, and old ones have to drop out to make way for them. At twenty I could have written the history of my schooldays with an accuracy which would be quite impossible now. But it can also happen that one's memories grow sharper after a long lapse of time, because one is looking at the past with fresh eyes and can isolate and, as it were, notice facts which previously existed undifferentiated among a mass of others.
What is whiter than snow?' he said. 'The truth,' said Grania. 'What is the best colour?' said Finn. 'The colour of childhood,' said she. 'What is hotter than fire?' 'The face of a hospitable man when he sees a stranger coming in, and the house empty.' 'What has a taste more bitter than poison?' 'The reproach of an enemy.' 'What is best for a champion?' 'His doings to be high, and his pride to be low.' 'What is the best of jewels?' 'A knife.' 'What is sharper than a sword?' 'The wit of a woman between two men.' 'What is quicker than the wind?' said Finn then. 'A woman’s mind,' said Grania. And indeed she was telling no lie when she said that.
No justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous. Without the aid of trained emotions the intellect is powerless against the animal organism. I had sooner play cards against a man who was quite skeptical about ethics, but bred to believe that ‘a gentleman does not cheat’, than against an irreproachable moral philosopher who had been brought up among sharpers.
I have a different idea of elegance. I don't dress like a fop, it's true, but my moral grooming is impeccable. I never appear in public with a soiled conscience, a tarnished honor, threadbare scruples, or an insult that I haven't washed away. I'm always immaculately clean, adorned with independence and frankness. I may not cut a stylish figure, but I hold my soul erect. I wear my deeds as ribbons, my wit is sharper then the finest mustache, and when I walk among men I make truths ring like spurs.
Have you ever noticed,” said Dimble, “that the universe, and every bit of the universe is always hardening and narrowing and coming to a point?” His wife waited as those wait who know by long experience the mental processes of the person who is talking to them. “I mean this,” said Dimble in answer to the question she had not asked. “If you dip into any college, or school, or parish, or family – anything you like – at a given point in its history, you always find that there was a time before that point when there was more elbow room and contrasts weren’t quite so sharp; and that there’s going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time, coming to a point, getting sharper and harder.
These principles laid down as in variable rules: that one must pay a card sharper, but need not pay a tailor; that one must never tell a lie to a man, but one may to a woman; that one must never cheat any one, but one may a husband; that one must never pardon an insult, but one may give one and so on. These principles were possibly not reasonable and not good, but they were of unfailing certainty, and so long as he adhered to them, Vronsky felt that his heart was at peace and he could hold his head up.
It would be nice to think that as I've got older times have changed, relationships have become more sophisticated, females less cruel, skins thicker, reactions sharper, instincts more developed. But there still seems to be an element of that evening in everything that happened to me since; all my other romantic stories seem to be a scrambled version of that first one. Of course, I have never had to take that long walk again, and my ears have not burned with quite the same fury, and I have never had to count the packs of cheap cigarettes in order to avoid mocking eyes and floods of tears... not really, not actually, not as such. It just feels that way, sometimes.
Is it not curious, that so vast a being as the whale should see the world through so small an eye, and hear the thunder through an ear which is smaller than a hare's? But if his eyes were broad as the lens of Herschel's great telescope; and his ears capacious as the porches of cathedrals; would that make him any longer of sight, or sharper of hearing? Not at all.—Why then do you try to "enlarge" your mind? Subtilize it
Do you know how many ways love can hit you? So it makes you happy, or miserable? It makes you sick in the belly or hurt in the heart. It makes everything brighter and sharper, or it blurs all the edges. It makes you feel like a king or a fool. Every way love can hit you, it's hit me when it comes to you
We have to look at the figures of speech a writer uses, his images and symbols, to realize that underneath all the complexity of human life that uneasy stare at an alien nature is still haunting us, and the problem of surmounting it still with us. Above all, we have to look at the total design of a writer's work, the title he gives to it, and the his main theme, which means his point in writing it, to understand that literature is still doing the same job that mythology did earlier, but filling in its huge cloudy shapes with sharper lights and deeper shadows. [p.32]
Nothing is more dangerous than to stop working. It is a habit that can soon be lost, one that is easily neglected and hard to resume. A measure of day-dreaming is a good thing, like a drug prudently used; it allays the sometimes virulent fever of the over-active mind, like a cool wind blowing through the brain to smooth the harshness of untrammelled thought; it bridges here and there the gaps, brings things into proportion and blunts the sharper angles. But too much submerges and drowns. Woe to the intellectual worker who allows himself to lapse wholly from positive thinking into day-dreaming. He thinks he can easily change back, and tells himself that it is all one. He is wrong! Thought is the work of the intellect, reverie is its self-indulgence. To substitute day-dreaming for thought is to confuse poison with a source of nourishment.
Hear, nature, hear; dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend. To make this creature fruitful! Into her womb convey sterility! Dry up in her the organs of increase; And from her derogate body never spring. A babe to honour her! If she must teem, Create her child of spleen; that it may live, And be a thwart disnatured torment to her! Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth; With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks; Turn all her mother's pains and benefits. To laughter and contempt; that she may feel. How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is. To have a thankless child! Away, away!