Anecdote Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 44 quotes )
Gus is the Cat at the Theatre Door. His name, as I ought to have told you before, Is really Asparagus. That's such a fuss To pronounce, that we usually call him just Gus. His coat's very shabby, he's thin as a rake, And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake. Yet he was, in his youth, quite the smartest of Cats — But no longer a terror to mice or to rats. For he isn't the Cat that he was in his prime; Though his name was quite famous, he says, in his time. And whenever he joins his friends at their club (which takes place at the back of the neighbouring pub) He loves to regale them, if someone else pays, With anecdotes drawn from his palmiest days. For he once was a Star of the highest degree — He has acted with Irving, he's acted with Tree. And he likes to relate his success on the Halls, Where the Gallery once gave him seven cat-calls. But his grandest creation, as he loves to tell, Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell.
What I've learnt - to my cost - on several occasions in my life, is that people will put up with all manner of bad behaviour so long as you're giving them what they want. They'll laugh and get into it and enjoy the anecdotes and the craziness and the mayhem as long as you're going your job well, but the minute you're not, you're fucked. They'll wipe their hands of you without a second glance.
It is not certain whether the effects of totalitarianism upon verse need be so deadly as its effects on prose. There is a whole series of converging reasons why it is somewhat easier for a poet than a prose writer to feel at home in an authoritarian society.[...]what the poet is saying- that is, what his poem "means" if translated into prose- is relatively unimportant, even to himself. The thought contained in a poem is always simple, and is no more the primary purpose of the poem than the anecdote is the primary purpose of the picture. A poem is an arrangement of sounds and associations, as a painting is an arrangement of brushmarks. For short snatches, indeed, as in the refrain of a song, poetry can even dispense with meaning altogether.
The only people who can ever put ideas into context are people who don't care; the unbiased and apathetic are usually the wisest dudes in the room. If you want to totally misunderstand why something is supposedly important, find the biggest fan of that particular thing and ask him for an explanation. He will tell you everything that doesn't matter to anyone who isn't him. He will describe paradoxical details and share deeply personal anecdotes, and it will all be autobiography; he will simply be explaining who he is by discussing something completely unrelated to his life.
The office was large, with many women and men at desks, and she learned their names, and presented to them an amiability she assumed upon entering the building. Often she felt that her smiles, and her feigned interest in people's anecdotes about commuting and complaints about colds, were an implicit and draining part of her job. A decade later she would know that spending time with people and being unable either to speak from her heart or to listen with it was an imperceptible bleeding of her spirit.
The arts of conversation which his circle cultivated were, in great part, the gossipacious arts: that of making much out of little, of displaying your wit and inventive facility, your ability to amuse, without boring your listeners with too many ideas, or unpleasantly stretching their minds on the rack of an “issue.” It was a world which took an intense but mainly anecdotal interest in people, and which was therefore also on its guard against just the same exposure of itself which it so assiduously sought to gain against others.
Personally, I want to die in dignity but my passing celebrated jollity. I've told my executors that I want a stand up comedian in the pulpit telling amusing anecdotes, and the coffin to slide into the incinerator to the sound of Marlene Dietrich. If the booze up can begin right away, so much the better, and with a bit of luck the crematorium will never be gloomy again. Anyone mourning should be denounced as the representative of a credit card company and thrown out on their ear. Snowballs if in season (tomatoes if not) can be thrown at anyone uttering even worthy cliches like "the struggle goes on" and should anyone be prepared to dodge pieces of concrete confrontation. If I have miscalculated, as a worthy clerical friend assures me I have, and there really is a God, I'd like to feel if he's got any sense of humor or feeling for humanity there's nobody he would sooner have in heaven than people like me, and if he hasn't, who wants in?
That's why he was here, to surrender himself to longing, to listen to his host recite the anecdotal texts, all the passed-down stories of bonehead plays and swirling brawls, the pitching duels that carried into twilight, stories that Marvin had been collecting for half a century--the deep eros of memory that separates baseball from other sports.
Not afraid of poverty and drabness and who is untouched by it, untouched by the drunkenness of her friends; (she) who judges, selects, discards people with severity, who knows, when she is telling her endless anecdotes, that they are ways of escape, keeping herself all the more secret behind that profuse talk.
I watched our friends' wary, intelligent faces droop at our tale. Their shock was a mere shadow of our own, resembling more the goodwilled imitation of that emotion, and for this reason it was a temptation to exaggerate, to throw a rope of superlatives across the abyss that divided experience from its representation by anecdote.
Beautiful credit! The foundation of modern society. Who shall say that this is not the golden age of mutual trust, of unlimited reliance upon human promises? That is a peculiar condition of society which enables a whole nation to instantly recognize point and meaning in the familiar newspaper anecdote, which puts into the mouth of a distinguished speculator in lands and mines this remark: 'I wasn't worth a cent two years ago, and now I owe two millions of dollars.
The most important result of the encounter [in the preceding anecdote] is the scholar's startling discovery of the roundness of the earth . . . Instinctively realizing the connection between the foreigner's presence, the roundness of the earth, and future changes and upheavals, he finally announces, "Yes, the earth is round, the women will start to think, and as soon as they begin to think, they will become shameless.
What a host of little incidents, all deep-buried in the past -- problems that had once been urgent, arguments that had once been keen, anecdotes that were funny only because one remembered the fun. Did any emotion really matter when the last trace of it had vanished from human memory; and if that were so, what a crowd of emotions clung to him as to their last home before annihilation? He must be kind to them, must treasure them in his mind before their long sleep.
One of the most moving narratives of modern history is the story of how men and women languishing under various forms of oppression came to acquire, often at great personal cost, the sort of technical knowledge necessary for them to understand their own condition more deeply, and so acquire some of the theoretical armoury essential to change it. ... There is no reason why literary critics should not turn to autobiography or anecdotalism, or simply slice up their texts and deliver them to their publishers in a cardboard box, if they are not so politically placed as to need emancipatory knowledge.
The prevailing taste of the public for anecdote has been censured and ridiculed by critics, who aspire to the character of superior wisdom: but if we consider it in a proper point of view, this taste is an incontestible proof of the good sense and profoundly philosophic temper of the present times. Of the numbers who study, or at least who read history, how few derive any advantage from their labors!
It is often by a trivial, even an anecdotal decision, that we direct our activities into a certain channel, and thus determine which of the potential expressions of our individuality become manifest. Usually we know nothing of the ultimate orientation or of the outlet toward which we travel, and the stream sweeps us to a formula of life from which there is no returning. Every decision is like a murder, and our march forward is over the stillborn bodies of all our possible selves that will never be.
For the real movements of a life are gradual, then sudden; they resist becoming anecdotes, they pulse like quasars from long-dead stars to reach the vivid planet of the present, they drift like fog over the ship until the spread sails are merely panels of gray in grayer air and surround becomes object, as in those perceptual tests where figure and ground reverse, the kissing couple in profile turn into the outlines of the mortuary urn that holds their own ashes. Time wears down resolve--then suddenly violence, something irrevocable flashes out of nowhere, there are thrashing fins and roiled, blood-streaked water, death floats up on its side, eyes bulging.