Sneer Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 68 quotes )
All my other current friends were "intellectuals"––Chad the Nietzschean anthropologist, Carlo Marx and his nutty surrealist low-voiced serious staring talk, Old Bull Lee and his critical anti-everything drawl––or else they were slinking criminals like Elmer Hassel, with that hip sneer; Jane Lee the same, sprawled on the Oriental cover of her couch, sniffing at the New Yorker. But Dean's intelligence was every bit as formal and shining and complete, without the tedious intellectualness. And his "criminality" was not something that sulked and sneered; it was a wild yea-saying overburst of American joy; it was Western, the west wind, an ode from the Plains, something new, long prophesied, long a-coming. Besides, all my New York friends were in the negative, nightmare position of putting down society and giving their tired bookish or political or psychoanalytical reasons, but Dean just raced in society, eager for bread and love; he didn't care one way or the other.
But the poetry of that kiss, the wonder of it, the magic that there was in life for hours after it--who can describe that? It is so easy for an Englishman to sneer at these chance collisions of human beings. To the insular cynic and the insular moralist they offer an equal opportunity. It is so easy to talk of "passing emotion," and how to forget how vivid the emotion was ere it passed. Our impulse to sneer, to forget, is at root a good one. We recognize that emotion is not enough, and that men and women are personalities capable of sustained relations, not mere opportunities for an electrical discharge. Yet we rate the impulse too highly. We do not admit that by collisions of this trivial sort the doors of heaven may be shaken open.
I have never sneered in my life. Sneering doesn't become either the human face or the human soul. I am expressing my righteous contempt for Commercialism. I don't and wont trade in affection. You call me a brute because you couldn't buy a claim on me by fetching my slippers and finding my spectacles. You were a fool: I think a woman fetching a man's slippers is a disgusting sight: did I ever fetch your slippers? I think a good deal more of you for throwing them in my face. No use slaving for me and then saying you want to be cared for: who cares for a slave?
My own terror of appearing sentimental is so strong that I’ve decided to fight against it, some; but the terror is still there. . . . Do you identify with a distaste/fear about sentimentality? Do you agree that, past a certain line, such distaste can turn everything arch and sneering and too ironic? Or do you have your own set of abstract questions to drive yourself nuts with?
I find something repulsive about the idea of vicarious redemption. I would not throw my numberless sins onto a scapegoat and expect them to pass from me; we rightly sneer at the barbaric societies that practice this unpleasantness in its literal form. There's no moral value in the vicarious gesture anyway. As Thomas Paine pointed out, you may if you wish take on a another man's debt, or even to take his place in prison. That would be self-sacrificing. But you may not assume his actual crimes as if they were your own; for one thing you did not commit them and might have died rather than do so; for another this impossible action would rob him of individual responsibility. So the whole apparatus of absolution and forgiveness strikes me as positively immoral, while the concept of revealed truth degrades the concept of free intelligence by purportedly relieving us of the hard task of working out the ethical principles for ourselves.
I warned you; I warned you I was the Senses Taker," sneered the Senses Taker. "I help people find what they're not looking for, hear what they're not listening for, run after what they're not chasing, and smell what isn't even there. And, furthermore," he cackled, hopping around gleefully on his stubby legs, "I'll steal your sense of purpose, take your sense of duty, destroy your sense of proportion? and, but for one thing, you'd be helpless yet.""What's that?" asked Milo fearfully."As long as you have the sound of laughter," he groaned unhappily, "I cannot take your sense of humor? and, with it, you've nothing to fear from me.
Steeply’s face had assumed the openly twisted sneering expression which he knew well Qubecers found repellent on Americans. ‘But you assume it’s always choice, conscious, decision. This isn’t just a little naive, Rmy? You sit down with your little accountant’s ledger and soberly decide what to love? Always?’ ‘What if sometimes there is no choice about what to love? What if the temple comes to Mohammed? What if you just love? without deciding? You just do: you see her and in that instant are lost to sober account-keeping and cannot choose but to love?’ Marathe’s sniff held disdain. ‘Then in such a case your temple is self and sentiment. Then in such an instance you are a fanatic of desire, a slave to your individual subjective narrow self’s sentiments; a citizen of nothing. You become a citizen of nothing. You are by yourself and alone, kneeling to yourself.’ A silence ensued this.
So,” sneered Fudge, recovering himself, “you intend to take on Dawlish, Shacklebolt, Dolores, and myself single-handed, do you, Dumbledore?” “Merlin’s beard, no,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “Not unless you are foolish enough to force me to.” “He will not be single-handed!” said Professor McGonagall loudly, plunging her hand inside her robes. “Oh yes he will, Minerva!” said Dumbledore sharply. “Hogwarts needs you!
LARRY--(with increasing bitter intensity, more as if he were fighting with himself than with Hickey) I'm afraid to live, am I?--and even more afraid to die! So I sit here, with my pride drowned on the bottom of a bottle, keeping drunk so I won't see myself shaking in my britches with fright, or hear myself whining and praying: Beloved Christ, let me live a little longer at any price! If it's only for a few days more, or a few hours even, have mercy, Almighty God, and let me still clutch greedily to my yellow heart this sweet treasure, this jewel beyond price, the dirty, stinking bit of withered old flesh which is my beautiful little life! (He laughs with a sneering, vindictive self-loathing, staring inward at himself with contempt and hatred. Then abruptly he makes Hickey again the antagonist.) You think you'll make me admit that to myself?
I met a traveller from an antique land. Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone. Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown. And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command. Tell that its sculptor well those passions read. Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear:'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'Nothing beside remains. Round the decay. Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.
In time, Mr Hall, one gets to recognize that sneer, that hardness, for fornication extends far beyond the actual deed. Were it a deed only, I for one would not hold it anathema. But when the nations went a whoring they invariably ended by denying God, I think, and until all sexual irregularities and not some of them are penal the Church will never reconquer England.
We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance. We can be sure that whoever sneers at her name as if she were the ornament of a bourgeois past -- whether he admits it or not -- can no longer pray and soon will no longer be able to love.
Religions and states and classes and tribes and nations do not have to work or argue for their adherents and subjects. They more or less inherit them. Against this unearned patrimony there have always been speakers and writers who embody Einstein's injunction to 'remember your humanity and forget the rest.' It would be immodest to claim membership in this fraternity/sorority, but I hope not to have done anything to outrage it. Despite the idiotic sneer that such principles are 'fashionable,' it is always the ideas of secularism, libertarianism, internationalism, and solidarity that stand in need of reaffirmation.
Happiness and goodness, according to canting moralists, stand in the relation of effect and cause. There was never anything less proved or less probable: our happiness is never in our own hands; we inherit our constitution; we stand buffet among friends and enemies; we may be so built as to feel a sneer or an aspersion with unusual keenness and so circumstanced as to be unusually exposed to them; we may have nerves very sensitive to pain, and be afflicted with a disease very painful. Virtue will not help us, and it is not meant to help us.
C.-C.: My dear Arnold, we all hope that you have before you a distinguished political career. You can't learn too soon that the most useful thing about a principle is that it can always be sacrificed to expediency. ARNOLD: But supposing it doesn't come off? Women are incalculable. C.-C.: Nonsense! Men are romantic. A woman will always sacrifice herself if you give her the opportunity. It is her favourite form of self-indulgence. ARNOLD: I never know whether you're a humorist or a cynic, father. C.-C.: I'm neither, my dear boy; I'm merely a very truthful man. But people are so unused to the truth that they're apt to mistake it for a joke or a sneer.
I am an absurd idealist. But I believe that all that must come true. For, unless it comes true, the world will be laid desolate. And I believe that it can come true. I believe that, by the grace of God, men will awake presently and be men again, and colour and laughter and splendid living will return to a grey civilisation. But that will only come true because a few men will believe in it, and fight for it, and fight in its name against everything that sneers and snarls at that ideal.