Top Banality Quotes

Browse top 39 famous quotes and sayings about Banality by most favorite authors.

Favorite Banality Quotes

1. "Dawn was written well before 9/11. People speak a lot today about the banality of evil, but not all evil is banal. Some of it is carefully structured and well-thought-out. That's where the real danger lies."
Author: Alan Dean Foster
2. "A good poem is a tautology. It expands one word by adding a number which clarify it, thus making a new word which has never before been spoken. The seedword is always so ordinary that hardly anyone perceives it. Classical odes grow from and or because, romantic lyrics from but and if. Immature verses expand a personal pronoun ad nauseam, the greatest works bring glory to a common verb. Good poems, therefore, are always close to banality, over which, however, they tower like precipices."
Author: Alasdair Gray
3. "In another Nabokov novel, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Sebastian's brother discovers two seemingly incongruous pictures in his dead brother's library: a pretty, curly-haired child playing with a dog and a Chinese man in the act of being beheaded. The two pictures remind us of the close relation between banality and brutality."
Author: Azar Nafisi
4. "It is rare to encounter an optimism that refreshes: that does not beg the question, overlay an existential crisis with guilt, and make a banality of hope."
Author: Bauvard
5. "There is no elegy for those who have been dispossessed of their anger--what remains is a future carved out of banality instead of blood."
Author: Brando Skyhorse
6. "American capitalism is derided for its superficial banality, yet it has unleashed profound, convulsive social change. Condemned as mindless materialism, it has burst loose a flood tide of spiritual yearning. The civil rights movement and the sexual revolution, environmentalism and feminism, the fitness and health-care boom and the opening of the gay closet, the withering of censorship and the rise of a "creative class" of "knowledge workers" – all are the progeny of widespread prosperity."
Author: Brink Lindsey
7. "My whole being was seeking for something still unknown which might confer meaning upon the banality of life."
Author: C.G. Jung
8. "Our world will not die as the result of the bomb, as the papers say, it will die of laughter, of banality, or making a joke of everything, and a lousy joke at that."
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
9. "Today Americans are overcome not by the sense of endless possibility but by the banality of the social order they have erected against it."
Author: Christopher Lasch
10. "In the moral realm, there is very little consensus left in Western countries over the proper basis of moral behavior. And because of the power of the media, for millions of men and women the only venue where moral questions are discussed and weighed is the talk show, where more often than not the primary aim is to entertain, even shock, not to think. When Geraldo and Oprah become the arbiters of public morality, when the opinion of the latest media personality is sought on everything from abortion to transvestites, when banality is mistaken for profundity because [it's] uttered by a movie star or a basketball player, it is not surprising that there is less thought than hype. Oprah shapes more of the nation's grasp of right and wrong than most of the pulpits in the land. Personal and social ethics have been removed from the realms of truth and structures of thoughts; they have not only been relativized, but they have been democratized and trivialized."
Author: D.A. Carson
11. "After my daughter was born, I'd considered buying a shotgun to ward off potential suitors fourteen or so years up the road. Now, as I listened to these girls babble and imagined Gabby one day talking with the same banality and ignorance of the English language, I thought of buying the same shotgun to blow my own fucking head off."
Author: Dennis Lehane
12. "In so far as I listen with interest to a record, it's usually to figure out how it was arrived at. The musical end product is where interest starts to flag. It's a bit like jigsaw puzzles. Emptied out of the box, there's a heap of pieces, all shapes, sizes and colours, in themselves attractive and could add up to anything--intriguing. Figuring out how to put them together can be interesting, but what you finish up with as often as not is a picture of unsurpassed banality. Music's like that."From "Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation" by Ben Watson, Verso, London, 2004, p. 440."
Author: Derek Bailey
13. "Creativity is contagious. And so is banality. Criticism is an art in itself. Don't let the dullness around destroy the creativity within. T.S. Eliot said, "honest criticism and sensitive appreciation is directed not upon the poet but upon the poetry." Good to remember…"
Author: Elif Shafak
14. "I was filled with angst in college, that I struggled with the question of my future, the meaning of my life - spoiled sheltered rich girl collides with great books and is devastated by her own banality."
Author: Elizabeth Kostova
15. "If truth were not boring, science would have done away with God long ago. But God as well as the saints is a means to escape the dull banality of truth."
Author: Emil Cioran
16. "A story is a really weird art object that should contain life but not be enslaved by the banality."
Author: George Saunders
17. "Stars — spectacular representations of living human beings — project this general banality into images of permitted roles. As specialists of apparent life, stars serve as superficial objects that people can identify with in order to compensate for the fragmented productive specializations that they actually live. The function of these celebrities is to act out various lifestyles or sociopolitical viewpoints in a full, totally free manner. They embody the inaccessible results of social labor by dramatizing the by-products of that labor which are magically projected above it as its ultimate goals: power and vacations — the decisionmaking and consumption that are at the beginning and the end of a process that is never questioned. On one hand, a governmental power may personalize itself as a pseudostar; on the other, a star of consumption may campaign for recognition as a pseudopower over life. But the activities of these stars are not really free, and they offer no real choices."
Author: Guy Debord
18. "These memories sustained him, but not so easily. Too often they reminded him of where he was when he last summoned them. They lay on the far side of a great divide in time, as significant as B.C. and A.D. Before prison, before the war, before the sight of a corpse became a banality."
Author: Ian McEwan
19. "Banality is like boredom: bored people are boring people, people who think that things are banal are themselves banal.Interesting people can find something interesting in all things."
Author: Idries Shah
20. "Who wants to do good in this world must deny oneself. A man does not live on this Earth to be happy or to be honest only - he has to do great things for humanity, achieve the generosity of the spirit and rise above the banality where most of the people are drowning and wasting their days."
Author: Irving Stone
21. "That the native does not like the tourist is not hard to explain. For every native of every place is a potential tourist, and every tourist is a native of somewhere. Every native everywhere lives a life of overwhelming and crushing banality and boredom and desperation and depression, and every deed, good and bad, is an attempt to forget this. Every native would like to find a way out, every native would like a rest, every native would like a tour. But some natives—most natives in the world—cannot go anywhere. They are too poor. They are too poor to go anywhere. They are too poor to escape the reality of their lives; and they are too poor to live properly in the place they live, which is the very place you, the tourist, want to go—so when the natives see you, the tourist, they envy you, they envy your ability to leave your own banality and boredom, they envy your ability to turn their own banality and boredom into a source of pleasure for yourself."
Author: Jamaica Kincaid
22. "It is the sheer ugliness and banality of everyday life which turns my blood to ice and makes me cringe in terror."
Author: Jean Lorrain
23. "Billy was fascinated by the television. At its most basic level, it occupied his time and shut out the demons of isolation. This was another irony because, for so long, he had shunned the tube for a similar purpose—to prevent it from bombarding his brain with demons of banality. However, each time he turned the machine on, he began to discover a world of assorted delights, as well as gain insight into the insidious manner in which this medium was shaping the mass psyche. If nothing else, he learned there was nothing innocuous about it."
Author: Jim Carroll
24. "He was filled with loss and an off-brand of nostalgia for events that were supposed to become part of his past but now wouldn't at all. In the mind's special processes, a ten-mile run takes far longer than the minutes reported by a grandfather clock. Such time, in fact, hardly exists in the real world; it is all out on the train somewhere, and you only go back to it when you are out there. He and Mize had been through two solid years of such regular time-warp escapes together. There was something different about that, something beyond friendship; they had a way of transferring pain back and forth, without the banality of words."
Author: John L. Parker Jr.
25. "Ah, guilt and sorrow had dogged Juan's footsteps too, for he was not a Catholic who could rise refreshed from the cold bath of confession. Yet the banality stood: that the past was irrevocably past. And conscience had been given man to regret it only in so far as that might change the future. For man, every man, Juan seemed to be telling him, even as Mexico, must ceaselessly struggle upward. What was life but a warfare and a stranger's sojourn?"
Author: Malcolm Lowry
26. "Banality is sometimes striking."
Author: Marguerite Duras
27. "Sex is not about reproduc-tion, gender is not about males and females, courtship is not aboutpersuasion, fashion is not about beauty, and love is not about affec-tion. Below the surface of every banality and cliche there lies irony,cynicism, and profundity."
Author: Matt Ridley
28. "The truth was that I'd been spending years running away from myself. I hid myself in drama, silliness, stupidity, banality. So afraid to grow up. So afraid to involve myself in relationships where I might be expected to give the same love I got - instead of sixth-grade shenanigans. I bored myself with all the when I grow up nonsense, but I was worried it would never happen even as I longed for it."
Author: Megan Crane
29. "At a time when history made its way slowly, the few events were easily remembered and woven into a backdrop, known to everyone, before which private life unfolded the gripping show of its adventures. Nowadays, time moves forward at a rapid pace. Forgotten overnight, a historic event glistens the next day like the morning dew and thus is no longer the backdrop to a narrator's tale but rather an amazing adventure enacted against the background of the over-familiar banality of private life."
Author: Milan Kundera
30. "We are asked to orient our "strategies" and "tactics" around poverty and material immiseration at a time when revolutionary sentiment is being generated by the banality of life under conditions of material abundance."
Author: Murray Bookchin
31. "The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality. The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm."
Author: Teju Cole
32. "From Sachs to Kristof to Invisible Children to TED, the fastest growth industry in the US is the White Savior Industrial Complex. The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening. The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality. The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm. This world exists simply to satisfy the needs - including, importantly, the sentimental needs - of white people and Oprah."
Author: Teju Cole
33. "She always imagined that evil played out on a large canvas- wars, concentration camps, gas chambers, the partitioning of nations. Now she realized that evil had a domestic side, and its very banality protected it from exposure."
Author: Thrity Umrigar
34. "Life happened. In all its banality, brutality, cruelty, unfairness. But also in its beauty, pleasures and delights. Life happened."
Author: Thrity Umrigar
35. "The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pendants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain."
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
36. "My life is short. I can't listen to banality."
Author: V. S. Naipaul
37. "The Jewish historian Hannah Arendt, in her book about the trial of Nazi administrator Adolf Eichmann, observes that in many cases the Nazi camps were run by ordinary bureaucrats: the evil was astonishing in its banality."
Author: Victoria Finlay
38. "My advice to a budding literary critic would be as follows. Learn to distinguish banality. Remember that mediocrity thrives on "ideas." Beware of the modish message. Ask yourself if the symbol you have detected is not your ownfootprint. Ignore allegories. By all means place the "how" above the "what" but do not let it be confused with the "so what." Rely on the sudden erection of your small dorsal hairs. Do not drag in Freud at this point. All the rest depends on personal talent."
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
39. "I was growing stale in London. I was tired of doing much the same thing everyday. My friends pursued their course with uneventfulness; they had no longer any surprises for me, and when I met them I knew pretty well what they would say; even their love-affairs had a tedious banality. We were like tram-cars running on their lines from terminus to terminus, and it was possible to calculate within small limits the number of passengers they would carry. Life was ordered too pleasantly. I was seized with panic. I gave up my small apartment, sold my few belongings, and resolved to start afresh."
Author: W. Somerset Maugham

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You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles."
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle

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