Top Brevity Quotes

Browse top 54 famous quotes and sayings about Brevity by most favorite authors.

Favorite Brevity Quotes

1. "The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth. However elegant and memorable, brevity can never, in the nature of things, do justice to all the facts of a complex situations. On such a theme one can be brief only by omission and simplification. Omission and simplification help us to understand - but help is, in many cases, to understand the wrong thing; for our comprehension may be only of the abbreviator's neatly formulated notions, not of the vast, ramifying reality from which these notions have been so arbitrarily abstracted."
Author: Aldous Huxley
2. "Short stories consume you faster. They're connected to brevity. With the short story, you are up against mortality. I know how tough they are as a form, but they're also a total joy."
Author: Ali Smith
3. "It's not my accent, but my brevity makes me stylish."
Author: Amit Kalantri
4. "[Six principles that make for a good story:] 1. Absence of lengthy verbiage of a political-social-economic nature; 2. total objectivity; 3. truthful descriptions of persons and objects; 4. extreme brevity; 5. audacity and originality: flee the stereotype; 6. compassion."
Author: Anton Chekhov
5. "How very paltry and limited the normal human intellect is, and how little lucidity there is in the human consciousness, may be judged from the fact that, despite the ephemeral brevity of human life, the uncertainty of our existence and the countless enigmas which press upon us from all sides, everyone does not continually and ceaselessly philosophize, but that only the rarest of exceptions do."
Author: Arthur Schopenhauer
6. "I confess to wincing every so often at a poorly chosen word, a mangled sentence, an expression of emotion that seems indulgent or overly practiced. I have the urge to cut the book by fifty pages or so, possessed as I am with a keener appreciation for brevity."
Author: Barack Obama
7. "This is going to take a while. I'm a fantasy author. We have trouble with the concept of brevity."
Author: Brandon Sanderson
8. "Jesus! it is the name which moves the harps of heaven to melody. Jesus! the life of all our joys. If there be one name more charming, more precious than another, it is this name. It is woven into the very warp and woof of our psalmody. Many of our hymns begin with it, and scarcely any, that are good for anything, end without it. It is the sum total of all delights. It is the music with which the bells of heaven ring; a song in a word; an ocean for comprehension, although a drop for brevity; a matchless oratorio in two syllables; a gathering up of the hallelujahs of eternity in five letters."
Author: Charles H. Spurgeon
9. "It is my way — it always was my way, by instinct — ever to meet the brief with brevity, the direct with plainness."
Author: Charlotte Brontë
10. "When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the fact that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom; the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier ... for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death."
Author: Clarence Darrow
11. "To write good poems is the secret of brevity."
Author: Dejan Stojanovic
12. "Brevity is the soul of lingerie."
Author: Dorothy Parker
13. "A skillful literary artist has constructed a tale. If wise, he has not fashioned his thoughts to accommodate his incidents; but having conceived, with deliberate care, a certain unique or single effect to be wrought out, he then invents as may best aid him in establishing this preconceived effect. If his very initial sentence tend not to the outbringing of this effect, then he has failed in his first step. In the whole composition there should be no words written, of which the tendency, direct or indirect, is not to the one pre-established design. And by such means, with such care and skill, a picture is at length painted which leaves in the mind of him who contemplates it with a kindred art, a sense of the fullest satisfaction. The idea of the tale has been presented unblemished because undisturbed: and this is an end unattainable by the novel. Undue brevity is just as exceptionable here as in the poem; but undue length is yet more to be avoided."
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
14. "Aim for brevity while avoiding jargon."
Author: Edsger Dijkstra
15. "A writer's style should be direct and personal, his imagery rich and earthy, and his words simple and vigorous. The greatest writers have the gift of brilliant brevity, are hard workers, diligent scholars and competent stylists."
Author: Ernest Hemingway
16. "Against the censurers of brevity. - Something said briefly can be the fruit of much long thought: but the reader who is a novice in this field, and has as yet reflected on it not at all, sees in everything said briefly something embryonic, not without censuring the author for having served him up such immature and unripened fare."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
17. "Brevity and conciseness are the parents of correction."
Author: Hosea Ballou
18. "The theatre is certainly a place for learning about the brevity of human glory: oh all those wonderful glittering absolutely vanished pantomimes."
Author: Iris Murdoch
19. "If human lives be,for their very brevity, sweet,then beast lives are sweeter still..."
Author: Isobelle Carmody
20. "Music. A flower in a vase on the tray. A January rose, it wouldn't last long, all big and full-blown like that. He loved things like this, fragile, that wouldn't last. She touched its silver-mauve petals, a hundred layers like an old-fashioned petticoat. The Japanese would say that's their elegance, the brevity of their beauty."
Author: Janet Fitch
21. "If we limit ourselves to painting as an example, both for brevity's sake and because in that field my ignorance is slightly less complete than it is in others, and if (wrongly, as I think) we agree to start an epoch with Giotto's Arena frescoes and then follow the line (nothing short of damnable though such "linear" arguments are) Giotto—Masaccio— Vinci—Michelangelo—Greco, no amount of emphasis on mystical ardors in the case of Greco can obliterate my point for anyone who has eyes that see."
Author: Joseph A. Schumpeter
22. "Watching Limelight with my mother really brought home to me the brevity of life. I realized in a little while that I would die and leave everything behind. Unlike vain people, I had the ability to think this right through. I had no difficulty in picturing full theatres and cinemas long after myself was gone. Not everybody can do that. Many are so intoxicated with sensual impressions that they're not able to grasp that there is a world out there. And therefore they're not able to comprehend the opposite either - they don't understand that one day the world will end. We, however, are only a few missing heartbeats away from being divorced from humanity forever."
Author: Jostein Gaarder
23. "Alluding to the extent of Florida, a mere peninsula confined between two seas, they pretended that it could never sustain the shock of the discharge, and that it would "bust up" at the very first shot."Very well, let it bust up!" replied the Floridans, with a brevity of the days of ancient Sparta."
Author: Jules Verne
24. "Given the brevity of our time here, it does seem likely that our species, too, must have at best a blinkered understanding of the shape of things, the import of certain events and what distinguishes 'good' from 'bad' luck."
Author: Karen Russell
25. "On the Brevity of Our TiesTies in this world last only for a time. We are husband and wife, parent and child, for a short period only. Once this reality sinks in, we cannot help treasuring each moment of our brief association."
Author: Kentetsu Takamori
26. "Life in all its brevity deserved to be lived, for the right reasons. Belonging Places."
Author: M.R. Weston
27. "Meditate upon what you ought to be in body and soul when death overtakes you; meditate on the brevity of life, and the measureless gulf of eternity behind it and before, and upon the frailty of everything material."
Author: Marcus Aurelius
28. "It was almost funny. Life seemed downright accidental in its brevity, and death a punch line to a lousy joke."
Author: Maureen Johnson
29. "Let my life as Poet begin. I want the life of the Poet. I have labored for over twelve years, one thousand pages of prose. Now, I want the easiness of poetry. The brevity of the poem."
Author: Maxine Hong Kingston
30. "The story of a life can be as long or as short as the teller wishes. Whether the life is tragic or enlightened, the classic gravestone inscription marking simply the dates of birth and death has, in its brevity, much to recommend it."
Author: Michel Houellebecq
31. "The brevity of his life makes the sky a dark lid against which he will forever crack his head, to fall back onto earth, where everything alive eats and can be eaten."
Author: Milan Kundera
32. "I take six or seven years to write really small books. There is a kind of aesthetic of leanness, of brevity."
Author: Mohsin Hamid
33. "She entered the hall at the same time he did from the opposite side. With a cry that told her exactly how worried she'd been about him, she raced into his arms.She could hear the reverberation of his laugh in his chest as he lifted her up and spun her in his arms. Still in his embrace, he set her feet back on the ground and pressed a quick kiss on her lips, the brevity of which she suspected was due to their audience. His voice was low and husky. "Miss me?"-Kenneth Sutherland & Mary of Mar"
Author: Monica McCarty
34. "Partially satisfied by grazing on the first few pages of several books, and as a consequence, there are half-chewed novels lying all over the place. At least, I'm presuming they're lying all over the place; I seem to have temporarily lost most of them. When the World Cup is over, and we clear away the piles of betting slips and wall charts, some of them will, presumably, reappear. I wrote in this column recently about Muriel Spark's novels, their genius and their attractive brevity, but there is an obvious disadvantage to her concision: her books tend to get buried under things. I can put my hands on Dennis Lehane's historical novel The Given Day whenever I want, simply because it is seven hundred pages long."
Author: Nick Hornby
35. "One false word, one extra word, and somebody's thinking about how they have to buy paper towels at the store. Brevity is very important. If you're going to be longwinded, it should be for a purpose. Not just because you like your words."
Author: Patricia Marx
36. "Realize that illness and other temporal setbacks often come to us from the hand of God our Lord, and are sent to help us know ourselves better, to free ourselves of the love of created things, and to reflect on the brevity of this life and, thus, to prepare ourselves for the life which is without end."
Author: Saint Ignatius
37. "What is an Epigram? A dwarfish whole,Its body brevity, and wit its soul."
Author: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
38. "The dusty tombs of long-dead exorcist priests lay in the alcoves below, surmounted by stone effigies, the features eroded by the passing of time and the reverent caresses of their grateful parishioners, a reminder, she knew all too well, of the brevity of life."
Author: Sarah Ash
39. "Like all sweet dreams, it will be brief, but brevity makes sweetness, doesn't it?"
Author: Stephen King
40. "That a thing made by hand, the work and thought of a single craftsman, can endure much longer than its maker, through centuries in fact, can survive natural catastrophe, neglect, and even mistreatment, has always filled me with wonder. Sometimes in museums, looking at a humble piece of pottery from ancient Persia or Pompeii, or a finely wrought page from a medieval illuminated manuscript toiled over by a nameless monk, or a primitive tool with a carved handle, I am moved to tears. The unknown life of the maker is evanescent in its brevity, but the work of his or her hands and heart remains."
Author: Susan Vreeland
41. "The brevity of mini (psycho)therapies is another efficient forestaller of healing. The neocortex rapidly master didactic information, but the limbic brain takes mountains of repetition. No one expects to play the flute in six lessons or to become fluent in Italian in ten. (189)"
Author: Thomas Lewis
42. "There came to him an image of man's whole life upon the earth. It seemed to him that all man's life was like a tiny spurt of flame that blazed out briefly in an illimitable and terrifying darkness, and that all man's grandeur, tragic dignity, his heroic glory, came from the brevity and smallness of this flame. He knew his life was little and would be extinguished, and that only darkness was immense and everlasting. And he knew that he would die with defiance on his lips, and that the shout of his denial would ring with the last pulsing of his heart into the maw of all-engulfing night."
Author: Thomas Wolfe
43. "Francis began the actual illumination of the lambskin. The intricacies of scrollwork and the excruciating delicacy of the gold-inlay work would, because of the brevity of his spare-project time, make it a labor of many years; but in a dark sea of centuries wherein nothing seemed to flow, a lifetime was only brief eddy, even for the man who lived it. There was a tedium of repeated days and repeated seasons; then there were aches and pains, finally Extreme Unction, and a moment of blackness at the end-or at the beginning, rather. For then the small shivering soul who had endured the tedium, endured it badly or well, would find itself in a place of light, find itself absorbed in the burning gaze of infinitely compassionate eyes as it stood before the Just One. And then the King would say: "Come," or the King would say: "Go," and only for that moment had the tedium of years existed. It would be hard to believe differently during such an age as Francis knew."
Author: Walter M. Miller Jr.
44. "With this sense of the splendour of our experience and of its awful brevity, gathering all we are into one desperate effort to see and touch, we shall hardly have time to make theories about the things we see and touch."
Author: Walter Pater
45. "If the hand be held between the discharge-tube and the screen, the darker shadow of the bones is seen within the slightly dark shadow-image of the hand itself... For brevity's sake I shall use the expression 'rays'; and to distinguish them from others of this name I shall call them 'X-rays'."
Author: Wilhelm Röntgen
46. "It is a way now, approximately, of being at home. The forum has become one of the most consistent places of her life, like a familiar cafe that exists someone outside geography and beyond time zones. There are perhaps twenty regular posters on F:F:F:, and some muchlarger and uncounted number of lurkers. And right now there are three people in Chat. But there's no way of knowing exactly who until you are in there, and the chat room she finds not so comforting. It's strange even with friends, like sitting in a pitch-dark cellar conversing with people at a distance of about fifteen feet. the hectic speed, and the brevity of the lines in the thread, plus the feeling that everyone is talking at once, at counmter-purposes, deter her."
Author: William Gibson
47. "The word itself has another color. It's not a word with any resonance, although the e was once pronounced. There is only the bump now between b and l, the relief at the end, the whew. It hasn't the sly turn which crimson takes halfway through, yellow's deceptive jelly, or the rolled-down sound in brown. It hasn't violet's rapid sexual shudder or like a rough road the irregularity of ultramarine, the low puddle in mauve like a pancake covered in cream, the disapproving purse to pink, the assertive brevity of red, the whine of green."
Author: William H. Gass
48. "My liege, and madam, to expostulateWhat majesty should be, what duty is, Why day is day, night night, and time is time,Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,I will be brief."
Author: William Shakespeare
49. "When a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus, brevity is a by-product of vigor."
Author: William Strunk Jr.
50. "The old, slow, creaking descriptions are a thing of the past; today the rule is brevity - but every word must be supercharged, high-voltage."
Author: Yevgeny Zamyatin

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Today's Quote

Like Petrach's, my books know infinitely more than I do, and I'm grateful that they even tolerate my presence. At times I feel that I abuse the privilege."
Author: Alberto Manguel

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