Top Literary Quotes

Browse top 560 famous quotes and sayings about Literary by most favorite authors.

Favorite Literary Quotes

1. "Journey through the Power of the Rainbow represents a condensed compendium of literary efforts from a life dedicated to transforming the themes of injustice, grief, and despair that we all encounter during some unavoidable point of our existence into a sustainable life-affirming poetics of passionate creativity, empowered spiritual vision, and inspired commitment."
Author: Aberjhani
2. "Now that I think about it, maybe my own literary exploration of the dark secrets held by families could be traced back to V.C. Andrews."
Author: Alafair Burke
3. "In literature one has the best company in the world at complete command; one also has the worst. One has a social conscience which dissuades one from harbouring unprofitable company in life, and I find that my two canons are a great aid and support for an analogous literary conscience which speaks up against consorting with unprofitable company in literature."
Author: Albert Jay Nock
4. "It was terrifying, liberating, and risky. But one day I woke up and decided to try it." (On writing her first novel, "Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society")"
Author: Amy Hill Hearth
5. "I'm very keenly aware that there aren't very many women writing literary fiction in Ireland and so that gives me a sense that what I say matters, in some small way."
Author: Anne Enright
6. "Certainly the most diverse, if minor, pastime of literary life is the game of Find the Author."
Author: Arthur Miller
7. "Monsters' can help us by giving a tangible form to our secret fears. It is less widely appreciated today that ‘wonders' such as the unicorn legitimize our hopes. But all imaginary animals, to some degree all animals, are ultimately both monsters and wonders, which assist us by deflecting and absorbing our uncertainties . It is hard to tell ‘imaginary animals' from symbolic, exemplary, heraldic, stylized, poetic, literary, or stereotypical ones. What is reality? Until we answer that question with confidence, a sharp differentiation between real animals and imaginary ones will remain elusive. There is some yeti in every ape, and a bit of Pegasus in every horse. Men and women are not only part angel and part demon, as the old cliché goes; they are also part centaur, part werewolf, part mandrake, and part sphinx."
Author: Boria Sax
8. "People used to expect literary novels to deepen the experience of living; now they are happy with any sustained display of writerly cleverness."
Author: Brian Reynolds Myers
9. "The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented. Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough. I regret that the brutes connot write books. Very gladly would I learn what face things present to a mouse or a bee; more gladly still would I perceive the olfactory world charged with all the information and emotion it carries for a dog. Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality... in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad of eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do."
Author: C.S. Lewis
10. "I gather they are even vaguely pacifist, not on moral grounds but from an ingrained habit of belittling anything that concerns the great mass of their fellow men and from a dash of purely fashionable and literary communism."
Author: C.S. Lewis
11. "In employing the long sentence the inexperienced writer should not strain after the heavy, ponderous type. Johnson and Carlyle used such a type, but remember, an ordinary mortal cannot wield the sledge hammer of a giant. Johnson and Carlyle were intellectual giants and few can hope to stand on the same literary pedestal."
Author: Carlyle
12. "Code is not like other how-computers-work books. It doesn't have big color illustrations of disk drives with arrows showing how the data sweeps into the computer. Code has no drawings of trains carrying a cargo of zeros and ones. Metaphors and similes are wonderful literary devices but they do nothing but obscure the beauty of technology."
Author: Charles Petzold
13. "[T]he new weird represents a productive experiment in fantasy fiction. The New Wave of the 1960s and 1970s arguably embodied science fiction's claim to literary 'seriousness.' This desire for seriousness is not snobbery, as sometimes suggested by folks who overemphasize the entertainment function of speculative fiction; it's about recognition of the vast possibilities within the field."
Author: Darja Malcolm Clarke
14. "Anybody who comes to the cinema is bringing they're whole sexual history, their literary history, their movie literacy, their culture, their language, their religion, whatever they've got. I can't possibly manipulate all of that, nor do I want to."
Author: David Cronenberg
15. "She was widely read enough to appreciate my literary wit but not so widely read that she knew my sources. I like that in a woman."
Author: David Mitchell
16. "Your problem, dear chap, as I have had occassion to remind you, is that you see but you do not observe; you hear but you do not listen. For a literary man, Watson - and note that I do not comment on the merit of your latest account of my little problems - for a man with the pretenses of being a writer, you are singularly unobservant. Honestly, sometimes I am close to despair."
Author: Edward B. Hanna
17. "I might have simply settled down into an armchair literary life. I really don't know exactly why I didn't."
Author: Edward Carpenter
18. "Nothing like an arcane literary debate with your tyrannical master while you pass the time leading to your execution."
Author: Elizabeth Wein
19. "The egalitarian mania of demagogues is even more dangerous than the brutality of men in gallooned coats. For the anarch, this remains theoretical, because he avoids both sides. Anyone who has been oppressed can get back on his feet if the oppression has not cost him his life. A man who has been equalized is physically and morally ruined. Anyone who is different is not equal; that is one of the reasons why the Jews are so often targeted. Equalization goes downward, like shaving, hedge trimming, or the pecking order of poultry. At times, the world spirit seems to change into monstrous Procrustes – a man has read Rousseau and starts practicing equality by chopping off heads or, as Mimie le Bon called it, 'making the apricots roll.' The guillotinings in Cambrai were an entertainment before dinner. Pygmies shortened the legs of tall Africans in order to cut them down to size; white Negroes flatten the literary languages."
Author: Ernst Jünger
20. "Hell hath no fury like a hustler with a literary agent."
Author: Frank Sinatra
21. "What is the sign of every literary decadence? That life no longer dwells in the whole. The word becomes sovereign and leaps out of the sentence, the sentence reaches out and obscures the meaning of the page, the page gains life at the expense of the whole—the whole is no longer a whole."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
22. "[A] finished tale may give a man immortality in the light and literary sense; but an unfinished tale suggests another immortality, more essential and more strange."
Author: G.K. Chesterton
23. "Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books."
Author: Gaston Bachelard
24. "Here the phenomenologist has nothing in common with the literary critic who, as has frequently been noted, judges a work that he could not create and, if we are to believe certain facile condemnations, would not want to create. A literary critic is a reader who is necessarily severe. By turning inside out like a glove an overworked complex that has become debased to the point of being part of the vocabulary of statesmen, we might say that the literary critic and the professor of rhetoric, who know-all and judge-all, readily go in for a simplex of superiority. As for me, being an addict of felicitous reading, I only read and re-read what I like, with a bit of reader's pride mixed in with much enthusiasm."
Author: Gaston Bachelard
25. "I used to teach at Yale, which was at one time a center of postmodernist literary theory. Derrida was there. Paul de Man was there."
Author: Harry Frankfurt
26. "Hard and steady and engrossing labor with the hands, especially out of doors, is invaluable to the literary man and serves him directly.Nov. 20, 1851"
Author: Henry David Thoreau
27. "The hoary joke in the literary world, based on 'Dreams From My Father,' was that if things had worked out differently for Barack Obama, he could have made it as a writer."
Author: James Fallows
28. "Truly competent Literary Detectives are as rare as truthful men, Mr. Tweed -- you can see her potential as clearly as I can. Frightened of someone stealing your thunder, perhaps?"
Author: Jasper Fforde
29. "The chief beauty of this book lies not so much in its literary style, or in the extent and usefulness of the information it conveys, as in its simple truthfulness."
Author: Jerome K. Jerome
30. "Finn lowers his voice to a confidential whisper. ‘Arabella wasmy first literary infatuation. I had a mad crush on her."
Author: Jessica Spotswood
31. "For if anything is capable of making a poet of a literary man, it is my hometown love of the human, the living and ordinary."
Author: Joseph Campbell
32. "Ah". Tzimisces smiled. "Let me guess. Flowery periphrases, back-to-back literary allusions and quotations from thousand-year-old authors. A marked reluctance to use one word when twelve can be jammed in if you sit on the lid."
Author: K.J. Parker
33. "Horror itself is a bit of a bullied genre, the antagonist being literary snobbery and public misconception. And I think good horror tackles our darkest fears, whatever they may be. It takes us into the minds of the victims, explores the threats, disseminates fear, studies how it changes us. It pulls back the curtain on the ugly underbelly of society, tears away the masks the monsters wear out in the world, shows us the potential truth of the human condition. Horror is truth, unflinching and honest. Not everybody wants to see that, but good horror ensures that it's there to be seen."
Author: Kealan Patrick Burke
34. "Literary fiction is kept alive by women. Women read more fiction, period."
Author: Khaled Hosseini
35. "At last, in 1611, was made, under the auspices of King James, the famous King James version; and this is the great literary monument of the English language."
Author: Lafcadio Hearn
36. "To literary critics a book is assumed to be guilty until it proves itself innocent."
Author: Nelson Algren
37. "Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear."
Author: Patricia Fuller
38. "All language begins with speech, and the speech of common men at that, but when it develops to the point of becoming a literary medium it only looks like speech."
Author: Raymond Chandler
39. "You're smiling. But you must know yourself, since you are a literary person, that the work of fiction is always a form of recovery of the past, even if that past has to be falsified to seem real. The act of recalling the past in what we write doesn't mean knowing the way it really was, but rather becoming the master of memories as they burn in the perilous instant of creation."
Author: Raymond Federman
40. "Nothing could go wrong because nothing had...I meant "nothing would." No - Then I quit trying to phrase it, realizing that if time travel ever became widespread, English grammar was going to have to add a whole new set of tenses to describe reflexive situations - conjugations that would make the French literary tenses and the Latin historical tenses look simple."
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
41. "It was less a literary thing than a linguistic, philosophical preoccupation... discovering how far you can go with language to create immediate, elementary experience."
Author: Robert Morgan
42. "'Pride and Prejudice' - perhaps more than any other Jane Austen book - is engrained in our literary consciousness."
Author: Seth Grahame Smith
43. "Oh, maybe a little treasure for the more rabid Incunks, the collectors and the academics who maintained their positions in large part by examining the literary equivalent of navel-lint in each other's abstruse journals; ambitious, overeducated goofs who had lost touch with what books and reading were actually about and could be content to go on spinning straw into footnoted fool's gold for decades on end."
Author: Stephen King
44. "This Land is mostly white space on the map...which is how it should be; I'll leave more detailed map making to those graduate students and English teachers who feel that every goose which lays gold must be dissected so that all of its quite ordinary guts can be labelled; to those figurative engineers of the imagination who cannot feel comfortable with the comfortably overgrown (and possible dangerous) literary wilderness until they have built a freeway composed of Cliff's Notes through it - and listen to me, you people: every English teacher who ever did a Monarch or Cliff's Notes ought to be dragged out to his or her quad, drawn and quartered, then cut up into tiny pieces, said pieces to be dried and shrunk in the sun and then sold in the college bookstore as bookmarks."
Author: Stephen King
45. "By now, we're all familiar with the literary post-apocalyptic world's metaphors. The zombies are our anxieties. The vampires are our greed. Our fairies are hope. Our werewolves are … what again? Something ["Francesca Lia Block and her post-apocalyptic year, http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketco..."]."
Author: Taffy Brodesser Akner
46. "When I put together a graphic novel, I don't think about literary prose. I think about storytelling."
Author: Ted Rall
47. "I was writing very early, like I was involved in our high school literary magazine, which was called 'Pariah.' The football team was the Bears, and the literary magazine was 'Pariah.' It was great. It was definitely a real sub-culture. But I wrote stories for them."
Author: Tom Perrotta
48. "I get invited to many more literary festivals than I used to because I'm associated with 'Slumdog Millionaire,' the brand. Many more doors have opened up for me as a result of the global success of the film, although I believe that I'm the same person that existed before it."
Author: Vikas Swarup
49. "And yet I am happy. Yes, happy. I swear. I swear that I am happy...What does it matter that I am a bit cheap, a bit foul, and that no one appreciates all the remarkable things about me—my fantasy, my erudition, my literary gift…I am happy that I can gaze at myself, for any man is absorbing—yes, really absorbing! ... I am happy—yes, happy!"
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
50. "At that shameful stage in the development of our criticism, literary abuse would overstep all limits of decorum; literature itself was a totally extraneous matter in critical articles: they were pure invective, a vulgar battle of vulgar jokes, double-entendres, the most vicious calumnies and offensive constructions. It goes without saying, that in this inglorious battle, the only winners were those who had nothing to lose as far as their good name was concerned. My friends and I were totally deluded. We imagined ourselves engaged in the subtle philosophical disputes of the portico or the academy, or at least the drawing room. In actual fact we were slumming it."
Author: Vladimir Odoevsky

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You really do hate me, don't you? I mean, destroying someone's ice-cream cone? That's vicious."Her cheeks reddened. "I didn't see you there. Honestly." She wiped at his shirt more frantically, as if she could prevent it from staining if she rubbed hard enough."Oh, now I see your plan, and it's far more devious than I thought." Daniel smirked. "You were looking for an excuse to grope me."
Author: Amanda Hocking

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