Top Provocation Quotes

Browse top 44 famous quotes and sayings about Provocation by most favorite authors.

Favorite Provocation Quotes

1. "Otto would pull the trigger at the slightest provocation and you, Michael, would agonize aver its morality even if your life were threatened. I'm the tiebreaker."
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
2. "Every great artist has the sense of provocation."
Author: Arthur Cravan
3. "… he remained restrained and strangely composed. It was a composure born of extreme provocation. It stemmed from a lucidity that lies beyond rage."
Author: Arundhati Roy
4. "On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light."
Author: C.S. Lewis
5. "You are surprisingly immature. I can't ever understand how you resort to giggling at the slightest provocation. You, I repeat, are immature."
Author: Caris O'Malley
6. "You might imagine that a person would resort to self-mutilation only under extremes of duress, but once I'd crossed that line the first time, taken that fateful step off the precipice, then almost any reason was a good enough reason, almost any provocation was provocation enough. Cutting was my all-purpose solution."
Author: Caroline Kettlewell
7. "It little mattered whether my curiosity irritated him: I knew the pleasure of vexing and soothing him by turns; it was one I chiefly delighted in, and a sure instinct always prevented me from going too far: beyond the verge or provocation I never ventured; on the extreme brink I liked well to try my skill. Retaining every minute form of respect, every propriety of my station, I could still meet him in argument without fear of uneasy restraint: this suited both him and me."
Author: Charlotte Brontë
8. "So this is the way we live now: conditioned by the awareness that no North Korean provocation, however egregious, can be confronted, lest it furnish the occasion or pretext for something truly barbarous and insane."
Author: Christopher Hitchens
9. "But that's why you built the towers, isn't it? Weren't the towers built as fantasies of wealth and power that would one day become fantasies of destruction? You build a thing like that so you can see it come down. The provocation is clear. What other reason would there be to go so high and then to double it, do it twice? It's a fantasy, so why not do it twice? You are saying, Here it is, bring it down."
Author: Don DeLillo
10. "A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy."
Author: Edward P. Morgan
11. "When Sean died she understood for the first time how completely human beings were dependent upon a suspension of disbelief in order to simply move forward through their days. If that suspension faltered, if you truly understood, even if only for a moment, that human beings were made of bones and blood that broke and sprayed with the slightest provocation, and that provocation was everywhere--in street curbs and dangling tree limbs, bicycles and pencils--well you would fly for the first nest in a tree, run flat-out for the first burrow you saw."
Author: Erica Bauermeister
12. "I have some security that could protect me against provocations but of course there are more terrible actions that could not be stopped by any security."
Author: Garry Kasparov
13. "If I took it away, no doubt I'd find a morningstar hidden under your pillow within a fortnight. Try not to stab your sister, whatever the provocation."
Author: George R.R. Martin
14. "The stranger did not go to church, and indeed made no difference between Sunday and the irreligious days, even in costume. He worked, as Mrs. Hall thought, very fitfully. Some days he would come down early and be continuously busy. On others he would rise late, pace his room, fretting audibly for hours together, smoke, sleep in the armchair by the fire. Communication with the world beyond the village he had none. His temper continued very uncertain; for the most part his manner was that of a man suffering under almost unendurable provocation, and once or twice things were snapped, torn, crushed, or broken in spasmodic gusts of violence. He seemed under a chronic irritation of the greatest intensity. His habit of talking to himself in a low voice grew steadily upon him, but though Mrs. Hall listened conscientiously she could make neither head nor tail of what she heard."
Author: H.G. Wells
15. "Museums are not normally presenting the works on the walls as provocations to work. It's more like going to a Jacuzzi."
Author: Hans Haacke
16. "Reading is not as insignificant as we claim. First we must steal the key to the library. Reading is a provocation, a rebellion: we open the book's door, pretending it is a simple paperback cover, and in broad daylight escape! We are no longer there: this is what real reading is. If we haven't left the room, if we haven't gone over the wall, we're not reading."
Author: Hélène Cixous
17. "Passion, and passion in its profoundest, is not a thing demanding a palatial stage whereon to play its part. Down among the groundlings, among the beggars and rakers of the garbage, profound passion is enacted. And the circumstances that provoke it, however trivial or mean, are no measure of its power. In the present instance the stage is a scrubbed gun deck, and one of the external provocations a man-of-war's-man's spilled soup."
Author: Herman Melville
18. "One of the tragedies of modern times is that people have come to believe that something said by someone in the past, perhaps for illustrative or provocation purposes, actually represents that person's beliefs at the time."
Author: Idries Shah
19. "A woman that is patient has the ability to endure provocation, pain, annoyance etc, with much calm and strength."
Author: Jaachynma N.E. Agu
20. "The pause was to Elizabeth's feelings dreadful. At length, with a voice of forced calmness, he said: "And this is all the reply which I am to have the honour of expecting! I might, perhaps, wish to be informed why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus rejected. But it is of small importance.""I might as well inquire," replied she, "why with so evident a desire of offending and insulting me, you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character? Was not this some excuse for incivility, if I was uncivil? But I have other provocations. You know I have. Had not my feelings decided against you— had they been indifferent, or had they even been favourable, do you think that any consideration would tempt me to accept the man who has been the means of ruining, perhaps for ever, the happiness of a most beloved sister?"
Author: Jane Austen
21. "He broke me down past the flesh, past the muscle, past the bone, down to my soul and in a loud provocation, he asked, "What are you made of?"After I gathered the broken bits and pieces of my life together, I shouted at the top of my lungs, "HOPE! Unbreakable, undeniable, irrevocable hope!"
Author: Jay Grewal
22. "I trust you not to kill, main, or drown me without just provocation."
Author: Jena Leigh
23. "Why hadn't he realized this before? Everyone knew that if you divided realityby expectation, you got a happiness quotient. But when you inverted the equation-expectationdivided by reality-you didn't get the opposite of happiness. What you got, Lewis realized, was hope.Pure logic: Assuming reality was constant, expectation had to be greater than reality to createoptimism. On the other hand, a pessimist was someone with expectations lower than reality, afraction of diminishing returns. The human condition meant that this number approached zerowithout reaching it-you never really completely gave up hope; it might come flooding back at anyprovocation."
Author: Jodi Picoult
24. "We took the liberty to make some enquiries concerning the ground of their pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation. The Ambassador [of Tripoli] answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.{Letter from the commissioners, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson, to John Jay, 28 March 1786}"
Author: John Adams
25. "To be able to bear provocation is an argument of great reason, and to forgive it of a great mind."
Author: John Tillotson
26. "Zachary's mother, Lucy, waylaid him on the third-floor landing and offered, unsolicited, her opinion that the Traumatics had been the kind of adolescently posturing, angst-mongering boy group that never interested her. Then she waited, with parted lips and a saucy challenge in her eyes, to see how her presence --the drama of being her-- was registering. In the way of such chicks, she seemed convinced of the originality of her provocation. Katz had encountered, practically verbatim, the same provocation a hundred times before, which put him in the ridiculous position now of feeling bad for being unable to pretend to be provoked: of pitying Lucy's doughty little ego, its floatation on a sea of aging-female insecurity. He doubted he could get anywhere with her even if he felt like trying, but he knew that her pride would be hurt if he didn't make at least a token effort to be disagreeable. (p. 194)"
Author: Jonathan Franzen
27. "Funnily enough, it is the subject one dreads talking about at length one ends up talking about at length, often without the slightest provocation."
Author: Marisha Pessl
28. "What is the only provocation that could bring about the use of nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the priority target for nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the only established defense against nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. How do we prevent the use of nuclear weapons? By threatening the use of nuclear weapons. And we can't get rid of nuclear weapons, because of nuclear weapons. The intransigence, it seems, is a function of the weapons themselves."
Author: Martin Amis
29. "There are times, he would tell the Reshtar, when we are in the midst of life--moments of confrontation with birth or death, or moments of beauty when nature or love is fully revealed, or moments of terrible loneliness--times when a holy and awesome awareness comes upon us. It may come from beyond us, without any provocation, or from within us, evoked by music or by a sleeping child. If we open our hearts at such moments, creation reveals itself to us in all its unity and fullness. And when we return from such a moment of awareness, our hearts long to find some way to capture it in words forever, so that we can remain faithful to its higher truth. He would tell the Reshtar: When my people search for a name to give to the truth we feel at those moments, we call it God, and when we caputure that understanding in timeless poetry, we call it praying."
Author: Mary Doria Russell
30. "Through music I either tame my demons or unleash them and allow them to be what they are. I don't want the music to be about provocation, I want the music to bring you to a place where you feel at home."
Author: Michael Franti
31. "These are the few ways we can practice humility:To speak as little as possible of one's self.To mind one's own business.Not to want to manage other people's affairs.To avoid curiosity.To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.To pass over the mistakes of others.To accept insults and injuries.To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.To be kind and gentle even under provocation.Never to stand on one's dignity.To choose always the hardest."
Author: Mother Teresa
32. "As we all know, poodles are a type of curly-haired dog preferred by petit bourgeois retirees, ladies very much on their own who transfer their affection upon their pet, or residential concierges ensconced in their gloomy loges. Poodles come in black or apricot. The apricot ones tend to be crabbier than the black ones, who on the other hand do not smell as nice. Though all poodles bark snappily at the slightest provocation, they are particularly inclined to do so when nothing at all is happening. They follow their master by trotting on their stiff little legs without moving the rest of their sausage-shaped trunk. Above all they have venomous little black eyes set deep in their insignificant eye-sockets. Poodles are ugly and stupid, submissive and boastful. They are poodles, after all"
Author: Muriel Barbery
33. "But it's a curse, a condemnation, like an act of provocation, to have been aroused from not being, to have been conjured up from a clot of dirt and hay and lit on fire and sent stumbling among the rocks and bones of this ruthless earth to weep and worry and wreak havoc and ponder little more than the impending return to oblivion, to invent hopes that are as elaborate as they are fraudulent and poorly constructed, and that burn off the moment they are dedicated, if not before, and are at best only true as we invent them for ourselves or tell them to others, around a fire, in a hovel, while we all freeze or starve or plot or contemplate treachery or betrayal or murder or despair of love, or make daughters and elaborately rejoice in them so that when they are cut down even more despair can be wrung from our hearts, which prove only to have been made for the purpose of being broken. And worse still, because broken hearts continue beating."
Author: Paul Harding
34. "Truly speaking, it is not instruction, but provocation, that I can receive from another soul. What he announces, I must find true in me, or reject; and on his word, or as his second, be he who he may, I can accept nothing."
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson
35. "I understand the technique of eccentricity; it would be futile for a man to labor at establishing a reputation for oddity if he were ready at the slightest provocation to revert to normal action."
Author: Rex Stout
36. "The life of the average person is often not based on provocation and grand adventures, but lived as homage to the wonder of the constant state of being."
Author: Rhonda Laurel
37. "No worries" is the best thing to happen to sullen teenagers since I was one - even better than vampire sexting, GTL, or Call of Duty. When I was a sullen teenager, we had to make do wtih the vastly inferior "whatever"."No worries" beats "whatever" six ways to Sunday. I'ts a vaguely mystical way of saying "I hear your mouth make noise, saying something that I plan to ignore." It has a noble Rasta-man vibe, as if you're quoting some sort of timeless yet meaningless proverb on the nature of change - "Soon come," or "As the cloud is slow, the wind is quick." In terms of ignoring provocation, "no worries" is just about perfect."
Author: Rob Sheffield
38. "The ocean was waiting with grand and bitter provocations, as if it invited you to think how deep it was, how much colder than your blood or saltier, or to outguess it, to tell which were its feints or passes and which its real intentions, meaning business."
Author: Saul Bellow
39. "The ego refuses to be distressed by the provocations of reality, to let itself be compelled to suffer. It insists that it cannot be affected by the traumas of the external world; it shows, in fact, that such traumas are no more than occasions for it to gain pleasure."
Author: Sigmund Freud
40. "When you are wronged and your heart and feelings are hardened, do not be distressed, for this has happened providentially; but be glad and reject the thoughts that arise within you, knowing that if they are destroyed at the stage when they are only provocations, their evil consequences will be cut off, whereas if the thoughts persist the evil may be expected to develop."
Author: St. Mark The Ascetic
41. "In the next days it took little provocation for us to flick the flint of our Zippo lighters. Thatched roofs take the flame quickly, and on bad days the hamlets of Pinkville burned, taking our revenge in fire. It was good to walk from Pinkville and to see fire behind Alpha Company. It was good, just as pure hate is good."
Author: Tim O'Brien
42. "Provocation is on the opposite lane of resolution."
Author: Toba Beta
43. "Over and over and with the least provocation, they pulled from their stock of stories tales about the old folks, their grands and great-grands; their fathers and mothers. Dangerous confrontations, clever manoeuvres. Testimonies to endurance, wit, skill and strength. Tales of luck and outrage. But why were there no stories to tell of themselves? About their own lives they shut up. Had nothing to say, pass on. As though past heroism was enough of a future to live by. As though, rather than children, they wanted duplicates."
Author: Toni Morrison
44. "All anger is not sinful, because some degree of it, and on some occasions, is inevitable. But it becomes sinful and contradicts the rule of Scripture when it is conceived upon slight and inadequate provocation, and when it continues long."
Author: Wilson Mizner

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A whole film is just about arriving at a moment where you hopefully transfer some feeling to the audience."
Author: Brit Marling

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