Top Sublime Quotes

Browse top 274 famous quotes and sayings about Sublime by most favorite authors.

Favorite Sublime Quotes

1. "Soon I knew the craft of experimental physics was beyond me - it was the sublime quality of patience - patience in accumulating data, patience with recalcitrant equipment - which I sadly lacked."
Author: Abdus Salam
2. "Sublime places gently move us to acknowledge limitations that we might otherwise encounter with anxiety or anger in the ordinary flow of events. It is not just nature that defies us. Human life is as overwhelming. But it is the vast spaces of nature that perhaps provide us with the finest, the most respectful reminder of all that exceeds us. If we spend time in them, they may help us to accept more graciously the great, unfathomable events that molest our lives and will inevitably return us to dust."
Author: Alain De Botton
3. "For in prosperity prayers seem but a mere medley of words, until misfortune comes and the unhappy sufferer first understands the meaning of the sublime language in which he invokes the pity of heaven!"
Author: Alexandre Dumas
4. "I wish to be Providence myself, for I feel that the most beautiful, noblest, most sublime thing in the world, is to recompense and punish."
Author: Alexandre Dumas
5. "Dès que Séraphine l'a laissé seul, Gontran se jette à genoux au pied du lit ; il enfonce son front dans les draps, mais ne parvient pas à pleurer ; aucun élan ne soulève son cœur. Ses yeux désespérément restent secs. Alors il se relève. Il regarde ce visage impassible. Il voudrait, en ce moment solennel, éprouver je ne sais quoi de sublime et de rare, écouter une communication de l'au-delà, lancer sa pensée dans des régions éthérées,suprasensibles - mais elle reste accrochée, sa pensée, au ras du sol. Il regarde les mains exsangues du mort, et se demande combien de temps encore les ongles continueront de pousser."
Author: André Gide
6. "A well- informed mind,' he would say, 'is the best security against the contagion of folly and of vice. The vacant mind is ever on the watch for relief, and ready to plunge into error, to escape from the languor of idleness. Store it with ideas, teach it the pleasure of thinking; and the temptations of the world without, will be counteracted by the gratifications derived from the world within. Thought, and cultivation, are necessary equally to the happiness of a country and a city life; in the first they prevent the uneasy sensations of indolence, and afford a sublime pleasure in the taste they create for the beautiful, and the grand; in the latter, they make dissipation less an object of necessity, and consequently of interest."
Author: Ann Radcliffe
7. "He loved the soothing hour, when the last tints of light die away; when the stars, one by one, tremble through æther, and are reflected on the dark mirror of the waters; that hour, which, of all others, inspires the mind with pensive tenderness, and often elevates it to sublime contemplation."
Author: Ann Radcliffe
8. "All that hurry can blur the truth that life is a zero-sum equation. Every minute I save will get used on something else, possibly no more sublime than staring at the newel post trying to remember what I just ran upstairs for."
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
9. "I want to be a man of mountaintops: to scale the heights, achieve a sublime transcendence, and breathe in the thin air. Transcendence requires suffocation."
Author: Benson Bruno
10. "Strauss! Oh yes, he was so-so. He wrote pretty music- The Blue Danube and Tales from the Vienna Woods. But what is that compared to Mozart?'Suddenly, Bess and George spotted Nancy coming towards them. 'Nancy!' the cousins chimed simultaneously and raced toward her.'I see our bus driver is still at it.' Nancy grinned.'All the way from Salzburg." George groaned.'Did he run off the road again?''Not once but many times,' Bess said. 'It was awful. Once he got so angry because someone compared Beethoven to Mozart that he actually stopped the bus, ran outside, and shouted into the valley, Beethoven is a bore. Mozart is sublime. Over and over. The professor had to go out and drag him back to the bus."
Author: Carolyn Keene
11. "I'd like to say I found a sublime beauty in it all, but I didn't. And yet. And yet, this life we'd built filled our car"
Author: Dennis Lehane
12. "Our faith is stronger than death, our philosophy is firmer than flesh, and the spread of the Kingdom of God upon the earth is more sublime and more compelling."
Author: Dorothy Day
13. "Sublime wonders lie in store,I am shown a regal residence;a mighty kingdom, an empirewith more grandeur than before ..."
Author: E.A. Bucchianeri
14. "Le Requiem de Mozart. Un souffle de l'au-delà y plane. Comment croire, après une pareille audition, que l'univers n'ait aucun sens? Il faut qu'il en ait un. Que tant de sublime se résolve dans le néant, le coeur, aussi bien que l'entendement, refuse de l'admettre. Quelque chose doit exister quelque part, un brin de réalité doit être contenu dans ce monde. Ivresse du possible qui rachète la vie. Craignons le retombement et le retour du savoir amer..."
Author: Emil Cioran
15. "The musician is perhaps the most modest of animals, but he is also the proudest. It is he who invented the sublime art of ruining poetry."
Author: Erik Satie
16. "The silence that falls between them is a comfortable one. He longs to reach over and touch her, but he resists, fearful of destroying the delicate camaraderie they are building. He steals glances instead, watching the way the light falls over her skin. Several times he catches her regarding him in a similar manner, and the moments when she holds his eyes with hers are sublime."
Author: Erin Morgenstern
17. "Therefore it is to a practical mysticism that the practical man is here invited: to a training of his latent faculties, a bracing and brightening of his languid consciousness, an emancipation from the fetters of appearance, a turning of his attention to new levels of the world. Thus he may become aware of the universe which the spiritual artist is always trying to disclose to the race. This amount of mystical perception—this "ordinary contemplation," as the specialists call it—is possible to all men: without it, they are not wholly conscious, nor wholly alive. It is a natural human activity, no more involving the great powers and sublime experiences of the mystical saints and philosophers than the ordinary enjoyment of music involves the special creative powers of the great musician."
Author: Evelyn Underhill
18. "Always. At every moment, asleep and awake, during the most sublime and most abject moments, Amaranta thought of Rebeca, because solitude had made a selection in her memory and had burned the dimming piles of nostalgic waste that life had accumulated in her heart, and had purified, magnified, and eternalized the others, the most bitter ones."
Author: Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
19. "[On Chopin's Preludes:]"His genius was filled with the mysterious sounds of nature, but transformed into sublime equivalents in musical thought, and not through slavish imitation of the actual external sounds. His composition of that night was surely filled with raindrops, resounding clearly on the tiles of the Charterhouse, but it had been transformed in his imagination and in his song into tears falling upon his heart from the sky. ... The gift of Chopin is [the expression of] the deepest and fullest feelings and emotions that have ever existed. He made a single instrument speak a language of infinity. He could often sum up, in ten lines that a child could play, poems of a boundless exaltation, dramas of unequalled power."
Author: George Sand
20. "For all his gentleness and humility unto death on the Cross, God does not relinquish his attribute of being judge and consuming fire. Nothing is more majestic than his Passion; even his anxiety is sublime. And God never denies his attributes to those who are his light in the world. They shine like stars in the cosmos, and even their anxiety, if God allows it, bears the marks of their divine destiny."
Author: Hans Urs Von Balthasar
21. "To bring the sublime into the mundane is the greatest challenge there is."
Author: Hazrat Inayat Khan
22. "Aquella mirada decía: "¡Mira, estos monos somos nosotros! ¡Mira, así es el hombre!" Y toda celebridad; toda discreción, todas las conquistas del espíritu, todos los avances hacia lo grande, lo sublime y lo eterno dentro de lo humano, se vinieron a tierra y eran un juego de monos..."
Author: Hermann Hesse
23. "People do not always understand the motives of sublime conduct, and when they are astonished they are very apt to think they ought to be alarmed. The truth is none are fit judges of greatness but those who are capable of it."
Author: Jane Porter
24. "No hay nada más sublime en la vida que dar, y cuanto más das, más recibes, y esa es la felicidad que uno tiene, con la que cuenta, y es mucha. Ahí reside el auténtico sentido, todo el sentido."
Author: José Antonio Abreu
25. "For all our penny-wisdom,'" he said, "‘for all our soul-destroying slavery to habit, it is not to be doubted that all men have sublime thoughts."
Author: Joshua Ferris
26. "And how simple, how sublimely familiar was the tale her body told."
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
27. "Sublime natures are seldom clean!"
Author: Longinus
28. "And, quite possibly, this lack (or seeming lack) of participation by a person's soul in the virtue of which he or she is the agent has, apart from its aesthetic meaning, a reality which, if not strictly psychological, may at least be called psysiognomical. Since then, whenever in the course of my life I have come across, in convents for instance, truly saintly embodiments of practical charity, they have generally had the cheerful, practical, brusque and unemotioned air of a busy surgeon, the sort of face in which one can discern no commiseration, no tenderness at the sight of suffering humanity, no fear of hurting it, the impassive, unsympathetic, sublime face of true goodness."
Author: Marcel Proust
29. "Sublime is something you choke on after a shot of tequila."
Author: Mark Z. Danielewski
30. "Space doesn't just encompass the sublime and the ridiculous. It erases the line between."
Author: Mary Roach
31. "(...) L'intelligence, cette vertu sublime que définit l'art de lier ce qui, a priori, et pour la plupart, passe pour délié."
Author: Michel Onfray
32. "Every time, it's the same thing, I feel like crying, my throat goes all tight and I do the best I can to control myself but sometimes it gets close: I can hardly keep myself from sobbing. So when they sing a canon I look down at the ground because it's just too much emotion at once: it's too beautiful, and everyone singing together, this marvelous sharing. I'm no longer myself. I am just one part of a sublime whole, to which the others also belong, and I always wonder at such moments why this cannot be the rule of everyday life, instead of being an exceptional moment, during a choir."
Author: Muriel Barbery
33. "The tea ritual: such a precise repetition of the same gestures and the same tastes; accession to simple, authentic and refined sensations, a license given to all, at little cost, to become aristocrats of taste, because tea is the beverage of the wealthy and the poor; the tea ritual, therefore, has the extraordinary virtue of introducing into the absurdity of our lives an aperture of serene harmony. Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea. Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. And, with each swallow, time is sublimed."
Author: Muriel Barbery
34. "In the earliest times of the discovery of the faculty of judgment, every new judgment was a find. The worth of this find rose, the more practical and fertile the judgment was. Verdicts which now seem to us very common then still demanded an unusual level of intellectual life. One had to bring genius and acuity together in order to find new relations using the new tool. Its application to the most characteristic, interesting, and general aspects of humanity necessarily aroused exceptional admiration and drew the attention of all good minds to itself. In this way those bodies of proverbial sayings came into being that have been valued so highly at all times and among all peoples. It would easily be possible for the discoveries of genius we make today to meet with a similar fate in the course of time. There could easily come a time when all that would be as common as moral precepts are now, and new, more sublime discoveries would occupy the restless spirit of men."
Author: Novalis
35. "Do not direct all your energies towards seeking pleasure but rather towards a sublime ideal. Your energies will then serve you and contribute to the realisation of your goal or ideal."
Author: Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
36. "There's one thing that I like about Rome that was stated by Napoleon: that from sublime to pathetic is only one step away. And in Rome there's a constant shifting between sublime and pathetic."
Author: Paolo Sorrentino
37. "In contrast we let go of existence, meaning, and the sublime as categories to describe the object "God." Instead these become ways in which we engage with the world. Yet, as we affirm the world in love, we indirectly sense that in letting go of God we have, in fact, found ourselves at the very threshold of God."
Author: Peter Rollins
38. "Has it struck you that the music which is regarded as the most sublime in western civilization, which is the music of Bach, is called baroque?"
Author: Pierre Schaeffer
39. "It is often during the worst of times that we see the best of humanity–awakeningwithin the most ordinary of us that which is most sublime. I do not believe that it is circumstancethat produces such greatness any more than it is the canvas that makes theartist. Adversity merely presents the surface on which we render our souls' most exactinglikeness. It is in the darkest skies that stars are best seen."
Author: Richard Paul Evans
40. "Sublime Minds have noble visions ; Average Minds, by contrast, are trying to conformity."
Author: Sir Kristian Goldmund Aumann
41. "Toutes nos créations originales et puissantes sont le fruitd'une concentration, d'une monomanie sublime, proche de la folie."
Author: Stefan Zweig
42. "When a warrior fights not for himself, but for his brothers, when his most passionately sought goal is neither glory nor his own life's preservation, but to spend his substance for them, his comrades, not to abandon them, not to prove unworthy of them, then his heart truly has achieved contempt for death, and with that he transcends himself and his actions touch the sublime. That is why the true warrior cannot speak of battle save to his brothers who have been there with him. The truth is too holy, too sacred, for words." -Suicide (Gates of Fire)"
Author: Steven Pressfield
43. "[She] soon perceived that as she walked in the flock, sometimes with this one, sometimes with that, that the fresh night air was producing staggerings and serpentine courses among the men who had partaken too freely; some of the more careless women were also wandering in their gait. . . . Yet however terrestrial and lumpy their appearance just now to the mean unglamoured eye, to themselves the case was different. They followed the road with a sensation that they were soaring along in a supporting medium, possessed of original and profound thoughts, themselves and surrounding nature forming an organism of which all the parts harmoniously and joyously interpenetrated each other. They were as sublime as the moon and stars above them, and the moon and stars were as ardent as they."
Author: Thomas Hardy
44. "Then, there on the screen I saw Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. An American Tragedy, a film I'd seen at least twice, not that it was all that great, but still it was very good, especially the final scene, which was unreeling at this particular moment: Clift and Taylor standing together, separated by the bars of a prison cell, a death cell, for Clift is only hours away from execution. Clift, already a poetic ghost inside his grey death-clothes, and Taylor, nineteen and ravishing, sublimely fresh as lilac after rain."
Author: Truman Capote
45. "The soul that loves and suffers is in the sublime state."
Author: Victor Hugo
46. "To all those unfortunate men who are widowers, I throw the sublime proclamation of Bonaparte to the army of Italy: "Soldiers, you are in need of everything; the enemy has it."
Author: Victor Hugo
47. "Die, very good, but do not make others die. Suicides like the one which is about to take place here are sublime, but suicide is restricted, and does not allow of extension; and so soon as it affects your neighbors, suicide becomes murder."
Author: Victor Hugo
48. "…to cause constellations of victories to flash forth at each instant from the zenith of the centuries, to make the French Empire a pendant to the Roman Empire, to be the great nation and to give birth to the grand army, to conquer the world twice, by conquest and by dazzling, that is sublime; and what greater thing is there?'‘To be free', said Combeferre."
Author: Victor Hugo
49. "Venerable age had not, for him, arranged that derelict landscape against which it is privileged to sit and pick its nose, break wind, and damn the course of youth groping among the obstacles erected, dutifully, by its own hands earlier, along the way of that sublime delusion known as the pursuit of happiness. Not to be confused with the state of political bigotry, mental obstinacy, financial security, sensual atrophy, emotional penury, and spiritual collapse which, under the name "maturity", animated lives around him, it might be said that Reverend Gwyon had reached maturity."
Author: William Gaddis
50. "Horse Frightened by a Lion depicts a majestic stallion in a very different situation. Stubbs painted this magnetic masterpiece to illustrate the nature of the sublime, which was one of his era's most popular philosophical concepts,and its relation to a timelessly riveting feeling: fear. The magnificent horse galloping through a vast wilderness encounters the bottom-up stimulus of a crouching predator and responds with a dramatic display of what psychologists mildly call "negative emotion." The equine superstar's arched neck, dilated eyes, and flared nostrils are in fact the very picture of overwhelming dread. The painting's subject matter reflects he philosopher Edmund Burke's widely circulated Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, which asserts that because "terror" is unparalleled in commanding "astonishment," or total, single-pointed,--indeed, rapt--attention, it is "the ruling principle of the sublime."
Author: Winifred Gallagher

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Advice? I don't have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you're writing, you're a writer. Write like you're a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there's no chance for a pardon. Write like you're clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you've got just one last thing to say, like you're a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God's sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we're not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don't. Who knows, maybe you're one of the lucky ones who doesn't have to."
Author: Alan Wilson Watts

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