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The Book of Famous Quotes: The Complete Collection

 :: 1903-1974, British Critic

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Those of us who were brought up as Christians and have lost our faith have retained the sense of sin without the saving belief in redemption. This poisons our thought and so paralyses us in action.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Sin]

 

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The worst vice of the solitary is the worship of his food.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Solitude]

 

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The only happy talkers are dandies who extract pleasure from the very perishability of their material and who would not be able to tolerate the isolation of all other forms of composition; for most good talkers, when they have run down, are miserable; they know that they have betrayed themselves, that they have taken material which should have a life of its own, to dispense it in noises upon the air.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Speech]

 

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Classical and romantic: private language of a family quarrel, a dead dispute over the distribution of emphasis between man and nature.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Style]

 

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There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbors will say.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Suicide]

 

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Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Talent]

 

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No taste is so acquired as that for someone else's quality of mind.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Taste]

 

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Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Terrorism]

 

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Like water, we are truest to our nature in repose.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Tranquility]

 

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Never would it occur to a child that a sheep, a pig, a cow or a chicken was good to eat, while, like Milton's Adam, he would eagerly make a meal off fruits, nuts, thyme, mint, peas and broad beans which penetrate further and stimulate not only the appetite but other vague and deep nostalgias. We are closer to the Vegetable Kingdom than we know; is it not for man alone that mint, thyme, sage, and rosemary exhale ''crush me and eat me!'' -- for us that opium poppy, coffee-berry, tea-plant and vine perfect themselves? Their aim is to be absorbed by us, even if it can only be achieved by attaching themselves to roast mutton.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Vegetarianism]

 

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Vulgarity is the garlic in the salad of taste.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Vulgarity]

 

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We are all serving a life sentence in the dungeon of the self.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Prison]

 

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As repressed sadists are supposed to become policemen or butchers so those with an irrational fear of life become publishers.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Publishing and Publishers]

 

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The person who is master of their passions is reason's slave.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Reason]

 

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Were I to deduce any system from my feelings on leaving Eton, it might be called The Theory of Permanent Adolescence. It is the theory that the experiences undergone by boys at the great public schools, their glories and disappointments, are so intense as to dominate their lives and to arrest their development. From these it results that the greater part of the ruling class remains adolescent, school-minded, self-conscious, cowardly, sentimental, and in the last analysis homosexual.
~ Cyril Connolly - [School]

 

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Today the function of the artist is to bring imagination to science and science to imagination, where they meet, in the myth.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Science and Scientists]

 

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Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Journalism and Journalists]

 

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A lazy person, whatever the talents with which he set out, will have condemned himself to second-hand thoughts and to second-rate friends.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Laziness]

 

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We love but once, for once only are we perfectly equipped for loving.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Love]

 

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There is no pain equal to that which two lovers can inflict on one another. This should be made clear to all who contemplate such a union. The avoidance of this pain is the beginning of wisdom, for it is strong enough to contaminate the rest of our lives.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Lovers]

 

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