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 :: 1903-1974, British Critic

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Except for poverty, incompatibility, opposition of parents, absence of love on one side and of desire to marry on both, nothing stands in the way of our happy union.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Marriage]

 

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The dread of loneliness is greater than the fear of bondage, so we get married.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Marriage]

 

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The English masses are lovable: they are kind, decent, tolerant, practical and not stupid. The tragedy is that they are too many of them, and that they are aimless, having outgrown the servile functions for which they were encouraged to multiply. One day these huge crowds will have to seize power because there will be nothing else for them to do, and yet they neither demand power nor are ready to make use of it; they will learn only to be bored in a new way.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Masses]

 

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Our memories are card indexes consulted and then returned in disorder by authorities whom we do not control.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Memory]

 

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In the sex war, thoughtlessness is the weapon of the male, vindictiveness of the female.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Men and Women]

 

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Imprisoned in every fat man, a thin one is wildly signaling to be let out.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Obesity]

 

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The one way to get thin is to re-establish a purpose in life.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Food and Eating]

 

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In America every woman has her set of girl-friends; some are cousins, the rest are gained at school. These form a permanent committee who sit on each other's affairs, who ''come out'' together, marry and divorce together, and who end as those groups of bustling, heartless well-informed club-women who govern society. Against them the Couple of Ehepaar is helpless and Man in their eyes but a biological interlude.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Friends and Friendship]

 

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There cannot be a personal God without a pessimistic religion. As soon as there is a personal God he is a disappointing God.
~ Cyril Connolly - [God]

 

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Greed, like the love of comfort, is a kind of fear.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Greed]

 

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There is immunity in reading, immunity in formal society, in office routine, in the company of old friends and in the giving of officious help to strangers, but there is no sanctuary in one bed from the memory of another. The past with its anguish will break through every defense-line of custom and habit; we must sleep and therefore we must dream.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Grief]

 

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A writer is in danger of allowing his talent to dull who lets more than a year go past without finding himself in his rightful place of composition, the small single unluxurious ''retreat'' of the twentieth century, the hotel bedroom.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Hotels]

 

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Idleness is only a coarse name for my infinite capacity for living in the present.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Idleness]

 

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We must select the Illusion which appeals to our temperament and embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Illusion]

 

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When I contemplate the accumulation of guilt and remorse which, like a garbage-can, I carry through life, and which is fed not only by the lightest action but by the most harmless pleasure, I feel Man to be of all living things the most biologically incompetent and ill-organized. Why has he acquired a seventy years life-span only to poison it incurably by the mere being of himself? Why has he thrown Conscience, like a dead rat, to putrefy in the well?
~ Cyril Connolly - [Conscience]

 

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Slums may well be breeding-grounds of crime, but middle-class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Crime and Criminals]

 

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I review novels to make money, because it is easier for a sluggard to write an article a fortnight than a book a year, because the writer is soothed by the opiate of action, the crank by posing as a good journalist, and having an air hole. I dislike it. I do it and I am always resolving to give it up.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Critics and Criticism]

 

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The goal of every culture is to decay through over-civilization; the factors of decadence, -- luxury, skepticism, weariness and superstition, -- are constant. The civilization of one epoch becomes the manure of the next.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Decadence]

 

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Green leaves on a dead tree is our epitaph -- green leaves, dear reader, on a dead tree.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Epitaphs]

 

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It is a mistake to expect good work from expatriates for it is not what they do that matters but what they are not doing.
~ Cyril Connolly - [Exile]

 

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