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 :: Famous Quotations Topic: Literature (125 Quotations)

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Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.
~ Gaston Bachelard

 

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Only the more rugged mortals should attempt to keep up with current literature.
~ George Age

 

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Literature is made upon any occasion that a challenge is put to the legal apparatus by conscience in touch with humanity.
~ Nelson Algren

 

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The writer in western civilization has become not a voice of his tribe, but of his individuality. This is a very narrow-minded situation.
~ Aharon Appelfeld

 

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If the most significant characteristic of man is the complex of biological needs he shares with all members of his species, then the best lives for the writer to observe are those in which the role of natural necessity is clearest, namely, the lives of the very poor.
~ W. H. Auden

 

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Literature is without proofs. By which it must be understood that it cannot prove, not only what it says, but even that it is worth the trouble of saying it.
~ Roland Barthes

 

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In the present age, alas! our pens are ravished by unlettered authors and unmannered critics, that make a havoc rather than a building, a wilderness rather than a garden. But, a lack! what boots it to drop tears upon the preterit?
~ Aubrey Beardsley

 

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Do not worry about the incarnation of ideas. If you are a poet, your works will contain them without your knowledge -- they will be both moral and national if you follow your inspiration freely.
~ Vissarion Belinsky

 

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The great standard of literature as to purity and exactness of style is the Bible.
~ Hugh Blair

 

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Literature is not exhaustible, for the sufficient and simple reason that a single book is not. A book is not an isolated entity: it is a narration, an axis of innumerable narrations. One literature differs from another, either before or after it, not so much because of the text as for the manner in which it is read.
~ Jorge Luis Borges

 

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A losing trade, I assure you, sir: literature is a drug.
~ George Borrow

 

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All literature is political.
~ LeVar Burton

 

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English literature is a kind of training in social ethics. English trains you to handle a body of information in a way that is conducive to action.
~ Marilyn Butler

 

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The struggle of literature is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary.
~ Italo Calvino

 

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When politicians and politically minded people pay too much attention to literature, it is a bad sign -- a bad sign mostly for literature. But it is also a bad sign when they don't want to hear the word mentioned.
~ Italo Calvino

 

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All literature is gossip.
~ Truman Capote

 

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There is a great discovery still to be made in literature, that of paying literary men by the quantity they do not write.
~ Thomas Carlyle

 

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When a book, any sort of book, reaches a certain intensity of artistic performance it becomes literature. That intensity may be a matter of style, situation, character, emotional tone, or idea, or half a dozen other things. It may also be a perfection of control over the movement of a story similar to the control a great pitcher has over the ball.
~ Raymond Chandler

 

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Speak of the moderns without contempt, and of the ancients without idolatry.
~ Lord Chesterfield

 

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The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order.
~ Jean Cocteau

 

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