Quotations About / On: CHILDHOOD

  • 51.
    If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it.
    (J.D. (Jerome David) Salinger (b. 1919), U.S. author. Catcher in the Rye, ch. 1 (1951). Opening words.)
  • 52.
    [Children] do not yet lie to themselves and therefore have not entered upon that important tacit agreement which marks admission into the adult world, to wit, that I will respect your lies if you will agree to let mine alone. That unwritten contract is one of the clear dividing lines between the world of childhood and the world of adulthood.
    (Leontine Young (20th century), U.S. social worker and author. Life Among the Giants, ch. 2 (1965).)
  • 53.
    I never meet anyone nowadays who admits to having had a happy childhood. Everyone appears to think happiness betokens a lack of sensitivity.
    (Jessamyn West (1907-1984), U.S. novelist and autobiographer. The Life I Really Lived, part 1 (1979).)
  • 54.
    We attempt to remember our collective American childhood, the way it was, but what we often remember is a combination of real past, pieces reshaped by bitterness and love, and, of course, the video past—the portrayals of family life on such television programs as "Leave it to Beaver" and "Father Knows Best" and all the rest.
    (Richard Louv (20th century), U.S. journalist, author. Childhood's Future, part 1, ch. 3 (1991).)
  • 55.
    We Russians have assigned ourselves no other task in life but the cultivation of our own personalities, and when we're barely past childhood, we set to work to cultivate them, those unfortunate personalities.
    (Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev (1818-1883), Russian author. Aleksei Petrovich, "A Correspondence," letter, May 2, 1840 (1856).)
  • 56.
    Dear, sweet, unforgettable childhood! Why does this irrevocable time, forever departed, seem brighter, more festive and richer than it actually was?
    (Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. The bishop's thoughts in The Bishop, Works, vol. 10, p. 188, "Nauka" (1976).)
  • 57.
    The limitless future of childhood shrinks to realistic proportions, to one of limited chances and goals; but, by the same token, the mastery of time and space and the conquest of helplessness afford a hitherto unknown promise of self- realization. This is the human condition of adolescence.
    (Peter Blos (20th century), U.S. psychoanalyst. On Adolescence, introduction (1962).)
    More quotations from: Peter Blos, childhood, future, time
  • 58.
    I am convinced that, except in a few extraordinary cases, one form or another of an unhappy childhood is essential to the formation of exceptional gifts.
    (Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), U.S. novelist, dramatist. Interview in Writers at Work, First Series, ed. Malcolm Cowley (1958).)
    More quotations from: Thornton Wilder, childhood
  • 59.
    At its best, [Japanese cooking] is inextricably meshed with aesthetics, with religion, with tradition and history. It is evocative of seasonal changes, or of one's childhood, or of a storm at sea ...
    (M.F.K. Fisher (1908-1992), U.S. culinary writer and autobiographer. Japanese Cooking, Introduction (1980). The book's author is Shizuo Tsuji.)
  • 60.
    To brew up an adult, it seems that some leftover childhood must be mixed in; a little unfinished business from the past periodically intrudes on our adult life, confusing our relationships and disturbing our sense of self.
    (Roger Gould (20th century), U.S. psychotherapist and author. Transformations, sec. 1 (1978).)
    More quotations from: Roger Gould, childhood, life
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